Does your mind go blank when coming up with toddler meal ideas?
When my son 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.
Was he getting enough dairy or enough fruits and veggies?
After feeling lost for way too long, I finally came up with an answer.
A master list of meal ideas!
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’d like a printable list of food ideas, meal plan, and more, check out Feeding Your Toddler Printable via my Etsy Shop.
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|
Want to Keep this List Handy?
If you want a list of toddler food ideas to easily print off and use, check out the Feeding Your Toddler printable I created for you via my Etsy shop. It is full of breakfast, lunch, supper, and snack ideas so you never run out of inspiration.
Plus there is an example week’s worth of meal plans to give you food combination ideas and more.
Buy the printable here. —> Toddler Meal Ideas and Example Meal Plan
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!
Life can get pretty crazy as a mom to a toddler. That’s why I created the free Balanced Homemaker Workbook and Email Course. I share how to simplify cleaning, simplify meal planning, and spend quality time with your family.
Get your FREE copy of the Balanced Homemaker Workbook so that you can get the dishes done, get ahead on the laundry, simplify your meal planning and find ways to spend quality time with your kids.