Struggle with getting dinner on the table? Grab our 5 easy family meal recipes!


What My Toddler Eats in a Day

Ever wondered what a toddler eats in a day? I’m sharing a day of food for my 18 month old toddler for inspiration for toddler food ideas.

As an Amazon Associate, I may earn from qualifying purchases. You can read more here on our Disclaimer and Privacy Page.

I’ve been meaning to write this post for a while. But it seems that every time we get in a groove with eating, something changes!

Now, as a mom of 3, I know that this is the norm.

I’ll be honest. Camryn (18 months old at the time I’ve written this) doesn’t always seem to have the biggest appetite.

As with everything, there are days when she eats a lot more, and other days where she isn’t super interested and just prefers milk to real food. I do respect and understand these signals as parts of intuitive eating for kids.

toddler making baby led weaning sweet potato muffins

All babies start as intuitive eaters – so she is honoring her hunger and fullness cues as we go!

It’s funny how little ones have these lessons to teach us about the 10 principles of intuitive eating, isn’t it?

I will say that since starting daycare, she seems to be eating more consistently, which I know is a result of seeing other kids eat and eating with them. 

What Should a Toddler Eat in a Day?

Here are some of the meals/snacks that my toddler eat on any ordinary day.

While this may be a common question, the answers will obviously vary and depend on so many factors! Generally speaking, toddlers can eat nearly anything you can eat, with a few caveats.

  • Omit or minimize and added sugars
  • Be wary of high amounts of saturated fat
  • Beware of foods that are choking risk – whole grapes, hot dogs, hard vegetables, popcorn, etc. Make sure to cut things appropriately!

Here are some other things to consider about your toddler and eating patterns.

  • How old is your toddler?
  • What stage of development? Are they in an active growing stage?
  • How often are they fed?
  • Are they still nursing? How often? That may impact how much they eat.
  • How active are they?
  • Are they home with you or a caregiver, or at daycare?
  • Do they have any allergies?

Toddler Breakfast

Here are some of my 18 month old’s favorite breakfasts.

baby pancakes on blue plate with yogurt on top
sweetpotato pancakes for baby
baby in high chair eating yogurt
Baby eating baby french toast sticks with yogurt


If it’s a day she’s not at daycare, snacks are usually on the go – eaten in a stroller, between activities, etc. If I’m eating too, we’ll sit down together. 

I love to make a snack plate for toddlers – you can include different foods and textures and let them choose. They work really well for older kids, too, as you can see below for my 6 year old.

toddler snack plate on muffin tray

Fruit is very portable and easy and I really love the My Serenity Kids pouches. They have protein and healthy fats for satiety and aren’t just fruit and carbs for kids.

When she’s home with me, I’ll usually include a peanut butter snack. It’s so important to introduce allergens early and often and since most daycares are nut-free, we do this at home often!

As a dietitian and mom, I know how important this is.

If she’s at daycare, the snacks are obviously more structured. I love cerebelly bars and I’ll make a batch of my blender sweetpotato oatmeal bars each week, and usually pack something like that, or a hard boiled egg with some berries.

egg muffins for baby on white plate with blue striped napkin

Eggs for kids are also great for meals or snacks. They are full of so many brain-boosting nutrients – baby led weaning egg muffins are always a hit.

It’s typically 2 food groups – so fruit and peanut butter or yogurt, or chips with hummus are common ones. She tends to LOVE crunchy things!


A typical lunch may look like a protein, carb and some fruits/veggies and usually something crunchy.

She seems to love pretzels (I buy no salt ones for her), snap pea crisps , crackers and Imagine cheese crisps. 

This day (on the right) was mashed sweetpotatoes (she prefers them in fry shape or cubed but I experiment with different textures), hard-boiled egg, edamame, tomatoes and cheese crisps with raisins. 

toddler bentgo lunch box
toddler bentgo lunch box

Snack Ideas

For an afternoon toddler snack, I usually pair a piece of fruit with a protein or fat – to get us through to dinner time!

For example, a clementine and cheese, or avocado mashed on toast. Or, pineapples with sliced cheese and hard boiled egg.

blue toddler plate with pineapple, hard boiled egg and tomato

My toddler will eat pretty much all fruit, but really enjoys blueberries (absolutely favorite food – she calls them “babbles”), strawberries, pineapple, oranges, and apples.

These baby oatmeal bites come in handy, too!


For dinner, she’ll eat whatever we’re eating. A typical dinner may look like black bean burgers, yogurt, sweetpotatoes and roasted carrots or parsnip fries.

We also do meatballs often – turkey meatballs or chicken meatballs with peas and pasta.

baby plate with chicken meatballs, peas and pasta
baby eating dinner from ezpz plate

Like any toddler, she goes through phases with many foods. With beans, for example, she used to pick them out of everything and eat them.

I try not to force anything on her or bribe her with food, but I do want to encourage her to taste everything and have her watch us eating a variety of foods. 

Equipment for Toddler Feeding

I’ve already learned so much about feeding babies and toddlers through these short 17 months. I often get asked about my favorite products so wanted to list them here. 

  • Bentgo Lunch Boxes – We use these for daycare, and Camryn actually prefers to eat out of them in her highchair, too. 
  • Splat Mat – Necessary for the mess and food she throws on the ground!
  • Water Bottle – We struggled on finding the best sippy cup/straw cup for Camryn. The Munchkin ones leaked for us, and there were some Camryn just wasn’t interested in. She seems to like the baby contigo bottle so far.
  • Spoon and Fork – We are at the age (hello, independence!) where Camryn wants to imitate everything we’re doing. And while she does eat with her hands alot, she is often becoming proficient at using a fork and spoon. She uses them in both hands now (which is so cute), sometimes it’s her right, sometimes it’s her left.  
  • Kitchen Helper – She’s at the age now where she wants to be helping me with food prep, which I am all about. This helper has been GREAT for us and Camryn loves it just as much as I do.
  • Kid friendly knives – You can see the photo below of my toddler “practicing” with them.
cooking with toddler in toddler helper
toddler with cutting board

I also want to say that we love the EZPZ products since they have an awesome development team that creates things based on baby’s needs for their age and developmental milestones.

The mini cuputensilsbowl and tiny placemat are all great for babies just starting solids and toddlers!

Challenges With Toddler Feeding

I’ve already talked about the appetite part and its inconsistency.

One difficult thing we’re experiencing with a strong-willed and wants-to-be-independent toddler is that she loves to throw food on the ground to Tater and be done with it.

And when she gauges our reaction, she loves to do it even more. Not sure there’s anything that can be done about that, so this is just something I’m prepared to navigate!

These food activities for kids help a ton, and really help spark more curiosity in different foods, colors and textures.

toddler pushing stencil into sandwich

It can also be frustrating that one day she will love something, and then if I serve it the next day or a few days later, she will be picky with it. 

I will say that I really do try to make food fun for kids, which is the best I can do now!

Do you find feeding toddlers easy? 

Join The Conversation

More For You!

Share Your Thoughts

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Like This Content?

Support Bucket List Tummy
  1. It appears that Camryn has been exposed to all different kinds of foods which is my recommendation to friends and family. This was a fun post, Sarah!

  2. Oh boy I’m craving string cheese now. I love how intuitive little ones are. I really love that they teach us so much. I think God has them keep me humble by showing me how much I can relearn about eating after struggling with disordered eating for so long. Camryn’s day of eats looks pretty ideal if you ask me.

    1. Thanks Emily! It’s amazing how intuitive they are. I just want to do everything I can to keep it that way.