Tofu: 3 Kid Friendly Ways to Make It

Hearty and versatile, tofu is a high quality protein that provides healthy fat, calcium, folic acid, and iron for your growing child. Whether you are trying to eat less meat, or just want to expand your child’s palette, tofu can be included in a variety of foods to boost the nutrition of any meal.  I also think Tofu is a great choice for kids because it is so easy to chew.

There are 2 main types of Tofu.

1) Soft/Silken Tofu.  This type is very smooth, contains a lot of moisture and is typically used in sauces, salad dressings and desserts to create a thick and creamy texture.

2) Regular Tofu.  This type of tofu is what you usually see at the grocery store.  It is packaged in a tub with water in it.  It comes in soft, medium, and extra firm.  The firm is still pretty soft and needs to be drained and pressed depending what you are using it for. You would use this type in stir fries, tofu bakes or any dish where you will want the tofu to retain its shape.

To Drain and Press Tofu:

  • Wrap tofu in a few layers of paper towels and place on a plate.
  • Cover with a second plate and place something heavy on top to weigh down the plate and press down on the tofu; set aside to let drain for 30 minutes.
  • Remove and discard paper towels, then replace with dry paper towels and repeat process a second time.


Triple Berry Tofu Smoothie

  • 2 cups berries (fresh or frozen – blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, blackberries)
  • 1 banana
  • 1 cup silken tofu
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 1 cup ice

Blend ingredients together until smooth and creamy. Serve immediately.

Makes 4 servings

  • Triple Berry Smoothie



Crispy Tofu Dippers

  • 14oz block Organic Non-GMO Extra Firm Tofu
  • 2 Tbsp Cornstarch
  • 1/4 cup Cornmeal
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • Olive Oil


After you have drained and pressed the tofu, cut into bite-size pieces.


Mix together cornmeal, parmesan, and cornstarch.


Whisk it up a bit and then place your tofu pieces in the mixture.  Coat well.


Heat a bit of olive oil in a sauté pan over medium-high heat.


Once your pieces are coated, pop them in the hot pan.  Cook on all sides until brown and crispy.


Serve with your favorite dipping sauce.


My girls LOVED these.



Pesto Penne with Baked Tofu Bites

  • 16 oz Penne Pasta
  • 1/2 Cup Prepared Pesto
  • 2 Roma Tomatoes, seeded and chopped
  • 14oz block Organic Non-GMO Extra Firm Tofu


This is another method for cooking tofu.  You can always pan fry for this recipe though.


1) Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Place drained and pressed tofu on a baking sheet.  Spray with cooking spray.  Place in the oven for 20 minutes, turning pieces half way through.


2) While the tofu is cooking, boil and drain pasta according to package directions.

When I buy Pesto, this is my favorite kind.  All natural, organic, non-GMO.  Oh and did I mention delicious?


3) Place your cooked noodles in a pan with the pesto and tomatoes.IMG_0029

4) After 20 minutes if your tofu looks brown and slightly crispy then pull it out.  You can cook it up to 40 minutes if needed.


5) Put the tofu in with your pasta.


6) Place the pan on a burner over medium-high heat.  Cook until everything is coated and heated through.


7) Serve warm.  Yum! You can sprinkle a little Parmesan cheese on top if your heart so desires.



So there you have it.  3 delicious ways to try tofu!

written by
Natalie Monson

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Robyn says:

I made the Crispy Tofu Dippers for my extremely picky five year old last night. I thought they were pretty delicious myself, but I was not prepared for how much my son loved them. He had thirds and even asked for them as a snack before bed. Thanks for the addition to the small handful of things my kid will eat!

Aubrey says:

You have to look at Dr Fuhrman on debunking the anti soy myths everyone! Tofu has meaningful health benefits!

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Kay says:

I’m gonna try these. My daughter is 2 yrs old and not fond of meat. These look like things she might like and getting protein in her at the same time. Thank you for the recipes.

Natalie says:

I buy my pesto from Costco. It is organic and only contains whole food ingredients. Plus I think it is less expensive than making your own!

Desire'e says:

Where do you get that pesto from? I can not find it anywhere????

Dan says:

Yes please make sure to use only Non GMO tofu. Most of the Nasoya products are coming that way. Also using a tofu press, Like EZ Tofu Press (available on amazon) is ideal for firma nd extra firm tofu. It presses the water out allowing better flavor absorption and texture.

Natalie says:

Marcie – we are definitely proponents of whole foods and would hope that our readers are trying to modify their diet more towards that direction. We also believe that certain foods, including soy in moderation are part of a healthy diet. Mat – the soy I recommend in my recipes is organic non-GMO. Thanks for the comments and concern!

mat says:

Most tofu and soy products are also genetically modified. If you’re are going to add more soy to your diet I strongly suggest organic.

Marcie says:

I really like your blog! Very helpful in new ideas for our health conscience family. I just can’t agree that eating much tofu is good for you. I know that everything in moderation is the way to go…but soy is WAY over used in our food anyway. If you are making all of your own foods and not using anything processed…this isn’t a problem. But lets face it…most of America doesn’t…and label reading will tell you that soy in some form or another is in so many things. This especially concerns me for tween and teen girls. Ok…now I sound like a food psycho, but I’m really not…..usually.

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Join over 100k + subscribers and get family-friendly recipes, picky-eater strategies, lunch-packing tips and more, delivered each week to your inbox.