Does your mind go blank when coming up with meal ideas for your one year old?
When my toddler started eating real food, I had no idea what to serve him.
I also stressed more than I should have about whether or not he was getting a well rounded diet.
After feeling lost for way too long, I finally came up with a simple way to make sure he was getting a well rounded diet of foods he could actually eat.
A master list of meal ideas for toddlers!
Instead of haphazardly pulling out something from the pantry or fridge, I was able to refer to my lists of food and meal ideas.
I divided my food lists into breakfast, lunch/dinner, and snacks. Then under each meal I created categories:
Pick items from 3-4 categories for each meal to create a well rounded diet for your toddler.
By the way, I’m NOT a pediatrician or a nutritionist. I’m just a mom trying to keep things simple and help other moms out. 🙂
BREAKFAST FOOD IDEAS FOR A ONE YEAR OLD:
For breakfast, it’s best to keep it super simple because it just makes mornings a whole lot easier!
Simply choose from 2-3 of the food categories below.
You can make ahead and freeze things like muffins, quick breads, mini quiches, pancakes, waffles, bacon, and sausage.
Just pull the food out of the freezer the night before and put it in the refrigerator. It will be thawed the next morning and read to serve to your toddler.
See my tips for a simple stay at home mom morning routine!
Breakfast Starch Ideas:
- waffles (with PB or peanut substitute)
- toast (with PB or substitute, avocado, or jelly)
- baked bread (pumpkin, banana)
- muffin (pumkin, blueberry, banana, carrot)
- oatmeal (add cinnamon, brown sugar, honey, fresh fruit, or dried fruit)
- Nutrigrain or breakfast bar
- mini bagel
- cinnamon, raisin bread
Breakfast Protein Ideas:
- scrambled egg
- fried egg
- hard boiled egg
- sausage links or patties
- mini quiche cups
- turkey bacon
- Peanut butter, sunbutter, almond butter on toast or waffle
Breakfast Fruit Ideas:
- apple slices
- mandarin oranges
- pear slices
- grapes (cut in 1/4)
Breakfast Dairy Ideas:
- cream cheese
- yogurt cup
- cup of milk
|1/2 biscuit, applesauce, strawberry yogurt|
|strawberry yogurt, blueberries, buttered toast|
LUNCH FOOD IDEAS FOR A ONE YEAR OLD
For lunch, choose 3-4 different foods (one from each category) to make a complete meal.
Sometimes we like to keep it super simple and have leftovers from the night before. A lot of times it is the same thing I am having for lunch!
Lunch Starch Ideas:
- Pasta (spaghetti, mac n’ cheese)
- potato (mashed, baked, roasted, boiled)
- “pinwheel” – a rolled up wrap that has been sliced
Lunch Fruit Ideas:
- mandarin oranges
- grapes (cut into ¼ pieces)
- apple slices
Lunch Vegetable Ideas:
- green beans
- cauliflower (frozen)
- sweet potato fries or slices
- squash (roasted)
- cucumber slices
Lunch Protein Ideas:
- black beans
- baked beans
- cooked and shredded meat
- lunch meat
- chicken nuggets/tenders
- fish sticks
Lunch Dairy Ideas:
- cottage cheese
- glass of milk
- cheese slices
Supper is pretty similar to lunch. Choose 3-4 foods from each dinner category. Toddlers will be able to eat mostly what you eat as long as it is cut up into small bite size pieces and is soft to chew.
However sometimes you may have to make something different if dinner isn’t a toddler friendly meal.
DINNER IDEAS FOR ONE YEAR OLDS:
- BBQ meatballs
- rice Dishes (add protein and veggie altogether)
- shredded, soft meat – chicken, pulled pork, fish
- chicken pot pie
- stew or soup (depending on toddlers ability to eat)
|meatballs, pear, peas|
|chicken tender, half an orange, peas|
It’s super helpful to have a list of foods to refer to when feeding your toddler!
You can purchase an easy to use printable list called Feeding Your Toddler Printable here.
EXTRA TIPS FOR FEEDING YOUR ONE YEAR OLD:
These divided plates* are durable and the right size for portions!
When we go out to eat, we use this reusable place mat*. It is easy to wipe off.
These short, chubby spoons* are easy for toddlers to hold on to.
Affordable sippy cups that don’t spill are a must have! We love these Take and Toss ones*!
We love these Munchkin bowls* because they are sturdy, dishwasher safe, and perfect for meals and snack time!
Serving Vegetables and Fruit to Your TODDLER:
Use soft fruits and veggies that are in season and on sale.
An alternative to fresh veggies is canned and frozen. These are very easy to prepare, and you can purchase unsalted canned vegetables to save on sodium.
Likewise, canned fruit and applesauce are easy alternatives to fresh fruit. You can buy fruit in its juice with no sugar added.
Fresh veggies that aren’t soft like broccoli, sweet potato, cauliflower, and carrots are great roasted or steamed.
SERVING MEAT TO YOUR TODDLER:
For soft meat, you can cut up slices of lunch meat.
However, I like to limit these since it has so much sodium in it.
As an alternative to lunch meat, I like to cook whole chickens, pork roast, and turkey in my crock-pot, shred the meat, and divide it into pint size freezer bags, and store in the freezer.
Then just pull out a small portion for the week. The meat can be served alone or mixed in with pasta, rice, or vegetables.
DEALING WITH PICKY EATERS:
If your child doesn’t like a food the first time he tries it, don’t give up!
Try it a few days or weeks later. It may take several times before they decide that they like it.
It took about 4-5 tries before my son started liking carrots and broccoli. It also took him FOUR months before he decided that his sippy cup was not a toy but rather something to drink out of!
- Don’t give up! Try again in a few days or weeks.
- Use seasonings (cinnamon, garlic powder, onion powder, salt and pepper)
- Prepare it differently
- Add it to rice or pasta
- Give your one year two healthy choices: green beans or carrots