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28 Healthy Toddler Meal Ideas (with Recipes)
Are you frustrated trying to come up with toddler meal ideas, for even snacks, that your little one will actually eat, enjoy, and get some actual nutrients out of?
Feeding a toddler is difficult all on it’s own. Add the fact that you actually want what they eat to be good for them, that’s a whole new game!
In my opinion, the healthiest foods for toddlers, or+ anyone for that matter, are going to be foods that are natural and as plant based as possible. Therefore, the recipes below are all 100% vegan and as close to plant based as possible.
Getting a toddler to eat can be frustrating, whether they are picky, or simply can’t tell you in words, yet, what they want to eat or what they like. Their communication skills are still developing and therefore it’s harder to feed them because of this; with an older child who can tell you exactly what they like, or don’t like, and why, it can be a bit easier.
Don’t make it any harder on yourself, try out the recipes below that other parents (myself included) have had success with for their toddlers. Below are recipes for breakfasts and lunches/dinners, if you’re looking for toddler snack ideas go here!
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Easy Breakfast Ideas for Toddlers
They say breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and it’s true!
What you, or your child eats for breakfast will determine how hungry you are for the rest of the day and the type of foods that sound good to you. Along with starting up your metabolism for the day, and more!
Plus, for little ones, we need to make sure they eat enough to hold them over til snack time, otherwise they’ll be grazing all morning long. So, go ahead and check out some of the delicious breakfasts below and try some out for your toddler, and yourself!
These are perfect for little hands, and no forks needed, unlike regular pancakes. You do need a mini muffin tray to make these, but it’s totally worth it!
You can’t get much healthier than smoothie bowls; they’re all fruits, veggies, and non-dairy milk (or water). Follow the recipe as it reads, or use it as a guide and use the fruits and veggies your toddler loves most!
If your toddler isn’t much for sweet breakfasts and would prefer a savory one; have them try this frittata! It’s bite size, ok, well, it may take a few bites for them to finish one, but you get the point; it’s small and meant for little hands. Plus, it’s a great way to get more veggies into your toddlers diet, which is always a bonus for any meal of snack.
This is my personal blueberry muffin recipe that my girls and I love! They have a secret ingredient that helps keep them moist and delicious.
Make this healthy, savory dish for your toddler for breakfast to add some veggies into their day early on. If you have older kids who think brussel sprouts are gross, they probably won’t even recognize them after put together like they are in this recipe!
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Toddlers love pancakes, or at least my kids have always loved pancaked. And, these pancakes truly do have extra protein in them, without protein powder! Because little kids shouldn’t have protein powder in their diet. Plus, if you’re used to baking or cooking vegan or plant based, you probably already have the ingredients on hand. I know I do!
Oatmeal is such a healthy and delicious breakfast option for toddlers. If you made homemade baby food for your little ones before they started eating more solids, then oatmeal should be pretty familiar to them already. This oatmeal recipe has some added ingredients to help increase the protein and omega-3 fatty acids in it. So, it’s a win-win!
If your toddler is a bit of a picky eater (I completely know how you may be feeling), rest assured that this oatmeal recipe is quite simple with not many ‘extras’. Honestly, the only ‘extra’ they will see in it are blueberries, and in my experience toddlers love blueberries! Go ahead and give this recipe a try, just don’t expect leftovers if you try it, too.
Oatmeal is great for breakfast for anyone, but add chocolate to it, and it could just be your toddlers next favorite breakfast, or yours! Check out this chocolate oatmeal recipe to give it a try.
*Instant pot is required for recipe.
If you’re wondering:
What can I feed my toddler for dinner?
Then I’ve got you covered, as well!
Lunch or Dinner Toddler Meal Ideas
I don’t know about you and your family, but for myself and mine, lunch and dinner seem to be pretty interchangeable.
We don’t have fancy 3 or 4 course dinners that are hot and ready when my husband gets home (sorry, not sorry). I’m not a perfect housewife from the 1950’s!
Acceptable dinners can be the same as lunches, and in some cases, even the same as breakfast. My girls love to have breakfast dinners! Sometimes we just want something sweet, and not savory.
