- 1 BREAKFAST IDEAS for TODDLERS
- 2 LUNCH IDEAS for TODDLERS
- 3 SNACK IDEAS for TODDLERS
- 4 DINNER IDEAS for TODDLERS
As a doting parent, you are surely willing to go to great lengths to please the youngest member of your family. Well, as tough as it seems, it’s really not. Toddlers love feasting on foods that look colorful and come with mild, sweet or savory flavors. They also want to stick to only specific kinds of food, and that is why making sure that they eat well and get all the nutrition from the little choices of food they have can be a major challenge. The answer is simple: variety.
Here in this section, we will list out some healthy meal ideas for toddlers that are scrumptious and nutritious. From breakfast to dinner, these recipes have your tiny tot’s hunger needs covered!
BREAKFAST IDEAS for TODDLERS
1- Unsweetened porridge with milk & fruit
Porridge has long been regarded as the staple breakfast for champions. Loaded with fiber and energy, unflavored porridge can be modified in various ways to appeal to your kid’s taste buds and improve the existing nutrition content. Just add a handful of fresh or dried fruit to enhance color of the dish and sweeten it with a drizzle of warm honey for a much-needed vitamin boost.
2- Crackers with cottage cheese and smoothie
Crackers are a favorite of the tiny tots as they as they easy to crunch on and light on their tiny stomachs. You can serve this dish as a midday snack or a quick breakfast; either way it measures up. Just blend half-a-banana and four fresh/frozen strawberries in six ounces of milk for a decadent and creamy toddler-friendly smoothie. Serve with roasted cubes of cottage cheese and garnish with a pinch of pepper.
3- Yogurt with blueberries, granola and milk
As an assembly breakfast idea that requires practically no cooking, this dish is easy to whip up and appeals to the taste buds of even the most finicky of eaters. After all, who can resist the sweet and creamy flavors of yogurt and blueberries! You can use store-brought granola or homemade one. You can also substitute blueberries with your kid’s favorite berry of choice, but make sure to include the milk as it enhances the nutritional content of the whole meal.
4- Mini bagel with grapes, milk and cream cheese
Mini bagels are an instant hit with children due to their cute quirky shape and mild flavors. Spread a set of bagel buns with thick layers of cream cheese and pair with halved grapes, as well as a glass of frothy, sweetened milk for a healthy and hearty start of the day ahead.
5- Banana Toast
A fantastic finger food for babies, banana toast comes loaded with nutrients and flavors to keep meal times fun, interesting and fuss-free. Take half-a-banana and mash it well with a fork first. Then transfer it to a bowl and gradually add in a desired quantity of milk. Keep mixing and mashing until the mixture turns smooth. You can blend it at low speed as well. Then heat oil in a skillet and soak pieces of bread in the mixture before cooking it on the skillet. Wait till they turn golden brown on both sides and serve warm with a garnish of cinnamon.
LUNCH IDEAS for TODDLERS
1- Mini Meat & Cheese Stackers
Mince meat slices and cheese into tiny, bite-sized pieces and stack them up with a thick smear of mustard, mayo or hummus. Serve with toast, crackers or whole grain pita bread and add in a slice or two of your baby’s favorite fruit for added value.
2- Creamy Quesadillas
Spread a generous helping of herbed goat cheese atop soft and buttered tortillas. Top further with freshly minced spinach, thinly diced cucumber, shredded carrots or mashed roasted sweet potatoes. Slice the topped tortillas into bite-sized wedges to make quesadillas and serve them either cold or at room temperature.
3- Pesto Pasta Salad
For this meal, you will need either homemade pesto or the store-brought one. It’s okay to skip the nuts if needed, as the flavor will still remain the same. Toss the pesto into a pasta dish with half-a-cup of halved cherry tomatoes, thawed peas and diced chicken or cheese. Pair with a fruit of choice before serving.
4- Avocado Egg Salad
Mash two hard-boiled eggs together with a cup of diced avocado, some lemon juice and a pinch of salt. Spread the mixture into a pita pocket or serve with crackers. Alternatively, you can simply slice the dainty hard-boiled eggs and serve alongside whole grain pita bread as a sort of deconstructed sandwich. Add in pieces of fruit, veggie and maybe a candy or two in the mix as well.
