Nurturing your toddler’s taste buds is no easy task. Just ask any parent with a child between the ages of one and three, and they’ll regale you with tales of thrown food and a flat out refusal to eat the very thing they loved yesterday. It can be SO frustrating, especially when so much of your time is invested in coming up with ideas for what they’ll actually eat.
My toddler happens to be an enthusiastic and happy eater, and although he just turned two, we’ve had very few food issues to deal with. The same cannot be said for one of his older brothers though, and I’ve spent years trying to feed someone with a picky palate. My best advice is this: just relax, know they won’t allow themselves to starve, and make the dining table a place they want to gather. Also, be sure you have a solid rotation of easy meals tucked in your back pocket. Sometimes half the battle of feeding kids comes from never knowing what to make.
Here are 41 meal ideas for busy moms. While I suggest these are for feeding toddlers, quite frankly anyone in the house can consume them. I’ve made each of these in my own house with great success, and use leftovers when possible (batch cooking, for the win!) to make getting a meal on the table an easy endeavour. Don’t hesitate to swap out some of the fruit and veggie suggestions for something you know your kids like, just in case your pint-sized tablemate is feeling particularly choosy one day.
- Fish cakes with frozen sweet potato fries and peas
- Homemade pancakes or waffles with nut/seed butter and berries
- Soft tortillas filled with lightly seasoned beans/meat and shredded cheddar
- Yogurt marinated fish with avocado mango ‘salsa’
- Split pea soup with whole grain roll
- Baby Bolognese
- Mini shells with peas, ricotta and lemon
- Curly kale, corn and tomato fusilli
- Chicken meatballs in tomato sauce with rice
- Pasta with tuna and peas
- Toast with assorted toppings like Nutella and strawberries, cream cheese and cucumbers, peanut butter and bananas
- Ham and pineapple English muffin pizzas
- Chia chicken strips with roasted sweet potatoes and cauliflower
- Hummus on toast with sliced avocado
- Grilled cheese with strawberry jam
- Scrambled eggs, rice and broccoli
- Meatballs, orzo, cherry tomatoes
- Toddler antipasto platter: cheese, turkey slices, crackers and grapes
- Tuna and apple stuffed pitas
- Tomato alphabet soup and a slice of toast
- Turkey sausages, roasted broccoli with Parmesan.
- Roast chicken with mashed potatoes and carrots
- Black bean quesadillas with avocado and cheddar cheese
- Spinach, feta and cherry tomato frittata
- Shrimp with couscous with frozen vegetables
- Salmon, green beans and boiled potatoes
- Chickpea patties with tzatziki and grapes
- Rotisserie chicken pitas with avocado tzatziki
- Baked sweet potato poppers with pesto dipping sauce
- Shepherd’s pie and seasoned kale chips
- Pasta shells with creamy cauliflower sauce
- Gnocchi with pea pesto and green beans
- Tiny turkey sliders, apple chips, pickles
- Lamb burgers, mashed sweet potato, peas
- Potato and leek frittata, kale chips, roasted potatoes
- Baked salmon, rainbow salad, roasted broccoli
- Turkey rice soup, whole grain bun, roasted chickpeas
- Baked mac and cheese with little white beans, roasted veggies, dried cranberries
- Pulled pork pita, sweet potato wedges, steamed veggies
- Turkey, apple, and cheddar hand pies, oven-roasted beet chips
- Apple, cheddar and bacon pita pizzas
We’d love to know… what are you feeding your toddlers these days? Do you have any tales from the dining room trenches you’d love to share?
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