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Easy Homemade Tapioca Pudding: Lunchbox Makeover

Easy Homemade Tapioca Pudding: Lunchbox Makeover

Fluffy, creamy tapioca pudding with half the sugar and all the sweet fun – perfect for the lunchboxes of kids of any age.

Lunchtime fun: Tapioca pudding |

My kids have recently been clamoring for Kozy Shack in their lunch boxes. You know, those cute little tapioca pudding snacks. Not in the habit of purchasing pre-packaged pudding packs, I took a look at bumping up the nutrition of homemade tapioca.

Growing up, my mom often made tapioca pudding from the little red box of tapioca. She’d cook up a batch and pour the hot pudding into small blue-flowered Corelle cups and top with a sprinkle of chocolate chips and banana slices. My sisters and I loved spooning up the creamy, warm dessert with melty chocolate chips.

Easy Homemade Tapioca Pudding |

I haven’t made tapioca from the red ‘Minute’ brand box in years. So, I was surprised when I reread the package directions: The recipe includes a full 2 cups of protein-rich milk, an antioxidant-rich egg and only 1/3 cup sugar for 6 servings.

And despite the look of a ‘packaged food,’ the stuff in the small red box is simply tapioca pearls from the cassava plant – that have pre-cooked with water to quicken the cooking time and then dehydrated.

Fluffy, creamy: Easy Homemade Tapioca Pudding |

Easy Homemade Tapioca: For the lunchboxes of kids of any age - via @tspcurry Click To Tweet
And the box recipe could be improved. Here’s what I did to make quick-cooking tapioca a dietitian approved dessert – AND a new addition to my kids’ lunch box:

  • Decreased the sugar from 1/3 cup to just 3 tablespoons. You could also use honey or maple syrup.
  • Added another egg for more of the antioxidant lutein which is good for eye-health
  • Whipped up 2 protein-rich egg whites for more fluffy fun!
  • Added the goodness of fruit for additional sweetness: Bananas and strawberries are yummy; and mango + lime zest + unsweetened coconut would be too.

How to Make Homemade Tapioca Pudding

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Easy Homemade Tapioca Pudding |

Quick-Cook Homemade Tapioca Pudding

  • Author: by Serena Ball, RD
  • Yield: 6 servings 1x


Fluffy creamy tapioca pudding with half the sugar and all the sweet fun – for kids or anyone.


  • 2 egg whites
  • 3 tablespoons sugar, divided
  • 3 tablespoons quick-cooking tapioca (I used Minute brand)
  • 2 cups 1%-fat milk
  • 2 eggs, well beaten
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 banana, mashed
  • Strawberries and banana slices for garnish


  1. In a medium bowl, beat egg whites with an electric beater until just starting to form soft peaks. Slowly add in 1 tablespoon sugar and continue beating until sugar is incorporated.
  2. Combine remaining 2 tablespoons sugar, tapioca, milk and eggs in a medium saucepan and let set (without heating) for 5 minutes. Heat saucepan over medium heat and stir constantly until mixture comes to a full boil. Turn heat down to low; quickly and gently stir in egg whites and fold gently for 1 minute. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla and banana.
  3. Pour into individual glass dessert dishes; or to serve in plastic lunch box resealable containers, allow to cool slightly before spooning into dishes. Garnish with strawberries and bananas.

Recipe note: You could also use whole small-pearl tapioca vs quick-cooking — just cook about 15 minutes longer. 

Who grew up eating tapioca? Ever make tapioca pudding now – do you flavor it or just make it with milk and vanilla?


Monday 2nd of May 2016

I LOVE Tapioca, I need to make this for my little guy!! Yum!

Serena Ball

Tuesday 3rd of May 2016

Yup... your little guy and you will love it in your lunchbox! The calcium from milk and the protein from eggs are a plus.

Elizabeth Shaw

Monday 2nd of May 2016

I've never made tapioca, but the husband loves it! I must admit, I didn't know there was a special powder to buy! Definitely going to keep my eye out for this!

Serena Ball

Tuesday 3rd of May 2016

The 'quick' tapioca in the box is my preferred thickener in berry and cherry pies too. It's got a lovely texture and I find I don't need as much sugar in pies either. Thanks for your honest comment Elizabeth...I appreciate knowing what readers think - and have questions about! (:


Saturday 30th of May 2015

Mmmmm. I love the tweaks you have made, especially increasing the protein and decreasing the sugar. I will have to try this, maybe with a little almond extract.

Serena Ball

Saturday 30th of May 2015

Oh my goodness! Almond extract would be delicious...what a good idea.

Sonali- The Foodie Physician

Tuesday 19th of May 2015

Your recipe sounds great! My daughter hasn't ever tried tapioca pudding but I know my hubby loves it. I'll have to hide some from him so I can get Sienna to try it :)

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