The biggest issue most parents have with toddlers is finding healthy foods that their children will eat. Part of the battle is presenting food in a way that is appealing to kids. However, getting toddlers to eat is only part of the battle. The other part of the battle is ensuring the toddlers are getting the nutrients they need to grow and learn about their surroundings.
You may have to do some trial and error to find meals that your toddler especially likes. But fear not, with your efforts, your children will be happily munching in no time!
Below is a list of healthy toddler lunches for your kids:
1. Peanut Butter and Banana Wrap
To make this healthy toddler lunch, take a whole wheat tortilla wrap and spread peanut butter all over. Then, peel a banana and wrap the tortilla around it. If you want to add a bit more flavour to the wrap, sprinkle honey or cinnamon on the peanut butter before you wrap the banana.
This is a great meal for toddlers because it is simple and sweet! It is also very healthy as it is packed with carbs, protein and nutrients.
2. Tomato Pasta
Most children love pasta, which is a huge bonus because this healthy toddler lunch is so easy to make! Kids tend to like pasta that has a funky shape such as bow ties or fusilli. Usually kids like simple pasta sauces, not too many chunks of veggies. Be sure to serve the pasta with parmesan cheese and some sort of greens, such as salad or peas.
Toddlers tend to like quesadillas because they’re fun to eat. They love to dip the tasty slices into the salsa and sour cream! Virtually anything can be put into a quesadilla, but some ideas are broccoli, black beans, sweet potatoes, chickpeas and kale. It should go without saying that cheese is a must!
4. Mac and Cheese
Probably one of the most favourable toddler lunch ideas is mac and cheese. What’s not to love? Homemade mac and cheese is usually better because it won’t be overly processed.
To make the mac and cheese even more nutritious, you could add ham, chicken or sausage into the mix. Be sure to serve the mac and cheese with some sort of veggie too such as broccoli or peas. This way, you’ll be including the optimal amount of nutrients into the meal.
5. Peanut Butter and Jelly
When in doubt, go with the classics! Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches have been a staple in toddler’s diets for decades. For children with allergies, substitute other butters for the peanut butter, such as sunbutter or almond butter.
It helps to cut the sandwiches into interesting shapes, children love this and will find the food more fun to eat! Triangles or squares are good places to start. In addition, you can serve raw, cut up veggies as a side with dip.
6. Scrambled Eggs with Toast and Jam
No one ever said that eggs aren’t only for breakfast, spice up your toddler’s lunch with a breakfast meal! Scrambled eggs are recommended for toddlers since they’re so soft and easy to eat, but still packed with protein. The toast and jam will give your toddler the carbohydrates they need to grow and get through the day.
7. Grilled Cheese
A great quick and hot meal for toddlers is grilled cheese. Kids also love to dip grilled cheese into ketchup thereby mixing the sweet and savoury tastes. Serving cut up fruit is a good idea to have a complimentary fresh taste while adding more nutrients to the meal.
8. Fried Rice
There are a lot of nutrients in fried rice, eggs, protein and veggies are all included in the dish. Not only that, fried rice is very easy to make and can usually include leftovers. Serving a smoothie with the dish is a good way to complete the meal!
9. Cheese and Cracker Plates
Perhaps this is more of a snack plate than a meal, but nonetheless it is still nutritious! This is a good idea for times when your children aren’t too hungry for lunch and want something to snack on instead of a full meal.
Cut up some of your toddler’s favourite cheeses into cubes and serve with crackers. On the side you should have some cut up fruits, especially grapes which compliment cheese and crackers very well!
There are a million and one different kinds of soups you can make, you may have to try a bunch of recipes before you find something your toddler will love. A good starting point is chicken noodle soup and tomato soup, kids usually like these. Be sure to serve some sort of bread with soup, garlic bread is a superb idea!
11. Deli Sandwiches
Sandwiches are packed with nutrients and are quite tasty, especially when the ingredients are fresh! Get some fresh bread and your toddler’s favourite deli meat and cheese to whip something together. Salads, soups or vegetables go great with sandwiches too and ensure your child gets all the nutrients they need.