Do you need some ideas for frozen meals for toddlers? These toddler-friendly freezer recipes will help you be prepared for those busy days when you need to get a meal on the table quickly.
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Feeding toddlers can be challenging, especially when you throw other kids and commitments into the mix. One day they love something and then next they hate it.
Now that I have a toddler and a baby in the house, we rely on frozen meals often. I’ve found myself wondering if kid-friendly frozen meals would make my life easier. The verdict is that make ahead meals for toddlers are life saving!
I know that having a variety of food recipes for toddlers and different freezer meals for kids ready to go can really help alleviate a lot of stress and can save you lots of money and time!
Whether you’re serving sweet potatoes to babies or sandwiches to toddlers, there is usually a method to freeze those recipes and store them for later.
Frozen Toddler Meal Basics
I also have a great roundup of toddler muffin recipes that are great for breakfasts on the go or a healthy snack. We love muffins because they are extremely portable.
Portable finger foods are good for toddlers and babies. Here are some sweet potato finger foods that we love.
And while many of those snacks are freezer friendly, today I wanted to specifically discuss make-ahead toddler meals because as moms, we have to take advantage of energy and time when we have it!
Many of these even work when planning meal prep for baby.
- Reusable pouches/smoothie packs
- Stasher bags or reusable freezer bags
- Freezer friendly clear containers (so you can see what’s in them)
- Freezer friendly labels – these work great!
- Fun sandwich cutters – sometimes making food into fun shapes increase the odds of kids eating it
Keep in mind that freezer meals aren’t just great for toddlers though. Meal prepping and having family dinner freezer meals ready to go through batch cooking for families is a great idea as well.
With summer right around the corner, I always like to have a few toddler meal ideas for dinner and ready-to-go meals in the freezer for extra busy nights.
And while quinoa may not be something you think to regularly serve your toddler, quinoa recipes for toddlers can be quick and freezable when you need them as well.
5 Tips for Easy Freezable Toddler Meals
Let’s talk about how to make these toddler food recipes to freeze work for you. Because if you’re scrambling to make dinner for a 2 year old, things can get hectic.
- Let your food completely cool down before you start dividing it up and putting it in storage containers or storage bags.
- Do yourself a favor and freeze things in individual servings. Not only does it take longer to reheat an entire casserole or soup, but it’s also harder to make last longer. I really love to purchase small containers or reusable freezer bags that I can label with the name and date to make these freezable kid friendly meals more organized.
- If you’re making something like chicken nuggets, make sure you don’t just throw them all into a bag in the freezer. You don’t want to go through all of that hard work just to have them all stick together. Instead, right after you make them, cover a cookie sheet with parchment paper and lay the food out in a single layer. Don’t let them touch each other. Put it in the freezer and let them get frozen enough to where you don’t have to worry about clumping. They don’t have to be frozen solid before you move them to a freezer-friendly bag or container. This usually takes a maximum of an hour or two.
- Be sure to flatten your bags before you store them in the freezer. The less air the better. This also makes defrosting faster. Having a tight seal is really the secret to good storage, which is why having bags like these is so so helpful. It’s helpful to flatten them on a sheet pan or something flat.
- Most cooked meals can be kept in the freezer for up to two or three months. When I have mine in the deep freezer, they keep for up to six months. Then when you’re scrambling to make dinner, you can remind yourself that you have a variety of healthy frozen meals for kids in the freezer!
Why You Should Make Freezer Meals for Kids
Once kids come into the equation, you learn about the significance of some form of meal prep and even make ahead family meals. Many of the recipes I love, like baby led weaning meatballs, or sweet potato zucchini fritters, for example, are freezable.
But remember, these freezable toddler meal recipes don’t have to be overly time-consuming. All you’re really doing is just making extra of your healthy toddler meal recipes and then freezing them for later!
Try not to make it overwhelming and work to make healthy prep meals doable.
I recommend choosing 3 or 4 recipes and making them at the same time. This makes it easy to grocery shop and plan your day accordingly. And according to the Division of Responsibility, which we follow for intuitive eating for kids, you plan and serve the meals and it’s up to your child to eat them.
If you can get your toddler involved to help you, even better! They are more likely to try foods if they have a role in it.
Or, keep them busy doing other things while you batch cook. I love these sandwich cutter stencils for food.
You can always just make a double or triple batch of a recipe or toddler approved meal your child really enjoys to freeze for later.
Having a stash of freezer meals doesn’t mean dedicating an entire day to cooking. Make it fit into your life without extra hassle.
Leftovers are also great to freeze for toddler meals that you don’t have any specific plans for. Heck, I even freeze muffins that we make if it’s been a few days.
It’s worth it to me – even if it’s a couple of muffins. That’s a no brainer, re heat snack later in the week or an easy toddler lunch idea.
It’s not necessary, but having a large separate chest freezer sure does make it easy to prepare and have room for lots of food.
Kid-Friendly Freezer Toddler Meals
Even though freezer meals require a little bit of prep work (though it’s much less compared to cooking every night), they save lots of time in the long run.
These healthy frozen toddler meals are great for breakfasts, lunches, and dinners. Dinners for toddlers and recipes are really what makes my life less stressful – since this is when they are overly tired and hungry, at least in my house.
There is really nothing like being able to prepare a healthy, filling, appetizing, homemade meal for your child that they will love and enjoy.
How Do I Reheat Freezer Meals for My Toddler?
There are so many different ways you can go about reheating freezer meals for your toddler. Some will depend on what the recipe was catered to!
- For things like chicken nuggets, pizza pockets, or taquitos an air fryer truly works magic. It gives that delicious crispy outer layer for extra deliciousness. You could just as easily heat them up in the microwave or oven without any issues. If they don’t like green beans, try frozen green beans in the air fryer.
- If you’re trying to warm up soups, stews, or chili, it’s best to thaw them overnight in the fridge or put the frozen food that is sealed in a sink of cold water to thaw. Then you could throw it in a pot on the stove to heat up or in the slow cooker.
- Using an Instant Pot is a great option as well. Just remember that you need to have enough liquid in the pot for it to come to pressure. The best part about pressure cookers is that you generally usually don’t have to add more cook time when you’re cooking your food from frozen.
- When it comes to casseroles, they can be defrosted in the fridge overnight or reheated in the microwave if you’re in a pinch. But I have found the easiest way to reheat a casserole is to just put it straight in the oven (as long as it isn’t in a glass container). If you choose to do this you can simply add more cooking time to get it to a safe temperature for consumption.
More Toddler Meal Ideas
Make sure to check out these 25 sweet potato recipes for toddlers.
Hopefully, these freezable toddler meals are helpful and make mealtime with your children a little bit easier.
Just adding a simple side like applesauce to an already prepared freezer meal has definitely made mealtime simpler.
What are some of your favorite freezer meals? Tell me in the comments!