Friday, April 20, 2012

The ULTIMATE List of Meal Ideas for Toddlers

I'm back! Yes, sir, back to blogging :) Thanks for being patient with me for the last couple of days. Meanwhile, I bring you toddler meal ideas!!

Transitioning from formula and beginning solids is always a bit troublesome for mom's and dad's because you aren't too sure of what to feed your toddler. You want it to be somewhat if not all the way healthy, but you also don't have all the time in the world to be making the most amazingly healthy meals for your child. At times you find yourself on the run and you have to stop at a drive-thru, dreaded, I know, haha. Anyhow, I've decided to put together a list of ideas for meals, snacks and just because foods for your little one. I hope that these will help you out and I plan to continue to add to this list as time goes on, so keep checking back for more ideas! :)

*Please NOTE - You know your child best in what they can chew/swallow without choking, so please adhere to cutting/chopping your toddlers food accordingly. Also, please adhere to your child's food allergies as well. I am not a doctor, nor am I a nutritionist, just a mom giving some ideas to everyone.*
  1. Seedless grapes (please cut in half and/or quarters)
  2. Whole Grain Goldfish
  3. Cheerios and a side of yogurt
  4. Oatmeal (flavored and with fruit mixed in) [try, customizable oatmeal and peanut butter that is natural, vegan, Non-GMO and gluten free. Use promo code "Nmarko15" for 15% off your order as well]
  5. String Cheese
  6. Shredded Cheese with a slice of low-sodium lunch meat torn up
  7. Yogurt mixed with sliced berries
  8. Celery sticks with ranch dressing
  9. Banana Slices with peanut butter on top
  10. Apple Slices with caramel dip
  11. Pita bread triangles and spinach artichoke dip
  12. Ants on a log (raisins, celery and peanut butter)
  13. Fig Newtons
  14. Fruit mix (watermelon, pineapple, strawberries, blueberries, raspberries)
  15. Fruit / Yogurt Smoothie
  16. Toast with jelly or jam (strawberry, grape, apple - low sugar or sugar free)
  17. Frozen Grapes
  18. Yogurt Popsicles (freeze a cup of yogurt with a Popsicle stick inserted into the package)
  19. Crunchy Tofu Bites (crunch cheerios in a Ziploc bag, a touch of Cinnamon, and toss in pieces of tofu, shake, wha-lah)
  20. Apple slices dipped in Vanilla Yogurt
  21. Baked Sweet Potato Chips
  22. Kiwi Slices and Yogurt
  23. Hard boiled egg, hand full of grapes
  24. Ritz crackers or Wheat Thins and cheddar cheese slices
  25. Brown Rice Rice Cake with Almond Butter spread
Breakfast Meals
  1. Scrambled egg whites with cheddar cheese, hand full of cheerios, sliced strawberries
  2. Organic vanilla yogurt, sliced raspberries and blueberries for mixing, 1/2 cup of cheerios
  3. 1 Banana sliced, peanut butter on the slices, 8oz of Whole Milk
  4. 3 Eggo Blueberry pancakes, slice of ham
  5. Rice cereal fruit milkshake (whole milk, rice cereal, fruit of choice: blueberries, strawberries, mango, pineapple, raspberries, etc.)
  6. Tangerine slices, side of raisins, handful of Kix cereal
  7. Whole grain blueberry or cranberry muffin, 8oz of Whole Milk
  8. French toast, side of mixed fruit
  9. Peanut butter and jelly sandwich, 6 oz of Whole Milk
  10. Baked Oatmeal, side of raisins (3 cups oats, 1 cup milk, 1/2 cup olive oil, 1/2 cup stevia, 1 tsp vanilla, 1 tsp baking powder, 2 eggs, 1 tsp sea salt - mix - bake for 20 minutes until top is spongy on 350)
  11. Buckwheat Pancakes, sliced banana
  12. Whole grain toast with peanut butter, applesauce with mixed in Oatmeal
  13. Veggie and cheese omelet (try bell peppers, broccoli, mushrooms, etc.), fruit cup
  14. Fruit smoothie (berries, whole milk or yogurt), cheerios or kix cereal
  15. Whole wheat toast, light cream cheese, turkey sausage
  16. Sweet potato pancakes (2 or 3), 6oz of milk
  17. Sliced peaches, cottage cheese
  18. Sliced pineapple, whole wheat toast with strawberry cream cheese
  19. French toast (whole grain bread (no added sugar), eggs, cinnamon, vanilla and milk) top with frozen berries and low-sugar maple syrup
  20. Cantaloupe, Banana, yogurt, orange juice, honey and vanilla extract smoothie
  21. Whole wheat toast with sugar free natural jam, nectarines

