Toddler Meal Ideas
Creating toddler meal ideas, which encourage a toddler to actually
sit down and eat, is one of the many issues parents have when
raising active and picky toddlers. Since two and three years old
also love to feed themselves, meals should be made of small pieces
of food that a toddler can pick up and safely eat.
Planned Kids Cooking Curriculum
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Reasons why most toddlers are picky eaters concern developmental
causes. After almost tripling their size during the first year of
life, toddlers experience a slowdown in growth between one and three
years of age. Because they are not growing as quickly, they simply
don't need the amount of food they once required.
In addition, toddlers are extremely curious and restless little
people, with brains that demand to be constantly stimulated. Sitting
down and eating is the last thing on their minds, which is why
toddler meal ideas should be oriented around bite size and easy for
them to pick up foods.
You should understand that the eating habits of toddlers are not
something they understand and control. They just know that when they
are hungry, they can eat just enough to eliminate that hungry
feeling and be on their busy way again without interrupting their
exploration of the world too much.
Food and the Toddler
It is common for toddlers to binge on one kind of food or almost no
food for several days at a time. He may only want meat one day,
fruit the next and practically nothing but juice to drink the next.
Normal toddlers generally require about 1300 calories per day, but
probably don't get that.
Try looking at their eating from five or six days as a whole. Don't
stress about their daily intake too much if your toddler is growing
and healthy. If there is a concern of course talk to your family
Toddler Eating Tips
Meal Ideas in this Picture include: chopped watermelon, vegetable
mix, chopped ham, cooked diced carrots, chopped boiled eggs,
blueberries, chopped strawberries, cooked chopped broccoli, cooked
diced chicken, stir fry vegetables with turkey and rice, tomato
soup, cubed toast, shredded cheese, broccoli with cheese and ham
- Chopped bites of dry food tend not to stay on a spoon when
toddlers are involved in manipulating the spoon by themselves.
So, if your toddler likes to use a spoon, chopped pieces of food
can be mixed with fruit-flavored or plain Greek yogurt so the
food will remain on the spoon.
- Try feeding snacks and meals in a muffin tray. Most kids will
like having their food separated and find it fun using the
little compartments in a tray.
- Try cooking products like a FunBites
that will cut your food in fun bite size pieces.
- Change up meal times with different
colored plates, fun
toddler silverware or colorful
- Keep it simple when planning food. Using silicone cups, you
can organize categories of food easily like protein, vegetables,
fruit and grains.
25 Toddler Food Ideas
- Boiled eggs cut in slices
- Cheese cubes or strips
- Tomato and cucumber salad cut in small pieces
- Olives cut in slices
- Tortilla wraps cut into slices
- Mini pancakes or waffles
- Mini muffins
- Fruit of various types cut in slices or cubes
- Grilled chicken strips
- Tuna on crackers
- Scrambled eggs
- Cooked peas and carrots mix
- Cooked broccoli or cauliflower
- Raisin and cereal mix
- Bread with nut butter or jam
- Toasted bread with melted cheese on top
- Yogurt dip with fruit slices
- Vegetable dip with small pieces of cut vegetables
- Sandwiches cut with small cookie cutters
- Blueberries or raspberries
- Fruit or green
- Homemade fruit popsicles
- Small pasta shapes cooked and mixed with vegetable mix
- Scrambled eggs
Make teaching easier with our activities and recipes compiled in one easy to read format.
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Nibble, Nibble, Nibble
Toddler meal ideals should be based on one concept--nutritious
snacks that are offered throughout the day rather than three big
meals. Like a cow or sheep roaming a field and grazing at will,
toddlers also prefer to live this way and feel frustrated when they
are not allowed to indulge in this behavior. They also get bored
quickly because of that information-absorbing brain and need variety
to keep their attention.
Fun Toddler Food
With the busy toddler in mind, here are some food ideas, which may
entice your toddler to pick up a piece of food and pop it in his
mouth (with a little encouragement from you)
- Thinly sliced apple pieces (shaped like moons) surrounded by
thinly sliced carrots (shaped like planets)
- Pieces of avocado (they look like boats) on a bed of blue
- Broccoli pieces or "trees"
- Banana slices (drizzle a little chocolate on them so they look
- Cheese cubes (stack them on top of one another and eat them
quickly before they fall)
- Celery with peanut butter (have the toddler pretend to be a
builder who fills the "cracks" of the celery with peanut butter
After offering the snacks, leave the tray where your child can
easily reach for a bite when he wants one. Also,get your toddlers
involved in meals by letting them stir batter or add in ingredients.
They may even want to help in preparing the snacks. Here are more
ideas on getting your toddlers
involved in the kitchen!
Blood sugar is another factor in toddler behavior. When a toddler
goes a long time without eating (around two or more hours) his
behavior becomes unpredictable and more "toddler-like". This is
because their blood sugar level has become unstable and is lower
than it should be.
Allowing your toddler to graze during most of the day to keep that
metabolism busy burning food, and his behavior may remain more
stable and less moody. Just by understanding how your toddler's mind
and body works, makes toddler meal ideas much easier to create.
Do you have a Toddler Meal Tip or Recipe
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