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Ultimate List of Meal Ideas for Toddlers

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Does your mind go blank when coming up with meal ideas for your toddler?

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:

  • grains
  • protein
  • dairy
  • fruit
  • vegetables

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. 🙂

Feeding your toddler shouldn't be complicated! Here are 30 easy meal ideas for toddlers. Breakfast, lunch, dinner ideas for your toddler or one year old. #toddler #mealideas

BREAKFAST MEAL IDEAS FOR TODDLERS: 

1: pumpkin muffin and yogurt

2: cheerios and banana

3: toast with avocado and sausage link

4: waffle with PB and mandarin oranges

5: pancake, scrambled egg, and strawberries

6: yogurt parfait with fresh fruit and granola

7: mini quiche, blueberries

8: English muffin and nut butter, applesauce

9: oatmeal with cinnamon and raisins and grapes

10: biscuit with jelly, turkey bacon, and apple slices

BREAKFAST FOOD IDEAS FOR A TODDLER:

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)
  • cheerios
  • pancake
  • baked bread (pumpkin, banana)
  • biscuit
  • muffin (pumkin, blueberry, banana, carrot)
  • oatmeal (add cinnamon, brown sugar, honey, fresh fruit, or dried fruit)

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:

  • applesauce
  • apple slices
  • mandarin oranges
  • pear slices
  • grapes (cut in 1/4) 
  • melons
  • pineapple
  • strawberry
  • blueberry
  • banana

Breakfast Dairy Ideas:

  • cheese 
  • cream cheese
  • yogurt cup
  • gogurt
  • cup of milk
Simple Meal Ideas for One Year Olds
1/2 biscuit, applesauce, strawberry yogurt
Simple Meal Ideas for One Year Olds
strawberry yogurt, blueberries, buttered toast

LUNCH MEAL IDEAS FOR TODDLERS:

1: chicken tenders, mandarin orange, green beans

2: rice, black beans, corn mixed together and pear slices

3: turkey and cheese sandwich, apple slices

4: cheese and bean quesadilla, cooked carrots, and grapes

5: pasta with parmesan cheese and cooked veggies (carrots, peas, green beans) and applesauce

6: hummus and cucumber wrap and pear slices

7. cottage cheese, pineapple, peas

8. cheese slices, crackers, strawberries, sweet potatoes

9. mini pizza on bread and cooked broccoli

10. baked beans, roasted potato slices, blueberries

LUNCH FOOD IDEAS FOR TODDLERS

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)
  • bread
  • rice
  • pizza
  • quesadilla
  • sandwich

Lunch Fruit Ideas:

  • applesauce
  • peach
  • pear
  • orange
  • mandarin oranges
  • pineapple
  • grapes (cut into ¼ pieces)
  • apple slices

Lunch Vegetable Ideas:

  • green beans
  • peas 
  • carrots
  • broccoli
  • cauliflower (frozen)
  • carrots
  • sweet potato fries or slices
  • squash (roasted)

Lunch Protein Ideas:

  • black beans 
  • baked beans
  • cooked and shredded meat
  • lunch meat
  • chicken nuggets/tenders
  • fish sticks
  • tuna
  • hummus

Lunch Dairy Ideas:

  • yogurt/gogurt
  • cottage cheese
  • glass of milk
  • cheese slices

Dinner Meal Ideas for Toddlers: 

1: pizza, cucumber slices

2: rotisserie chicken, peas and corn, cottage cheese

3: fish sticks, sweet potato fries, strawberries

4: meatloaf, baked potato slices, peas

5: spaghetti and meatball, steamed broccoli

6: bean and cheese taco with tomato and avocado

7. tortellini with pasta sauce, roasted squash

8. hummus with cucumber slices and crackers, pear slices

9. rice bowl with cooked carrots, corn, and shredded cheese

10. chicken quesadilla, grapes, roasted green beans

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 TODDLERS:

  • spaghetti
  • alfredo
  • pizza
  • meatloaf
  • BBQ meatballs
  • quesadillas
  • sandwiches
  • rice Dishes (add protein and veggie altogether)
  • casseroles
  • lasagna
  • shredded, soft meat – chicken, pulled pork, fish
Simple Meal Ideas for One Year Olds
cheese, 1/2 banana, canned peas, cucumber
Simple Meal Ideas for One Year Olds
turkey lunch meat, watermelon, canned carrots
Simple Meal Ideas for One Year Olds
cheese, green beans, pineapple
Simple Meal Ideas for One Year Olds
meatballs, pear, peas    

AFFORDABLE AND DURABLE TODDLER TABLEWARE: 

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! 