Lunch Meals
  1. Low-Sodium Turkey and cheddar cheese sandwich on whole wheat, handful of goldfish
  2. Grilled American cheese sandwich on whole wheat, Dole mixed 100% fruit juice cup
  3. Grilled chicken seasoned with parsley and LIGHT pepper, baked sweet potato fries
  4. Crinkle carrots, sliced cucumbers (peeled), spinach and artichoke dip, whole wheat pita bread triangles
  5. Chopped cooked broccoli with cheddar cheese melted on top, warm whole grain pita
  6. Peanut Butter and Jelly sandwich, steamed carrot sticks sliced/chopped
  7. Tomato, cucumber and onion salad - chop/slice veggies - mix with light Italian dressing or red wine vinegar and olive oil, kids chicken nuggets 
  8. Turkey burger patty (no bun) sliced, baked sweet potato fries
  9. Whole wheat or grain toast, avocado and cream cheese smeared on toast, steamed carrot sticks and dipping sauce
  10. Grilled peanut butter and banana sandwich
  11. Cheesy Broccoli-Potato Mash (1lb yukon Gold potatoes cut into wedges, 3/4 pound broccoli crowns chopped, 3/4 cup shredded fontina cheese, nonfat milk, teaspoon of sea salt, fresh ground pepper - place 1 in of water to boil in large pot, place potatoes in a  steamer basket and steam for 10 minutes. Place broccoli on top, cover and steam until the potatoes and broccoli are tender, 6 to 8 minutes more. Transfer the broccoli to a large bowl and coarsely mash with a potato masher. Add the potatoes, cheese, milk, salt and pepper and continue mashing to desired consistency. Serve immediately.)
  12. Tuna Salad Pita (light mayo, tuna, baby spinach leaves chopped)
  13. Lunch meat slices, cheese slices, whole wheat wrap rolled or torn, veggie medley
  14. Pea salad ( 1 bag of frozen peas, 1 cup chopped potato, 1 cup onion, 1 cup celery, 1 cup chopped tomato, 1 cup cheddar cheese, 1/4 cup light mayo. 1/4 cup plain yogurt, 1 tbl spoon apple cider vinegar, 1 tsp. dried mustard - mix everything and cool)
  15. Spinach Ravioli with Parmesan cheese sprinkled on top, side of sliced strawberries
  16. Whole wheat triscuits, american cheese slices, ham and/or roast beef slices, sliced cantaloupe
  17. Sliced pickles, green olives, black olives, cheese cubes, whole wheat pita
Dinner Meals
  1. 1 Grilled chicken tender, quinoa, 2 asparagus spears seasoned with lime juice and garlic
  2. Whole wheat grilled cheese sandwich, side of tomato soup for dipping or spoon feeding
  3. Spinach Lasagna
  4. Almond crusted Chicken Fingers, mixed veggies (squash, zucchini, carrots) steamed
  5. Lime Chicken Fajitas - chicken sauteed in lime juice, chopped, tortilla torn, shredded Mexican cheese
  6. Cheddar Cheese Quesadilla - 1 whole wheat tortilla folded in half, stuffed with cheddar cheese (add veggies for extra fillings)
  7. Mini meatballs made from ground turkey with tomato sauce, cup of steamed broccoli
  8. Shredded pork lightly seasoned, steamed chopped carrots with cinnamon and unsalted butter mixed in
  9. Vegetable Soup - low sodium beef broth, lean beef or turkey, potatoes, stewed tomatoes, corn, carrots, peas, green beans), sweet potato biscuit
  10. Lean ground beef or turkey browned and seasoned lightly, black beans, lettuce shreds, shredded Mexican cheese
  11. Fish sticks, cauliflower steamed and dressed with melted cheddar cheese
  12. Broccoli and Cheese Casserole
  13. Sizzling Stir-Fry (chicken, broccoli, baby carrots, water chestnuts, yellow bell pepper, low sodium soy sauce, garlic powder, water) with brown rice
  14. Turkey burger, whole wheat bun, sliced strawberries, steamed zucchini
  15. Rotisserie chicken slices, steamed cabbage slices, whole wheat pita bread
  16. Whole wheat noodles in unsalted butter, Parmesan cheese and a side of veggies with tomato sauce
  17. Turkey meatloaf, side of corn, brown rice, cinnamon apple slices
  18. BBQ Chicken tender, side of peas, sweet potato crescent roll, hand full of grapes
  19. Turkey, sweet mashed potatoes, roasted broccoli with feta cheese on top
  20. Steamed broccoli and asparagus with zesty cheese sauce for dipping and a whole wheat bread option

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Devon Riesenberg said...

