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Toddler meal ideas to make them go mmm!

We’ve put together a simple menu to give you inspiration for delicious and healthy toddler meals for even the fussiest little family members.

In Toddler

    5-minutes read

    At a glance

    Try to offer your toddler three meals, two snacks and six to eight drinks a day

    Bite-size pieces and finger foods are more appealing to tiny diners

     

    Mix up favourite dishes by swapping regular fruit and veg for new, exciting ones

    Make mealtimes more fun by asking your little helper to get involved

    The toddler menu

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    Thinking up toddler meal ideas alongside family ones can test even the most creative cook. You know you need to get all the food groups into them, and particularly fruit and veg, but making it tempting for a toddler (especially one who’s mastered the word ‘no’) isn’t so straightforward.

    To help you out we’ve got some tasty recipes and food hacks that have been tried and tested on toddlers.

    Monday

    • Breakfast

      Porridge with milk and raisins. Adding raisins to cereal is better for little teeth – as sugary snacks can stick to teeth and encourage decay

    • Snack 1

      1/4 to 1 fruit scone with butter and a beaker of milk

    • Lunch

      1/4 to 1/2 of a medium sized jacket potato with tuna and sweetcorn

    • Snack 2

      Soft or cooked vegetable sticks with bread fingers and a plain yoghurt dip. Once your toddler is older and can chew better, introduce raw vegetables such as cucumber, carrot, celery and peppers

    • Dinner

      Lasagne with sauce made from tomatoes, courgette, mushrooms and beef or lentils. For a nice twist, try strips of courgette or aubergine instead of pasta

    Tuesday

    • Breakfast

      1/4 to 1 English muffin with sardines and a beaker of milk. Instead of sardines you could try beans or scrambled eggs

    • Snack 1

      1 to 3 crackers and with mini cheese triangles

    • Lunch

      Beef or lentil chilli with rice. Turn leftover Bolognese sauce into a chilli by adding beans and a bit of paprika and cumin

    • Snack 2

      1/2 to 1 hot cross bun with butter and chopped grapes (lengthwise)

    • Dinner

      Couscous with mixed vegetables cooked in a knob of butter, and a beaker of milk to drink

    Wednesday

    • Breakfast

      1/2 to 1+1/2 wheat biscuits with milk and frozen forest fruits

    • Snack 1

      Fruit kebab: banana chunks and chopped grapes (lengthwise)

    • Lunch

      Minestrone soup with pasta shapes and veg e.g. carrots, tomatoes, spinach, with a ½ to ¾ wholemeal roll

    • Snack 2

      Homemade apricot flapjacks with a beaker of milk. Chopped apricots, overnight oats and a small pot of plain yoghurt/coconut yoghurt

    • Dinner

      Spanish omelette with eggs, potato, cheese, ham and side salad

    Thursday

    • Breakfast

      Pre-made pots of plain, unsweetened yoghurt with fruit compote. Make the compote by simmering down apples and pears

    • Snack 1

      1/2 to 1 rice cake with mashed banana and a beaker of milk

    • Lunch

      Hummus on white toast (1/2 to 1) with broccoli. Hummus is a great non-meat and non-dairy protein – no cooking required

    • Snack 2

      Handful of corn puffs and a beaker of milk

    • Dinner

      Shepherd’s pie (made with carrot, mushroom and minced meat or lentils) with green beans. Use ramekins to make mini portions that can be individually stored and heated up

    Friday

    • Breakfast

      Wholemeal toast fingers (1/2 to 1 slice) and 1 or 2 soft boiled eggs

    • Snack 1

      Handful of frozen yoghurt coated blueberries. Dip blueberries in yoghurt and freeze for a healthy treat. You may want to let the blueberries defrost a little first

    • Lunch

      Pitta pizzas. Use a flat, unopened pitta, add veg (like peppers, spinach or mushrooms) and a small handful of cheese. Get your toddler to prep their own for added fun, then grill for a few minutes to melt the cheese

    • Snack 2

      1/4 to 1/2 mashed avocado with a rice/oat cake or two and a beaker of milk

    • Dinner

      A mild korma curry made with chicken or chickpeas with cauliflower, potatoes, red peppers, yoghurt and naan bread. Use mini pitta pockets to make little naan style breads

    Saturday

    • Breakfast

      Homemade pancakes with strawberries, raspberries or blueberries. For flour-free pancakes, mix egg with mashed banana and fry

    • Snack 1

      Slices of apple or pear with a beaker of milk

    • Lunch

      Picnic style lunch with cheese and ham sandwiches and little pieces of veg to pick at such as peeled cucumber sticks

    • Snack 2

      1/4 to 1 crumpet with butter and a beaker of milk

    • Dinner

      Homemade beef and potato casserole with root vegetables, such as carrots, parsnips and turnip. In the morning, stick everything in the slow cooker and it’ll be ready to serve by dinner

    Sunday

    • Breakfast

      Eggy bread and cooked tomatoes with a beaker of milk. For a sweet breakfast, swap the tomatoes with blueberries

    • Snack 1

      Make a fruit face with chopped strawberries and banana. Serve with a beaker of milk, and 1/2 to 1 rice cake

    • Lunch

      1-3 small thin slices of roast chicken or nut roast with potatoes, mixed green veg, carrot and low salt gravy

    • Snack 2

      Homemade frozen fruit 'sorbet'. Freeze chopped bananas or tinned fruit and whizz them up for DIY sorbet

    • Dinner

      Crudité platter of sticks of carrot, celery, cucumber and pepper strips with hummus or homemade white bean dip. For teeny toddlers, steam the vegetables until suitably soft

    The fruit and veg rainbow

    Some toddlers take to most fruit and veg straight away, while others are more tentative. Don’t despair if your toddler is strictly a ‘carrots and peas only’ kind of kid. It can take up to eight attempts for a toddler to get used to new flavours and textures, so be patient in the face of flying florets.

    Keep the fruit and vegetables for your toddler coming with each meal, you never know when they might dig in. You could even sneak some into pies, sauces and casseroles where they’re none the wiser, so at least you know your mini-me is getting their five a day somehow.

    Some simple tactics to get more fruit and vegetables into your toddler:

    • offer carrot sticks, cucumber stick or slices of pepper with hummus as a snack
    • give apple slices with smooth peanut butter as a snack
    • mix chopped or mashed vegetables with rice, mashed potatoes, meat sauces or dhal
    • chop prunes or dried apricots into cereal or plain, unsweetened yoghurt. Or sneak them into a stew
    • for a tasty dessert, try mixing fruit (fresh, canned or stewed) with plain, unsweetened yoghurt
    • making fruit and veg ‘faces’ together can be a fun way to discover new flavours and textures
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