5 Sweet Potato Yogurt Parfait
In a glass, spread roasted sweet potatoes as a layer and top it with granola and plain full-fat yogurt. Alternatively, you can also serve all these ingredients side-by-side in cute container. Or you can puree everything nicely in a food processor and serve in plastic cups. Offer apple slices and a freshly chopped green veggie for added nutritional value.
SNACK IDEAS for TODDLERS
1- Tortilla Roll Ups
Spread a generous helping of butter onto whole grain tortilla and garnish it with banana, cherry or whole-fruit jam. Roll up neatly and slice into wedges for a cute appeal. Alternatively, you can spread cream cheese, add in a thin slice of turkey and fold it into a wrap for a filling snack meal.
2- Hummus Sandwich
Easy to prepare and quick to digest, a hummus sandwich is a great meal idea to satiate out-of-time hunger cravings and still make sure your kid doesn’t end up overeating. All you have to do is spread your choice of hummus between two slices of multi-grain bread and place it into a serving platter. Serve it alongside with sliced soft veggies or whole-grain crackers.
3- Peach Melba Smoothie
Packed with vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, this fruity and creamy, low-fat shake is an absolute favorite of toddlers. Just blend raspberries, peaces, orange juice, as well as fresh custard into a smooth, homogeneous smoothie and serve chilled in plastic cups.
4- Rainbow Fruit Skewers
Simple, colorful and fun to prepare, these vitamin-loaded fruit skewers is a great idea to get your stubborn little kids to eat their daily dose of fruit. Just take some wooden skewers and thread the following fruits into each of them- one raspberry, one strawberry, one tangerine segment, one slice of peeled mango, one slice of peeled pineapple, one peeled kiwi chunk, one green and red grape, as well as two blueberries. Arrange the skewers in a semi-circular rainbow shape and let your kids help themselves.
5- Rice Pudding with Milk
Rice pudding made with milk is a great snack choice to nourish the soul and stomach of hungry kids, as well as meet their energy demands. Combine cooked one-and-half cups of cooked rice and milk in a clean saucepan, and add in sugar and salt. Cook the mixture over medium heat till it turns thick and creamy, i.e for 15-20 minutes. Thereafter, stir in half-a-cup milk, raisins and beaten egg. Cook for two minutes while stirring constantly. Remove from heat and add a dollop of vanilla or butter before serving.
DINNER IDEAS for TODDLERS
1- Open-Faced Salami Sandwich
Loaded with the protein power of meat and ooey-gooey flavors of cheese, these open-faced salami sandwiches are a nice meal choice to end the day with a satisfying meal. Just spread some cream cheese and thin slices of salami on toast or bread and serve with freshly sliced fruit or veggies.
2- Fruit and Veggies with Yogurt Butter Dip
Combine plain, unsweetened yogurt with a dollop of your favorite nut butter, as well as a slight drizzle of honey for a flavorful dip for a plate of sliced fruits, berries, plain crackers, as well as veggies like snap peas and cucumbers.
3- White Beans & Fresh Tomato Sauce
Blend together basil, tomatoes, and two tablespoons of olive in a food processor and toss in half-a-cup of white beans to the smooth, pureed mixture. Serve with warm toast or pita bread. This easy-to-digest, tangy and mild finger food is a nice choice for those nights when you’re too tired to whip up anything more elaborate for your baby.
4- Rice Noodles with Pesto
Prepare rice stick noodles in hot water as instructed on the package and throw in a mix of pesto, sliced tomatoes, as well as some cubes of cheese or leftover chicken for a simple and hearty noodle dinner. You can also garnish withe veggies like freshly grated cucumber and snap peas for a healthy boost.
5- Pita Bread with Grapes & Hummus
Turn this classic side-dish into a main-course dinner meal by serving hummus as a dipping sauce for crackers or pita bread and some sweet fruit like grapes. Add in slices of Cheddar cheese and slice some veggies for added nutritional boost.
These delightful meal ideas for toddlers are excellent ways to introduce your tiny tot to interesting textures and varying flavors without compromising on the health quotient in the process. Being easy to prepare and light on the stomach, they can be seamlessly integrated in your toddler’s everyday diet as well.