New to your blog and your latest follower! Thank you SO much for posting this! Incredible ideas and a life-saver. I have a 14 mo and we are just getting into needing to meal plan :)

Love your site and so glad to have connected!

Courtney said...

Welcome back lady!! :)

Sarah said...

Loved this list! But, PLEASE edit and let parents and caregivers know that grapes are a choking hazard and should ALWAYS be halved before serving to anyone under 3!

Anonymous said...
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Brittany W. said...

THANK YOU!!!! My friends and I have tried to compile a list before but never had this many ideas :) said...

Wow!! So many ideas! I needed some new ideas, I felt like I was always feeding my boys the same 3 things! Thank you!!!

Beckett's Mom said...

Lots of fun ideas, but the thought of giving grapes to even a toddler scares me. Big choking hazard. Thanks for posting...we have a 10 month old who is interested in trying new things!

Anonymous said...

Great List! Love all the ideas. I feel like I feed my 12 month old the same things over and over too, and he is a GREAT eater. As for the grapes, just cut them in half or even fourths, no big deal. Thanks again for the ideas

NKubon said...

All those concerned with grapes, please don't be. I cut my 15 month old daughters grapes in half, then in half again. There is absolutely no choking hazard at that point. Please also note my note at the top of the post about knowing your child best. If something is not a good fit for your child, skip it :) Glad everyone is enjoying the list!

Etheline said...

Oh my gosh-- What a list!! Thanks so much for putting it together. They all sound super delicious. Going to try one tonight:)

Anonymous said...

So glad I found this list! My 12 month old is getting increasingly difficult to make meals for!

As far as grapes go, I cut them in half, skin them, and half them again and he loves them and I never fear choking since the tough skin is gone.

Thanks again for this list!

Anonymous said...

Just note that eggo does not use real blueberries in their pancakes or waffles and uses synthetic dyes in most of their products but not all(I found this out after cutting them from my son's diet and having to read the labels all the time) I just make a big batch of my own now and freeze the extra between wax paper

Michelle M. said...

string cheese is also a choking hazard if given to children in the form it comes out of the package in. It's round and just the right size to block the airway. It's also soft and sort of just sticks in the airway and is very difficult to get out using the Heimlich or other methods.

Alisha said...

A wonderful list! Lots of great ideas. I will be using this as a resource!

If anyone is struggling getting their toddler (or big kid for that matter) to eat check out for strategies. I am am mom and occupational therapist that works with feeding difficulties.

Heather said...

I just pinned this because I really need some new ideas! Thanks!

ClockworkDragonfly said...

Wow, pleasantly surprised to see a fair amount of variety here. More often than not, lists like these are just a collection of ways to dress up the same 3 or 4 identical dishes.

Been looking for some new ideas. Baby-led weaning worked wonders for making my little girl an adventurous eater, but since her mother and I separated, there's a lot of menu stagnation at mommy's house and I'm finding myself pressed for ideas to keep her interested on occasion.

Anonymous said...

I love all of the ideas, thank you! Parents should always check with their Dr before giving kids peanut butter. I know different Dr's say different things, but mine say not to let the kids have it before the age of 3.

Anonymous said...

I try to feed my toddler and preschooler many foods from these lists but I usually end up wasting more than they take in. How in the world do I get them to eat?!
-Renae Pine

Home delivered food said...

I found here ultimate list of meal ideas for toddlers. This list of meal ideas is very useful for me. Thanks for sharing this awesome list of meal ideas.

Anonymous said...

This is great! My daughter has dairy and soy allergies; most blogs about toddler lunch ideas are all carbs and dairy and pre-made foods. Thanks for taking the time to compile and share this!

Anonymous said...

Also food such as strawberries and PB should NOT be given to those under two years of age.

Anonymous said...

This is a great list! My baby it totally getting tired of my same meals so this will make a great change.

and people need to chill about the food. every mom gets so many "do nots" and "my doctor said" but ultimately a mother knows her child best and will make the decision she knows is right for her baby. one of my 11 mo old favorite meals is whole wheat PB&J with homemade strawberry jam. she can't get enough of it! makes for quite the mess tho.

i love love love these ideas! Never would have thought of some of them. thank you! :)

Anonymous said...

Good list! For all those who say this and that is a choking hazard or shouldn't be given to a toddler, that's your choice as the parent. I've given my toddler grapes (halved) at 11 months and he did fine. Same with hot dogs and cheese sticks. Thanks for making the list!

