Smashed Cucumber Recipe

Hello! Ready to have some fun in the kitchen? Let’s do this.

Between us adults, this recipe is wonderful because it exposes your little one to cucumbers in new and different ways. This is a proven strategy to get kids to try new things. The smashing also feels therapeutic. 

For all new foods and foods your kid may not love (yet) exposure is key. Touching, chopping, smashing all count. 

This activity is designed for little ones 2-4, everyone is welcome. 

This recipe was modified to be toddler-ready. You can find the original here: NYT smashed cucumber recipe.



  • Mallet or heavy saucepan 
  • Ziploc bags
  • Mixing bowls
  • Toddler knife
  • Adult knife
  • Cutting board 
  • Apple Peeler 
  • Whisk


  • 8 small persian or 4 larger English cucumbers (or any cucumber you have works too!)
  • 2 teaspoons Sugar
  • 1 teaspoon Salt
  • 1 ½ tbsp Rice Vinegar
  • 2 tsp Sesame Oil
  • 2 tsp Soy Sauce
  • Sesame seeds


Wash hands

20+ seconds.

Water and soap.

You know the drill.

Get the ingredients out

Go ahead and get em all out.

Prep the cucumbers

Peel parts of the cucumber (think zebra stripes!).

Chop off the ends and in half so there is a stable surface for when your kid chops. 

Dr. Maria cuts them into smaller pieces so they are easier to smash.

Optional: Spa Water Time

Throw in a few slices into your glass of water or a pitcher. 




Wash hands

20+ seconds.

Water and soap.

One more time, with the little ones!


Set your little one up with a toddler safe knife, cutting board and cucumber. 

It helps if you have prepped the cucumber to have a flat side to make cutting more stable. 

Show them how to chop the cucumber. 

Watch them take over. 

Bag + Smash!

Put cucumbers in bag. And zip it up.

Smash responsibly.

Make sure you watch your kids fingers.

Make sure the adult gives the cucumbers a whack too. It made my day.


Add the remaining ingredients (except the sesame seeds) to a bowl.

Depending on the attention span and skillz of your little one involve them in the measuring.

Or just skip to whisking. So fun.

Cucumbers + Sauce = Magic

Mix this all together. 

This is so tasty! I can’t wait for you to try it.


Serve with sprinkles!

Tips to serve this… especially if cucumber is a new food.

Serve it with ‘sprinkles’ aka sesame seeds (if allergic, try chia seeds!)

Only give a few pieces. If your little one likes it she can have more.


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