19 Amazing Meal Ideas for Toddlers (+ Snacks)
If you have a toddler, then you know how difficult it can be to figure out what meals to feed them for breakfast, lunch, and dinner – with snacks in between. And, the hard part is making it delicious!
My twins eat well, overall.
Yes, they have their days where they toss most of their meal on the floor, but that doesn’t mean I won’t feed them that particular food anymore.
When all of my kids started eating solids, I fed them a variety of foods to get them used to different textures and tastes.
With my twins, I started the trend with BLW (Baby-Led Weaning). I also introduced foods like avocado – which they still enjoy.
So, that’s certainly an option that I have for a snack or as part of their meal.
But, if you have a picky eater, you’re probably struggling even more with what meals to give them. The best advice I can give is to not give up on giving them foods they refuse to eat.
Keep giving them a variety of fruit, meat, and veggies, and you’ll soon find out what they like.
I’ve been there, done that.
When my 4-year-old was a toddler, she was the typical chicken nuggets, macaroni and cheese kid.
I let her eat it as much as her heart desired, but I would give her a side like fruit, veggie, or yogurt.
She’s currently gaining and growing well, but she doesn’t ask for chicken nuggets or macaroni and cheese anymore (ha-ha!). She’s also an exceptional eater!
She requests a variety of vegetables like squash, cauliflower, broccoli, and green beans – you name it!
But some kids are extremely picky, and they never grow out of it.
I know a 94-year-old woman who has maybe ten items of food that she likes and can’t stand anything else. They consist of burgers and Chinese food.
She drove her mother crazy as a child because she would barely eat.
So, don’t feel like you’re alone.
It’s so easy to feel the mom guilt when your child won’t eat.
Is my food disgusting? Is something wrong with him? Are they gaining enough? All the worries.
Then you go to the doctor for their checkup only to find out that they fall below the average percentile.
Super frustrating, right? Again, make sure they get their nutrients.
Oh, and I also recommend Ovaltine because of the nutrients. I add it to my twins’ milk to ensure they get that extra bit of vitamins. I used it for my 9-year-old when she was a toddler because she despised milk and I just continued to use it for my other kids since then.
That’s why I’m here to provide some ideas on what foods (and snacks) my toddlers eat and what meals you can try if you run out of ideas.
- Salmon, avocado, and diced oranges. I stick my salmon in the air-fryer to make it faster. Slice and dice the avocado and oranges. Voila, dinner is done.
- Meatloaf, green beans, blueberries, and yogurt. I like the Stonyfield yogurt.
- Chicken breasts, broccoli, and strawberries.
- Spaghetti served alongside raspberries. Did you know it was coming? Because it’s classic, easy, and so good.
- Turkey Meatballs, avocado, and mango. The hard part here is me trying not to eat all the mango.
- Chili and avocado. My twins are slowly learning to spoon-feed themselves, so I’ll probably feed them myself to avoid a huge mess and protect my sanity.
- Quinoa, squash, and chicken, served with strawberries. We keep fruit on hand because everyone enjoys it.
- Waffles, eggs, and blueberries. Pancakes are also an option. Add the syrup to the batter to prevent sticky fingers.
- Turkey sausage, eggs, avocado. Great for breakfast or dinner.
- Peanut butter and jelly with yogurt and a cutie.
- Fish like salmon or tilapia with mixed veggies (broccoli, cauliflower, and carrots).
- Pulled pork with cauliflower rice and black beans. Add some homemade bbq sauce for more flavor.
- Macaroni and cheese with sliced grapes.
- Boiled eggs, blackberries, and yogurt.
- Tortellini, green beans, and watermelon.
- Sweet potato fries, chicken, and asparagus.
- Spinach ravioli, applesauce, and bananas.
- Fish sticks, cauliflower, and pineapple.
- Broccoli, cheese, and chicken quesadilla with raspberries and cucumbers.
The fun part about these meals is that you can switch out the fruit or veggies, like I did here.
You also probably know how hard it is to think of a good snack. My twins are getting pickier and pickier about their snacks.
They’ll enjoy something for a while but then they can’t stand it, so I have to try to experiment with other snacks they like, but these are ones they currently like or have tried:
- Annie snacks. They seem to like the cheese squares more than the bunnies, but (again) I’m experimenting.
- Happy Tot Organic Fruity Sticks. They liked these for a long time but got tired of them.
- Oatmeal mixed with chopped strawberries and bananas. This is my husband’s favorite. He prepares this dish almost daily, and usually, they will stand there waiting to be fed.
- More fruit if they didn’t have any for lunch.
- Peanut butter and jelly sandwich.
- Yogurt and graham crackers. (Crumble graham crackers or granola in the yogurt for some extra yumminess.)
- Cheese cubes and crackers.
- Banana and peanut butter crackers.
- Gerber cheese crunchies.
- Happy Tot Teethers or Baby Mums.
- Serenity Kids Puffs.
- Banana bread.
- Cheerios, a cheese stick, and mandarin oranges.
- Cucumber and cotton candy grapes.
- Smoothies – apple, banana, and strawberries. Kale, banana, and pear. Blueberries, avocado, and banana – The options are endless!
Again, don’t be discouraged if your kid says no to 80% of this list. It doesn’t mean you’re a bad parent. Stick to what’s working, and keep trying.
My current struggle is trying to keep up with which kid doesn’t like what.
One doesn’t like a fluffy muffin or banana bread but will eat a donut.
Another kid won’t eat any green-cooked veggies but will eat salad and celery.
I have another one who eats all of her cooked veggies but thinks salad stinks.
It’s enough to raise your blood pressure.
I cook what I know most will eat, and if one won’t eat it, then I will, or we will have extra leftovers.
Overall, these toddler meals have given you a little boost to stay strong, and if you have a great eater – all the better!
What are some meals your toddlers enjoy?
Share in the comments.