(Small side note, not everyone switches from formula to food as noted above.) :)


Liz said...

Wow, thank you so much for so many great ideas! :)

Katie said... follower here :) Loving your blog. I have a 14 month old daughter and am just getting back to blogging :) Thanks for all the great ideas!


Anonymous said...

Thank you for the great list! I've been running out of ideas for my 13 month old so this really helped. I think each parent knows what's appropriate for their child and we all make decisions with our child's best interest in mind.

Thanks again for the yummy ideas :)

Anonymous said...

This is a wonderful and very informative list. My 15 year old daughter watches our grandchild and uses this list everyday!

Anonymous said...

Nice list! I would like to add, instead of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, I feed my son peanut butter and fresh fruit sandwiches. Jelly is mostly sugar so I don't give it to my son. Some fruits I use are, banana, apple, grapes, blueberries, strawberries, and peaches. I also sneak prunes in there if he has been constipated.

Also our pediatrician said peanut butter after 1 is fine as long as their isn't a family history of peanut allergies. My son has been eating peanut butter since he turned one with no problems. He also loves a mixture of peanut butter and applesauce on waffles and pancakes.

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

I was gonna say, I give my 17 month old strawberries, peanut butter & whole grapes. I used to cut them, but a trip to grandpa's vinyard stopped that. He let her eat them right off the vine and now she refuses to eat grapes that are cut. ): She just plays with them. So I have to watch her VERY closely. Never thought about string cheese being dangerous, though! Thanks for the tip!

Yeah... she eats peanut butter. Crunchy, even! No peanut allergy history here.

Sarah Rose said...

Please don't give your little one processed snacks. Also no peanut butter! If they are allergic the reaction is too severe until they are out of toddlerhood. Please do your research before advising others.

Anonymous said...

Half that stuff has dyes, preservatives, and high-fructose corn syrup. Easy, yea it is, but healthy? Well, maybe healthier than twinkies and french fries... Good try, tho.

Jenni Bost said...

I found the list incredibly helpful. Yes, there are items on the list that some parents may judge. There are some items on the list that I have chosen not to feed my son and some that I haven't thought of... some were incredibly well balanced and some were easy options that kids eat.

I guess that judgement (positive or negative) is what we as bloggers get for putting out our thoughts. It is frustrating to me though to even read the comments that some people have put on this post that you have obviously worked hard on.

You have not claimed to be a doctor. You have made mention that the parent should know their child. And, like many others, my doctor actually said strawberries and peanut butter were fine after a year, they just needed to be introduced carefully.

Anyways... I wanted to commend you for putting yourself out there and creating this list. Your child looks beautiful and healthy. The people that want to put out the negativity and effort to judge each and every item on that list aren't worth your time in my opinion.

Anonymous said...

Transitioning from formula to solids? Way to exclude breastfeeding moms.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for all the wonderful ideas! I also want to say that can't moms just ever take in ideas without judging? I guess that's women for you. Instead of uplifting each other and supporting fellow moms we must judge to make ourselves feel better! Pathetic!

Brett said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Corina said...

I think this looks like a yummy list for moms too ;) Thanks for the ideas!

Anonymous said...

Super helpful! Thanks

Anonymous said...

Big THANKS!! I am a FTM and this list is going to be Super-Helpful =)

Anonymous said...

Thanks for all these lovely ideas!!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for all these lovely ideas!!

Anonymous said...

Thank you for taking the time to share. I also saw an article where you can substitute carrot juice/veggie juice for the milk in pancakes/waffle mixes to get an extra attempt to get veggies in. Also, until recently I was always able to sneak veggies into my little ones eggs as long as I put american cheese on top - she never knew the difference. But I needed new ideas bc she must've tired of that one, we went through a bit of a tandrum this morning. ;)

Thanks again. Wanted to give my support despite some other mothers that always criticize no matter what you do. :) (cant believe the comment - "way to exclude breastfeeding moms" - um well everyone has to ween babies to food at some point in life!)

J2A_St_Anne said...

Exactly what I was looking for. Could not find such a list anywhere else. Thank you.

Paige said...

If you don't agree with her choices KEEP IT TO YOURSELF!! Geez, us moms should keep lift each other up not tear each other down. If you choose not to give your child something then that's fine, but everyone is different so leave it alone!

Toddler Girl said...

Many many Thanks!!
I'm searching a list for my baby girl and I found this. This is a complete routine for my baby girl I think.

Ashley said...

The ultimate list of crap food maybe...

Anonymous said...

Hm. Just a suggestion to add "breast milk or formula" in your opening statement. Breast milk is, of course, how many mothers choose to feed their babies. Why leave them out?

