Cooking with Toddlers: Blue Corn Fish Tacos with Mandarin and Grapefruit Salsa


Toddler hands. Honestly, I’m a little freaked out by them.  A quick 10 minute observation of Fig in the garden saw him digging in the worm bin, touching a random cat’s tail, finding a slug ( which brought into the house and promptly put on my pillow) and manhandling the bottom of his shoe.

Not exactly the kind of hand activity you want by the person who’s going to make dinner. I wash his hands better than a surgeon does but I’m still a little paranoid that I’m going to catch squirrel-ebola or some other remote disease from little Fig’s hands.

That being said sometimes you just gotta go with the flow, take the necessary sanitary precautions and make tacos. Fig likes fish tacos but he doesn’t love them. What he does love is thoroughly handling the expensive battered halibut and then not eating it.  You have to catch him in the right mood or else the tortilla will be eaten and little else. Which leaves you with $10 of inedible halibut unless of course you want to catch the aforementioned squirrel-ebola.

Enter Mandarin and Grapefruit Salsa and the problem is solved; at least for Fig. He loves a healthy dose of fruit and pretty much forgot the taco even contained fish.

And while I had the best intentions of making the tortillas and fish from scratch, those dreams were quickly thrown in the trash because it turned out to be one of those days. Pre-battered halibut from whole foods and tortillas from Three Sisters Nixtmal for the win!

Lastly, I want to thank my husband for moonlighting as my handsome hand model. It’s a hard job but somebody has to do it.

Mandarin and Grapefruit Salsa

  • 1 Large Grapefruit
  • 2 Mandarins (through in a few more for good measure since your child will eat them during the chopping process)
  • 2 tablespoons of chopped cilantro
  • 1 green onion, diced.
  • Salt to Taste


  • Take all the skin off the grapefruit wedges.
  • Chop the grapefruit and mandarins into small pieces
  • In a bowl, combine the chopped fruit, cilantro, onion and season with salt to taste.Mix well.

Toddler Friendly Parts of this Recipe:

  • Chopping the fruit
  • Mixing the Salsa
  • Testing the fruit as needed…you know, for safety reasons 🙂











7 thoughts on “Cooking with Toddlers: Blue Corn Fish Tacos with Mandarin and Grapefruit Salsa

  1. apuginthekitchen says:

    Wonderful combination, I’ve never seen blue corn tortilla’s they are so pretty, I happen to love fish taco’s a lot and your citrusy salsa is perfect with the fish, your husbands hands are lovely, clean and well manicured, a handsome hand for sure. I have to laugh when I see Fig’s hands, LOL, little boys love rummaging in the dirt and always see to fare well and manage to avoid squirrel ebola. LOL!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • cookingwithtoddlers says:

      I buy those tortillas at our farmers market ..they are local to Portland and are probably the best tortillas I’ve ever tasted! And yes, despite Fig’s extremely dirty hands, he has yet to catch squirrel ebola. He hardly gets sick so I guess all of his dirt eating has served him well 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • apuginthekitchen says:

        It has built up his immune system. Parents that sterilize everything and keep their kids in a bubble are not doing the child any favors in my opinion. Kids get dirty, they need to be cleaned but not sterilized. I love that Fig gets his little hands dirty, it’s not like city dirt here in NYC!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Susan says:

    Hi, what kind of knife is Fig using? How is he not chopping his fingers off? My almost 2 year old loves to “make” and I’m in love with your blog!


    • cookingwithtoddlers says:

      Hi Susan! Thank you and GREAT question…my biggest fear was having Fig chop, mame or otherwise impale himself with a knife! I let him start using this knife ( when he was about 18 months. It took him about a month or two for him to learn to use it properly and lots of shrieking from me ” WATCH YOUR FINGERS!!!!” 🙂 The knife is actually quite dull….so he could never actually chop his finger off. I’m not sure if it would even break the skin. It works best for softer items. I’ve been cooking with little Fig since he was about 14 months and I’ve been very strict about the kitchen rules . He knows what he can and cannot do. It takes a bit of time to teach little kids about all the do’s and don’ts but I feel very comfortable about letting Fig into the kitchen regularly knowing that he is fully aware of the safety precautions we take. Thanks so much for stopping by!


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