Does your mind go blank when coming up with toddler meal ideas?
When my son started eating real food, often 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.
Was he getting enough dairy or enough fruits and veggies?
A master list of meal ideas was my answer!
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: grains, protein, dairy, fruit, and vegetables.
That way I was able to easily pick out one item from 2-3 categories and give him a well rounded meal. In this post I’ve shared what I came up with. Feel free to use my ideas to create your own master list!
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. 🙂
If you want a printable list to refer to when feeding your little one, get your copy of toddler food ideas and sample menu plan here!
Toddler Breakfast Ideas
For breakfast, I keep it super simple because A) I’m still half asleep and B) My one year old is a raging beast until he has food in his mouth!
Since he is allergic to eggs, his breakfast options are limited. Of course he can’t have scrambled eggs or French toast. For breakfast I have made him muffins and pancakes with some alternatives to eggs. (1/4 cup applesauce, mashed banana, or pumpkin puree)
- baked bread
Toddler Lunch Ideas
For lunch I choose 3-4 foods. Sometimes they are leftovers from the night before. A lot of times it is the same thing I am having for lunch.
- Pasta (spaghetti, mac n’ cheese)
- potato (mashed, baked, roasted, boiled)
- grilled cheese
- mandarin oranges
- grapes (cut into ¼ pieces)
- green beans
- peas (canned)
- cauliflower (frozen)
- sweet potato
- squash (roasted)
- cooked and shredded meat
- lunch meat
- chicken nuggets/tenders
Toddler Dinner Ideas
Supper is pretty similar to lunch. I choose 3-4 foods. He mostly eats what we eat, but sometimes I make something different for him if I know he won’t like the meal we are having.
|meatballs, pear, peas|
|chicken tender, half an orange, peas|
Extra Tips for Toddler Meal Ideas:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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 decid 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!
- These divided plates* are the perfect size for one year old meals. They are durable and the right size for portions!
- When we go out to eat, we don’t like to put his food on the table so we use this reusable place mat*. It is easy to wipe off at the restaurant and then wash clean at home.
Here’s More Help!
Having a master list of meal ideas has been one of the best decisions I ever made when it comes to feeding my one year old. I know it will help you out as well.
If you have trouble figuring out toddler meal ideas, this PDF printable workbook is just what you need!
Get the printable here. —> Toddler Meal Ideas and Example Meal Plan