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Suzanne said...

I like how people criticize but offer no suggestions. God I hate how mothers treat each other. I found is list very useful as I run out of ideas of what to feed the kiddies. There are lots of whole grains, fruits, and vegetables on this list. I can't stand how we are expected to be perfect all the time. I feed my kids all organic fruits and vegetables, make homemade meals, never microwave anything, and yet I am still judged by parents when I give my kids innocuous things such as Cheerios. I had one stranger approach me in public to scream at me about the sodium content in Cheerios. I can't take it anymore. I'm not perfect. And Ashley if this list is "crap" please post your own for us to review and pick apart.

Chickitabanana1 said...

Holy Cow....
If these ladies know so much why are they bothering to read a blog? They should be writing their own books. Sheesh...I think this list has a lot of great ideas! Thanks for publishing.

Chickitabanana1 said...

Holy Cow....
If these ladies know so much why are the bothering to read another person's blog. Perhaps they should be writing their own book. I think these are great ideas BUT we are all free to take them or leave them. Why be so critical?
Thanks for the post.
I'll add it to my Pins

autumnsmama said...

This list made my life so much more easier!! It includes every thing my daughter loves and she does love every thing :-) thanks so much looking foward to following more of your blogs. Us moms gotta stick together!!!

Yvette Ch. said...

Great ideas!

Not sure why people leave negative comments. Didn't like the list? Close the page.

I will definitely be taking some of these ideas and making them my own.

Sunni said...

You are an angel sent from heaven!!! I found this post through Pinterest and I am SO thankful I did. I have been having the hardest time thinking up things that my son with 4 teeth can eat (lately I've resorted to feeding him graham crackers all day. Yes, I'm terrible).


nursejess said...

Thanks so much for the awesome ideas! My baby Katy is 18months old and is getting soooo picky. I will start trying some of these asap. Only thing is she will only eat finger foods and just has her eight teeth in the front so chewing harder things doesn't work yet

Mandy Sills said...

I have a 1 year old who is sensitive to additives so I try to go whole food all the way or as much as possible. He loves lentils mixed with some parmesan and diced steamed veggies, or pasta primavera-pastini pasta and cream cheese mixed with a little parm and steamed diced veggies. He also loves fruit and yogurt, and just about any sort of bread so I make homemade muffins or pancakes and add fruit and veggies in them. He loves it!

sarcar25 said...

I know that this is an older post. I found through a google search. Thanks for posting the ideas! I'm a dietitian and just wanted to say that the recommendation of PB over the age of 1 is fine for children who have no family history of allergies. In fact, latest research points to immune over-reaction if you wait too long to introduce common allergens. Just wanted to support you after hearing the negative comments. Of course, if it doesn't apply to your child or your doctor or dietitian has recommended to stay away for a particular reason, then please do.

Torrie Gass said...

I just found your list through a google search and I want to say THANKS! Our daughter is turning one soon, but has a dairy allergy that we are learning to eat around. Even though there are lots of dairy items in the list, there are lots that aren't and just good ideas for snacks & meals!

JgAbaba said...

This is what I usually gave to my baby girl but the very first vegetable i gave her is mashed squash with stock and she likes it so much.

Good Recipes For Kids

Monica said...

Great list, thank you because it's always nice to have fresh ideas. I'd add to it hummus. My 3 yo son has been eatting hummus since he was 1. It's easy, versatile and safe! Great job keep up the good work!

Heather Elissa said...

I know this is an old post but I love the list I did baby led weaning with my daughter and some of these Ideas were great for that. And my doctor said strawberries are fine at as young as 9 months if no history of allergies. I know your child is older now but if you were to ever add anything to the list a great snack/breakfast is oatmeal "cookies" for under a year you soak the quick cooking oats and dried fruit cut in pieces with formula or breast-milk over a year milk is fine and let set 30 minutes and bake at 325 for 10 minutes, cool and cut. I add DHA fortified peanut butter on half the "cookies" an make sandwhich cookies she thinks its the best thing ever!

Brenda said...

I found your blog when I did a Google search on meal ideas for toddlers. Half the time my 18 mth old daughter throws the food I give her on the floor which is pretty frustrating so I'm looking for new ideas. This is a great list. Thanks for sharing it.

Tiffanyb411 said...

These are really good ideas- I like them because they are quick and easy. I work FT alternating shifts and am not the best cook in the world so thank you for providing healthy choices that even I can make :-)

Ezmeralda Medrano said...

Why is it that I cant feed my son strawberries or peanut butter before 2 like some of you are saying? I have been doing it since was able to eat solid food. (Around 14 months)

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