These easy toddler meal ideas can help with 1 year olds, 2 year olds and more. Being consistent and offering different foods is part of the process.
I got a lot of requests for another post showcasing Camryn’s meals and snacks. Here we are at 19 months and I am having SO. MUCH. FUN watching her eat and experience the joy of food.
I know that toddler meal ideas for a 1 year old will change for two and three year olds and so forth.
But, this is honestly one of my favorite parts of parenting. The words are very fun, too. I don’t want to miss a thing so I’m here for all of this.
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Recent Toddler Meal Ideas and Snacks
Here are some of our recent toddler meal ideas that we’ve done. Some are BLT recipes, some are from baby led weaning sites, and some we just figure out as we go!
For the most part, Camryn eats what we do. Here’s what we’ve fed her recently.
- pomegranate seeds (her new favorite – they may surpass frozen blueberries, juries’ still out)
- soup (“mama, more loop” she says) from the Healing Soup Cookbook (we did the golden soup with veggies)
- parsnip fries
- sweet potato mac n cheese
- grilled cheese bites
- bison meatballs
- baby led weaning meatballs
- celery (in the soup)
- shrimp (although I think she’s had shrimp before) stirfry (loosely based off this egg noodle stir fry minus soy sauce)
I think the only foods she hasn’t loved so far are chickpeas and bananas. She could care less about a banana.
She can say it and point to it but has zero interest in eating it. Wonder why that is? I’m sure I ate lots of bananas throughout pregnancy.
If you have little ones, hopefully, this can offer some inspiration for toddler snacks and toddler meals.
And if you feel too overwhelmed with todder meals, consider making a bunch in advance to freeze as easy freezable toddler meals for future!
Our Favorite Toddler Snacks
Camryn’s favorite snacks include:
- pretzels (I get low salt if possible)
- Skout bars
- Quaker Kids granola bars
- cheese – string cheese, shredded cheese, cheese stars, you name it. She loves cheese.
- spinach sweet potato tater tots (bonus: mom and dad love these too!)
- pretty much all fruit (except bananas) – we often do apple slices, oranges, she’ll go crazy for blueberries and raspberries and strawberries, pears (since they are in season now). Since pears tend to be a little tougher, I’ll either saute them in cinnamon and coconut oil, or just peel the skin.
- dry cereal (sometimes mixed with yogurt) – I’ll get low sugar cereals
- broccoli + hummus
- strawberry chickpea flour muffins
- HB eggs
- toddler muffins (<– so many ideas in there)
You definitely want to get yourself a kitchen’s helper because involving your kids in the food prep is where all the magic happens.
Camryn loves making “muffies” and this is how they learn about and explore food. When I can, I’ll often add chia seeds into muffins or snacks for their benefits. Chia seeds for kids are great for so many reasons!
Lately, for breakfast, she’s been having waffles with peanut butter or eggs and toast…with peanut butter. There’s always peanut butter involved and this is how I know she is exactly like me.
We also make baby french toast, usually on the weekends.
She usually goes wild for the berries so I’m sure at the time I snapped this photo, she’s already eaten about 1/3 cup.
When I say “time to eat” in the morning, she asks for “rarows pb” meaning “waffles with pb.” We go through so much peanut butter with Ed, myself and her.
I’ve also been doing baked oatmeal (I like the sweet potato blueberry baked oatmeal since it gives her some fruits and veggies)
Toddler Lunch Ideas for Daycare
Often, I’ll put together her lunches based on our leftovers, or what I prep for the week. It’s often not super creative, but it gets the job done.
The teachers at daycare always say, Camryn has the best lunches, so that makes me happy. Here are some recent options.
Cheese, bread, veggie mixture with hummus, sweet potato fries, berries.
Berries, peas, oatmeal, cheese – Don’t worry, the perfect bar was for me, although I did hear they have kids bars’ now.
This was what I packed for a recent flight!
Cheese, graham crackers, mixed vegetable medley, some mac ‘n cheese with lentil leftovers. She loves lentils!
Pineapple, pasta, broccoli (Mom hack –> pack it frozen and it’s thawed by the time she eats!), salmon leftover from salmon patties.
How Much Should Toddlers Eat?
This is so individual! I think I talked about early on how I was worried Camryn wasn’t eating a ton of solids.
She was more content with breastmilk. But now, she is SO curious and interested in eating.
The photos I’ve included here are the portions I always serve her. Sometimes she eats it all, sometimes not.
I never push food on her and have just trusted her to let me know when she’s done or wants more. Don’t stress – kids know. They’ll eat more if they want to.
Chex cereal with plain full fat greek yogurt, veggies, strawberries, HB egg, some random spoonful of chickpea leftovers that I’m not sure why I added in there.
As you can see, I literally just mix and match things together.
What To Think About For Toddler Food Planning
Here’s what I usually aim for when packing her lunch.
- A fruit and/or veggie
- A source of fat (for us, it’s usually nut butter, cheese, avocado, full fat dairy)
- A carb – she usually likes something crunchy, like chips, puffs, cheerios or sometimes grains
I don’t explicitly worry about protein because there’s usually protein in the above combinations. But, she will eat chicken and eggs, so if we have them, I’ll add them in.
The way I think about it (similar to an adults’ diet) is that it all evens out at the end of the day. If she didn’t get enough protein at lunch, I’ll serve her more at dinner.
We don’t stress about feeding her at all.
Toddler Meal Ideas for Dinner
I take a similar approach to toddler dinner meals.
I try to prep at least 2 recipes/week that we can count on for at least one night of leftovers, so that’s three nights right there. She gets whatever we are eating.
Another night is usually a quick throw together meal night (sweet potato turkey burgers with ground chicken or pasta, sometimes a pasta bake if I have ingredients). And we usually eat out 1-2 times/week, too.
Toddler dinner ideas do not have to be hard!
Apple sauce, grape tomatoes and Annie’s mac n cheese with broccoli and edamame.
Frozen peas (she prefers them this way!), red pepper strips (she wasn’t really a fan of those), lasagna.
This is our recent soup tasting! She loved it. It was quite messy so eventually, I just had her sip it out of her cup.
Crockpot chicken with a panko breading, broccoli, applesauce (you’re seeing some repeated offenders here).
Barley mixture with squash and veggies, shredded chicken, oranges and grapes.
Barilla veggie pasta with peas, broccoli, and cut up shrimp. She enjoyed the shrimp a lot more than I thought she would.
I don’t make separate or different meals for her because I think it’s important that she sees us all enjoying the same foods. If she doesn’t like it as much, I’ll let her eat what she wants but I try not to just automatically offer her a favorite food.
I do my best to encourage eating new foods.
Hopefully these baby and toddler food ideas are helpful! I will plan on doing more of these posts occasionally if they are and if you enjoy them.