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Healthy Meal Ideas for Toddlers
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Toddlers are more interested in eating by themselves at this stage. One way is chopping the foods finely and adding a little yogurt to make it thick so i doesn't fall off the spoon. Put in a small bowl and use those smaller ergonomic shaped toddler spoons/forks which they will have more success with. In the first week it can get messy but with practice they get better day by day. You have to let them practice. The bibs with a pocket in the bottom are a must for self-feeding. Some bowls come with suction cups so the bowl can't move while they are trying to fill their spoons.
The other way is the cut the food into bite sized pieces and let them eat with their hands. For snacks just put them on a tray where they can reach it so whenever they are hungry they just pick a bite up and go back to whatever they were doing. If you want to get something done and not worry about what your toddler is doing and where he is, put them in the highchair to eat.
Here are some meal ideas.
Quick Breakfast
  • Whole grain cereal with whole milk *SFP
  • Fried eggs (Dip: ketchup, plain whole milk yogurt, zaatar) *FF
  • Boiled eggs *FF
  • Oatmeal made with whole milk (Trick- Add chopped apple or other fruit and let it cook together) *SFP
  • Mini pancakes (Trick- add chopped fruit to batter) (Dip: syrup) *FF
  • Diced fruit (Dip: vanilla yogurt) *FF
  • French Toast sticks (Dip: syrup) *FF
  • Sautéed diced potatoes (Dip: ketchup) *FF
  • Whole wheat Bagel with cream cheese or peanut butter. *FF
  • Frozen whole wheat waffles (Tip: top with sliced bananas instead of syrup) *FF

Quick Lunch

  • Grilled Cheese sandwich, cut in fun shapes (Dip: ketchup) *FF
  • Lentil soup (Trick for any soup: add diced veggies to boiling soup, then puree in a blender so the veggies disappear! Try carrots, peas, potatoes, and/or zucchini.)
  • Mini pizza bagel – tomato sauce and cheese on a mini bagel, toasted. *FF
  • Toast pizza – take a slice of toast, spread some ketchup, sprinkle some shredded cheese and toast it.
  • Pasta (Sauce ideas: yogurt, cheese, tomato sauce) (Trick: add Pureed veggies to the sauce) *SFP
  • Pizza – quick dough recipe or frozen dough, can tomato sauce, shredded cheese. *FF
  • Frozen fish sticks/ Popcorn shrimp/ chicken nuggets and fries or tater tots. (Dip: ketchup) *FF

Quick Dinner

  • Frozen Veggies cooked with Rice, mix with a little yogurt. *SFP
  • Plain rice with yogurt. *SFP
  • Pasta as above *FF
  • Modified ‘adult’ dinner – while cooking, set aside a little of whatever you are making before you add the spices and/or items your child does not like. Mix with a little yogurt for self-feeding or cut into cubes for finger feeding.


  • Raisins
  • Fruit with yogurt dip (Tip: prepare a big bowl of fruit salad on Sunday and serve throughout the week).
  • Cheese cubes or cheese stick
  • Fruit flavored Yogurt
  • Fruit smoothies – fruit, yogurt, ice (or use frozen fruit) and any other thing you want to add. Or banana with orange juice.
  • Raw veggies (Dip: ranch dressing, yogurt, hummus, guacamole, cheese sauce)
  • Graham crackers, animal crackers, o-cereal
  • Applesauce
  • Popcorn, pretzels

* SFP - Self Feeding Practice

* FF    - Finger Food

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This article by Mona Eid.