The meals below are specifically toddler friendly and won’t take forever to make, cause we don’t have forever to make it. Not with a fussy, hangry toddler around!
These mini baked ziti cups are perfect for toddlers, and were actually created with toddlers in mind! Just be sure to give them more than one when they ask; my youngest easily ate about 3 of these cups when she was barely two years old!
Remember having lunchables as a kid? I do. I don’t think our parents knew all that much about the convenience foods they were giving us, or they just wanted us to stop asking for them. Either way, my point is that lunchables aren’t that healthy when store bought. But, if you make them yourself, like Rebecca does, they’re actually pretty healthy and an easy lunch to give your toddler, or pack in your older childs lunch for school!
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What toddler will pass up mac and cheese? I haven’t met one yet! And, this mac and cheese is the perfect size for toddlers.
Inspired by Moe’s Mexican Restaurant, these burritos are full of good stuff for your little one. If they won’t eat it as a burrito (like my girls wouldn’t), you can always use the filling as a dip and have them dip tortilla chips in it!
Did you love Spaghettios growing up? I didn’t, but my husband did. And, when he was a stay at home dad he would feed them to my oldest daughter for lunch or dinner. I, on the other hand, won’t. Instead I make it homemade for myself, toddler, and kindergartner. It’s really not that difficult, either!
Ok, so some of the recipes on here may take some time to make, and what happened to a simple sandwich for lunches (or dinners), anyways? This recipe does require some type of heat, whether from a toaster or on the stove, but it’s the perfect, healthy alternative to a grilled cheese! Not only your toddler will love it, but you will, too! Seriously, when I worked outside the home, I used to bring these to work for lunch.
This Pizza Tofu recipe is perfect for little ones to dip in marinara sauce, because what toddler doesn’t love to dip their food in stuff? That’s my toddler’s favorite part of any meal.
Yes, there are more than one mac and cheese recipe on this list. When it comes to vegan mac and ‘cheese’, there are so many different ways to make it; the first recipe your toddler tries they may or may not like, so make sure you give all the recipes a try!
This recipe is super simple to make, and quick. I know you see tofu in the name, and might be thinking it may take awhile because you’ll have to press the tofu; but you don’t! In this recipe, we use heat to get rid of the excess water in the tofu, which is much quicker than pressing it (especially without a tofu press).
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Another side dish to consider for your little one. Or, let them have it as a full small meal. Toddlers love to dip their food in sauces, and other things.
Another version of vegan mac and cheese! Whether your toddler has already tried several vegan mac recipes and hated them all, or loved them all, this is another one that you need to make for them. It’s great for older kids (and us, as parents) too.
Wraps are always an easy meal to make. My toddler always tends to open it up and eat only what’s on the inside, though. Luckily, this wrap has you cut the veggies into strips and includes hummus, so your toddler could easily just dip the veggies in the hummus and call it a meal!
This pasta recipe will make it really easy to get some extra veggies into your toddlers diet. This one may work best if you don’t have older children, who thinks anything green to eat is gross, telling younger children it’s gross. (I may just be talking from experience on this one!)
Chili isn’t usually on a toddlers favorites menu, but maybe with this recipe it will be! Super easy to make, though you will need a slow cooker/crockpot. And, with the toppings for this recipe, like avocado, I know my toddler will love it. My girls are huge fans of avocado, they’d eat half an avocado everyday if I bought enough of them every week.
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Feeding a toddler isn’t always that easy, especially if they are picky eaters or have picky eater older siblings who try to influence their decisions. Not that I’m speaking from experience or anything, haha.
And, yes, there are plenty more meal ideas for toddlers than the ones mentioned above. I just wanted to make sure you had plenty of different ideas, and recipes to refer to, for trying to help your toddler find healthy meals that they’ll actually enjoy.
If you need more ideas, please feel free to follow my picky toddler meals board on Pinterest and make sure you pin this post so you can find it later!!
And, let me know your experiences with the recipes and toddler meal ideas from above, in the comments below. I’d love to know which recipes your toddlers enjoy!!