7 Simple & Healthy Toddler Meal Ideas


kids meal breakfast

   Recently a few of you have been asking me to share the meals I give Ezra, as well as other "ideas" for toddler meals! The truth is, not TOO much thought goes into his meals because for a while now, he's been eating exactly what we're eating, although for breakfast and lunch, I will usually make him something separate from what I'm eating. If you've been following along for a while, you know Ezra tested positive for a whole-egg allergy at 9 months old, so we did need to modify some meals for him for a while. 9 months later, he's gotten over that allergy on his own, and can now fully eat whatever we're having at any given time.

With that being said, I want to share some of what we do for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and hopefully provide some helpful insight and ideas for you & your own toddler! I can do a separate post on feeding, snacks and how we got Ezra to be open to all kinds of food, but for now I just wanted to share a few meal ideas that can even be modified for picky eaters, as well as a few bonus tips on how to sneakily add fruits & veggies onto a picky eater's plate.

simple toddler meal ideas pinBREAKFAST:

Waffle with avocado & banana
Probably one of Ezra's most frequent breakfasts. You can do homemade waffles or store bought. Although avocado is technically a fruit, I try to include a fruit, and something green on his plate for every meal.

Scrambled egg with cheese and raspberries
A bit of chopped spinach mixed in with the eggs is an easy way to get veggies in. If your toddler gets wary at the sight of green, you could "rice" cauliflower and broccoli in a food processor and mix a little bit of that in as well, and it might be harder for them to notice.


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LUNCH:

Mac & cheese, peas, and a yogurt
What toddler doesn't love mac & cheese? Ezra eats this for lunch once a week (sometimes twice) and I always add peas for added protein. There are lots of kids yogurts out there that don't include added sugar and/or are naturally flavored - he loves the Happy Baby brand!

Turkey burger with avocado and quinoa
Trader Joe's sells frozen turkey burgers that don't include any artificial additives or added sugar - I LOVE giving these to Ezra, and they only take a few minutes to cook on the stove. Quinoa gets messy but it's good for him, so I approach it with grace haha.

Leftovers
This is probably what Ezra eats most days of the week - dinner leftovers. Anything from soup to chicken and roasted vegetables. To make them last a little longer, I'll add rice or quinoa and give him something else on the side like fruit or a cheese stick.

toddler eating breakfast

DINNER:
As I said earlier, Ezra usually eats whatever we eat. Here are two of the more basic meals that we eat that I think would be toddler-friendly even if it wasn't something we were ALL having.

Roasted Sausage & Veggies
Delicious and colorful!

Chili
Ezra hasn't quite mastered soup-eating but chili is chunky enough & packed full of vegetables and beans that I usually just strain it and give it to him that way.

Bonus Tips:

I'm not a nutritionist or feeding expert, BUT here are some tips based on what I've seen with our 18 month old!

#1 - If your toddler seems to be dissatisfied with something on their plate, pay attention to HOW they are reacting to that thing.

Is it the taste? Is it the texture? Sometimes Ezra will pick up a big piece of kale and quickly put it down again because I'm assuming he's overwhelmed by either the size, or the wet, flimsy texture of it. In that case, I will try cutting it up and he will usually go back to eating it like normal. Whether it's the taste or texture they don't like, try offering it a few different times and watch their reaction to see if it truly is a taste thing, or solely dependent on the preparation of the food itself.


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#2 - Put some vegetables into a food processor & add to baked goods like muffins, pancakes, etc.

 I love doing this with the pulp from my juicer! I've added beets, carrots, orange and cucumber to Ezra's pancakes & muffins just from using pulp from my juicer. You can also make your own puree with a food processor or blender and add them that way.

#3 - Start introducing a variety of foods while they are still young. 

I think part of the reason Ezra eats *almost* anything (there ARE some things he just doesn't like!) is that we don't feed him "kid food" by default. He LOVES chicken nuggets, mac & cheese and hot dogs, but those things aren't the norm in our house, so they're not the norm for him. Of course everything can be enjoyed in moderation! But by introducing a variety early on, you can teach your kids what the "norm" is in your household when it comes to food.

Were these tips helpful to you? Let me know in the comments below!

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