toddler meal ideas
Food

17 Toddler Meal Ideas for Picky Eaters

Feeding toddlers can feel like a battle at every meal. They hate everything they ate! Even knowing what to feed kids is half the trouble! Here you will find 17 toddler meal ideas for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks. They will help you expand your meal plan with foods the toddler will gobble up and the whole family will love.

Most of the recipes are quick and easy to make. Plus, they don’t contain too many strong flavors that might turn toddlers off. There are a few (like the veggie nuggets) that are a great way to help your toddler learn about new foods in a familiar form. And they are perfect for toddlers to feed themselves, including finger foods and plenty of make-ahead foods. Freezing in bulk is one of the best things I ever did to alleviate stress from meal times so all the recipes are freezer suitable!

Breakfast

1. Healthy Oatmeal Toddler Breakfast Cookies

These are great because not only are they packed with healthy ingredients, but they are the perfect size for little hands. What toddler turns down a cookie? They have no added sugar and can easily be made vegan, gluten-free, or dairy free. We like to keep a batch in the fridge for those mornings when it seems impossible to get out the door on time.

2. Stegosaurus Breakfast

What toddler wouldn’t be excited to be fed a stegosaurus for breakfast?! This is a full meal and a great way to expose toddlers to new foods; they get a pancake, fruit and sausage all in the shape of a hungry dinosaur. So if you have a toddler who picks at breakfast or isn’t interested in the usual, give these a try. You can also try and make some other dinosaurs with other fruits, they only take a few minutes to throw together but they’ll go down a treat!

3. Peanut Butter Banana Yogurt Bark

This is a really special warm-weather breakfast option for babies and toddlers. Made with protein-rich yogurt and peanut butter, this cooling yogurt bark is like having popsicles for breakfast but better! Keep in the freezer for a quick, delicious option for busy mornings when your toddler needs something healthy. Actually, the whole family will eat it, better make two batches!

Lunch

4. Veggie Nuggets

It seems that nuggets (whether chicken or vegetable) are a universally loved toddler food! With this recipe, you can be sure you’re feeding them all the good things without compromising on taste. These nuggets are beautifully crunchy and soft in the middle, and the perfect size for toddlers to dip in the sauce. So whether you need something for lunch, dinner, or a snack, these nuggets are a tasty, guilt-free option!

5. Broccoli Pesto Pasta

Ok, so getting a toddler to eat broccoli might seem a bit ambitious but the pesto is the flavor that comes through. You can add a few veggies to the pasta, and the toddlers will never even notice! It’s a delicious pasta dish with flavors mature enough for mum and dad to eat as well. Win, win!

6. Pepperoni Pizza Muffins

These yummy muffins are a great option for lunch or served alongside some fruit and yogurt for a full meal. Making a pizza from scratch can take hours, but this pepperoni pizza muffin will satisfy all the pizza cravings for the parents and keep the toddlers happy. Everyone wins!

7. Homemade Spaghettios

Do you have a toddler who lives on spaghettios? Now you can offer them up more often knowing this homemade version is so much healthier than the store-bought stuff. They’re like a big bowl of childhood memories, and this is a wonderful recipe to make for your whole family. Sprinkle with cheese, black pepper and a few herbs to pump up the flavor for the adults.

8. Homemade Baked Fish Sticks

Fish sticks are another of those foods that toddlers are just drawn to! Maybe it’s the easy shape for them to hold, the crunchy crumb, or the soft, tender flaky fish, but these are 100% better than the frozen store-bought fish sticks. Super nutritious and tasty, they are full of healthy fats and protein, and you can even freeze them unbaked for an easy lunch or dinner option.

Dinner

9. 10-Minute Healthy Macaroni with Chicken

Ready in almost the same time it takes to cook a packet of macaroni, this easy recipe is hearty and satisfying. What’s even better is the fact that it’s all cooked in one pot, so clean-up is a breeze. On the table in under 10 minutes, this dish is packed with shredded chicken, fresh tomatoes and mozzarella and tastes incredible. The family won’t believe it only took 10 minutes!

10. Cheesy Sweet Potato Risotto for Kids

Sweet, creamy and super cheesy, this easy risotto recipe is a bless for picky eaters. The sweet potato increases the nutritional value and the mild flavor won’t be too overwhelming for toddlers. Sprinkle a few fresh herbs, a drizzle of olive oil and some chili flakes for the adults.

11. Crock Pot Tater Tot Casserole

Slow cookers are the ultimate tool for busy families! Just throw everything together and let it cook away until dinner time. This tater tot casserole takes mere minutes to prepare and you’ll come home to cheesy, beefy layers between crispy tater tots. It might not look too amazing when you layer everything together, but once you’ve tried it, you’ll definitely be a convert!

12. Maple Chicken and Bacon Sliders

Ok, so I make these for me rather than my toddler, but they are so good the whole tray is soon gobbled up. It’s a great option for toddlers as they are easier to hold than traditional burgers, and kids can eat them with their hands. There’s only a handful of ingredients in these sliders, they’re super easy to make and ready in less than half an hour. Make sure you don’t skimp on the maple butter!

Snacks

13. Homemade Yogurt Melts

These fun little finger snacks are great for toddlers of all ages and are a great option to introduce yogurt into little ones’ diets. They are made with a base of greek yogurt and are colored and flavored with fruits and vegetables. You can use any combination you like, most fruits would be super tasty! For babies and younger toddlers, stir through their favorite flavor of baby puree.

14. Best Soft Granola Bars

Soft and chewy, these granola bars contain minimal sweeteners and plenty of nutritious ingredients. These are better than the dry, tasteless store-bought bars and you know exactly what is going into them. The perfect size for toddlers, these can be added to lunchboxes and are a fabulous option for a morning or afternoon tea snack.

15. Healthy Apricot Coconut and Chia Balls

No-bake snacks are an absolute lifesaver some days, and these healthy apricot coconut and chia balls are no exception! They’re super easy, just mix and roll, and you’re done. Plus, because they are made with apricots instead of dates like other bliss ball recipes, these ones can appeal more to toddlers.

16. Coconut Banana Ghosts

These adorably scary banana ghosts are one of the easiest things I make for my toddler. They are healthy, quick and a super fun snack but can also be added as part of a complete breakfast or lunch. You can easily make these vegan and dairy free by using coconut yogurt and vegan chocolate drops. Make a bunch in the morning and harden up in the fridge for 30 minutes or more, so you have a delicious, cool snack all through the day.

17. Watermelon Popsicles

An amazing summer treat for kids of all ages, these watermelon popsicles are made with no added sugar and a whole lot of deliciously juicy melon. They have an optional squeeze of lime and some chia seeds added to up the nutrition and taste but feel free to leave these out for younger toddlers.

AboutAshleigh Crump

Ashleigh Crump is an author, food writer and all-round lover of everything sweet! She has published a cookbook and loves to use classic and unique flavor combinations. When not cooking, she's usually reading.