30 Meal ideas to feed your toddler for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Plus tips for feeding them like the best affordable sippy cup and tabletop mat. #toddler #mealideas
The best Amazon products for feeding your toddler! They are all affordable and durable!

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

I’ve tried to cover as much as possible in this meal ideas for toddlers post. If you have any other suggestions or questions, please let me know!

If you’d like a printable list of food ideas for toddlers check out my Feeding Your Toddler Printable available in my Etsy shop.

It’s super helpful to have a list of foods to refer to when feeding your toddler!

If you don't know what to feed your toddler, this printable will help you! It is full of toddler meal ideas for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snack ideas to feed your toddler. Use the example menu plan for inspiration and create your own meal plan with the blank printable. #toddler #mealplan #menuplan #printable #etsy

Feeding your one year old or toddler can be simple with a master list of ideas. Meal plan easily with these meal ideas. #mealplan #mealideas #toddler #oneyearold

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14 Comments


  1. //

    Love your food choices for him! We still feed sophie a lot of finger food and she's getting close to 2 now. We've been mainly focusing on veggies and fruits with lots of carbs. Definitely keep it up 🙂

    liz jo @ sundays with sophie


    1. //

      Yay for fruits and veggies! I was afraid Caleb wouldn't like them, but he seems to like pretty much anything. 🙂


    1. //

      Avocados! I always forget about them, but I know a lot of moms who feed them to their toddlers.


  2. //

    My girl will turn 1 in a week and a half! She pretty much eats what we do. Her current favorites include black beans and rice, pears, mandarin oranges, and anything that has pasta in it.
    She's also a pretty big fan of broccoli and cauliflower, which kind of surprised me. I steam some fresh or frozen broccoli and cauliflower. I then mash this a bit and place it on her highchair tray. She picks up handfuls of it and shovels it into her mouth!


    1. //

      Ha! My son shovels his food into his mouth too. He can't eat it fast enough. 🙂 It sounds like your daughter eats a really good variety of food. I was surprised that my son liked broccoli too.


  3. //

    These are good ideas! I ought to do the pre-cooked meat in the freezer thing. I forget about frozen veggies too… and I ought to do that more, as they're already soft and cut into good size portions!!!


    1. //

      Frozen veggies are super convenient! And I feel better about giving my son those than the canned veggies all the time.


  4. //

    Thank you for sharing this. It is helpful when you have a picky eater on your hands. My son is 18months now and all he wants to eat is potatoes. Smashed, tot’s,french fries or potatoe pancakes. When he was 6months old and started baby foods, he would scarf it down like it was his last meal! Veggies were his absolute fav. But now he wants nothing but potatoes or munchy foods. Hoping the older he gets he will learn to enjoy other things. The peds sidekick drinks are a good supplement to help fill in the gaps also


    1. //

      You’re welcome, Michelle! I know it can be hard when you have a picky eater. My son has gone through phases where he loves a certain food and then decided he didn’t want it anymore. Toddlers! 😉 I hope your little one is able to enjoy more foods soon!


  5. //

    Thank you so much for this article! My daughter was just diagnosed with an egg allergy and turned one last week. I’m trying to figure out the best meals/foods to make for her. Thanks again!


    1. //

      You’re welcome, Elise! Egg allergies are tough, but not impossible. 🙂 I can totally relate to you since my son has an egg allergy too.


  6. //

    Hi! I’m pretty excited I found this post. My daughter is 19 mos and has an egg allergy. I’m happy to see practical and easy meal plans for her I can use here. She is struggling with eating some of our table food and transitioning from formula now, late… I know 😥. But she is slowly eating more n more. Won’t drink milk either… still trying everyday though. Any ideas on more meal plans or egg free recipes, keep em comin!


    1. //

      Thank you so much for leaving me this comment. Yes, I’m all about practical and easy! Egg allergies make meal time much more complicated, so I know what you are going through. My son is 3 now, and it is probably time to share an updated meal plan. I’ll add that to my schedule of posts! I hope your daughter’s eating continues to improve!

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Simple Meal Ideas for One Year Olds
chicken tender, half an orange, peas