Tired of making the same ole’ Mac and Cheese and PB&J for your toddler? In search of healthy lunch ideas that are simple and quick to make?
Motherhood is a never-ending job. And, as moms, one of our most important jobs is to make sure our kids are healthy, happy, and fed.
But, life can get crazy busy, and we don’t have much time to be creating these elaborate, nutritious meals all day long. So, what are some ways that we can save time and still provide our toddlers with the proper nutrients they need?
In this post, I’ll cover 10 of my toddler’s favorite lunches, give you a few more healthy main and side dish ideas, and touch a bit on toddler nutrition.
10 Healthy Lunch Ideas for Toddlers
Here are 10 of my toddler’s favorite lunches that healthy ,easy to make, and super yummy.
Deli roll-ups with hormone free turkey and munster cheese. Sliced strawberries and steamed mixed veggies.
Natural grilled chicken bites with honey mustard for dipping. Baby Bel cheese, and mixed berries.
We just buy a frozen bag of grilled chicken, as it’s easy and quick to heat up on the stove. We also use frozen berries in the winter to help save some money, so we can still afford to buy organic.
Homemade pizza on an English muffin, and non-GMO cuties with a few blackberries. Pack in a punch of protein with these energy balls.
For the “pizza,” I just lightly brush the English muffin with some olive oil, spread some tomato paste, sprinkle on a little bit of basil and garlic, and place fresh mozzarella on the tip. I heat it up in the toaster oven on 400 until the cheese is melted. Usually takes about 8-10 minutes. If your cheese still isn’t melted by this time, switch your toaster oven to broil for just a minute or two to help it finish cooking.
Tuna on gluten-free nut thin crackers. I add the tiniest bit of organic mayo and relish to the tuna. Yellow bell pepper slices, grape tomatoes, and roasted red pepper hummus for dipping.
Switch up the PB & J with peanut butter and banana on whole grain bread. If you’re a gluten-free household, you could replace the bread with a corn tortilla. Add in some craisins and some whole milk organic yogurt.
This post is not sponsored, we just tend to buy Stonyfield. We also like Siggis yogurt.
Let’s be real, breakfast food is great any time of the day! Scramble up some eggs, spread some jam on an English muffin, and add in a little bit of fruit, like sliced bananas and blackberries.
Penne pasta with olive oil and topped with roasted tomatoes and zucchini. Grapes and some organic “teddy grahams” for a little treat.
Low sodium vegetable soup, gluten-free crackers, and a little bit of shredded cheddar cheese to top off the soup. Plus, some sliced bananas and fresh blueberries.
Cheese quesadillas with some hidden green peppers, unsweetened applesauce with a blueberry smiley face, and some cooked green beans.
Hard boiled egg, courtesy of our hens, apple slices and grapes, some non-GMO mini pretzels, and a little bit of almond butter for dipping.
A Few More Ideas for Your Toddler's Lunches
Main Dish Ideas
- Cheese and crackers
- Spinach and cheese muffins
- Avocado toast slices
- Homemade fried rice
- Pita bread and hummus or almond butter
- Fruit and veggie smoothie with kefir
- Blueberry waffle
- Black beans and rice
- Mini turkey meatballs
Side Dish Ideas
- Pear slices
- Carrot sticks
- Cucumber sticks
- Honeydew melon
- Dried mangoes
- String cheese
- Pineapple tidbits
- Yogurt covered raisins
Toddler Nutrition: What You Should Aim For
Try to not worry too much at what your toddler eats in one sitting, but more so throughout the entire day, and especially throughout the entire week. You can provide a well-balanced diet for your toddler by offering a variety of healthy foods including:
- Fruits and veggies:Try to include 1 to 1 and 1/2 cups of both fruits and veggies to your toddler’s daily diet. Fruits and veggies are loaded with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. They’ll help prevent illness and keep your toddler healthy.
- Protein: Protein helps build and repair all the tissues in your toddler’s body, including their muscles and organs. Help meet the demands of their development by including meat, eggs, peanut butter, or beans throughout the day.
- Calcium: We all know calcium helps build strong and healthy bones, but it also aid in muscle contraction. Try to include at least 2 servings of calcium-rich food daily, such as a glass of milk, 1.5 oz of natural cheese, or 1/2 cup of cooked broccoli (source).
- Iron: Iron is needed to make hemoglobin, which provides your toddler’s tissues and organs with the oxygen they need. Aim for 7 mg of iron daily, by providing beans, meat, and fish. Foods high in vitamin C, like strawberries, broccoli, and oranges, will aid in the absorption of iron.
- Healthy fats: Healthy fats are crucial for normal growth and brain development. Avocado, olive oil, full-fat dairy products, almond butter, and fish are all great examples of healthy fats.
- Whole grains: By including whole grains in your toddler’s diet, you’ll be providing them with fiber, B vitamins, and iron. Whole grains also have magnesium, which helps build bones, and selenium, which supports a healthy immune system (source). Aim for 3-4 oz. of daily grains.
- Probiotics: Health starts in the gut. Adding probiotics into our toddler’s diet, we’ll be setting them up for a smooth-running digestive tract, less skin issues and allergies, and an overall enhanced immune system. You can find probiotics in yogurt, kefir, and other fermented foods, such as sauerkraut.
Our Favorite Toddler Plates & Utensils
If you’re wondering which plates are shown in this post, they’re the Re-Play divided plates. Which normally, we do try to avoid plastic, but all of Re-Play’s products are made from recycled milk jugs and are free of BPA, BPS, PVC and Phthalates. Plus, they’re dishwasher safe and made in the USA
Life can get crazy busy, but we still need to provide our toddlers with the proper nutrients to support their growth and development. Luckily, there’s a variety of healthy options out there that are quick and easy to make. Use the lunch ideas mentioned in this post in help keep your toddler eating healthy.
What About You?
What are some of your go-to meals for your toddlers? Share your healthy lunch ideas in the comments below, and be sure to share this post with other toddler moms.