Looking for toddler lunch ideas for your picky eater?
So was I!
There goes a green bean whizzing by my head, only to be followed by a fistful of raisins. Ah…the splendor that is meal time with my 19 month old son. My husband swears my son is practicing his throwing arm in an effort to be the next great NFL quarterback or All-Star pitcher, but I tend to disagree.
I am no doctor or child expert, just a mom looking for healthy food options that my son will be motivated to eat rather than hurl at my head. If you have a toddler and are in search of similar nutritious solutions, check out this list of 25 Toddler Lunch Ideas. 1. Turkey & cheese sandwich, cheddar rice cakes and strawberries: This toddler lunch idea is equal parts healthy and yummy. A couple of snack suggestions to complement this meal are a banana muffin and carrots, celery and hummus.
2. Turkey, broccoli, crackers and grapes: Here’s another simple yet well balanced toddler lunch idea. When making broccoli for my little guy, I love buying microwaveable bags to steam the veggies because it is a time saver and a healthy way to prepare it.
3. PB&J rollups, carrots and cucumber and strawberries: I love these PB&J rollups as an alternative to a standard peanut butter and jelly sandwich. They are the perfect size for little hands to grab and shovel in.
4. Turkey and cheese hearts, applesauce, carrots and hummus: Here’s a thoughtful way to remind your little one how special they are, carve out turkey and cheese hearts then accompany them with applesauce, carrots and hummus. 5. Cheddar cheese, sliced apples and kiwi, raisins, lemon pepper chicken breast, and baby carrots: This toddler lunch idea looks as beautiful as it does delicious.
6. Mixed vegetables, cheese, chicken and strawberries: If you are looking for a bunch of healthy bite size food options, this toddler lunch idea can do the trick. Little hands can easily grab a fistful of these yummy foods.
7. Oranges, peas, corn, lima beans and turkey burger: Why haven’t I been feeding my son turkey burgers? He loves turkey franks, so I’ll have to give turkey burgers a shot, then pair it with these nutritious sides.
8. Fish sticks, corn, lima beans, squash and hash browns: Though I do not typically like to give my son breaded processed foods like fish sticks, sometimes when you are in a rush and need a fast and flavorful toddler food idea, fish sticks will suffice. 9. Sliced hard boiled egg, Puffins Multi-grain cereal, cooked carrots, blueberries and sliced heriloom tomatoes tossed in a gluten-free balsamic dressing: For the gluten free toddlers, here’s a well balanced toddler lunch idea for you.
10. Pumpkin bread, blueberries, bananas, cooked mushrooms and fried egg: This picture of a toddler lunch idea could have been taken at my house. This is one of my son’s favorite meals with the exception of the fried egg because I give him a hard boiled egg instead.
11. Pigs in a blanket, celery, grapes, cheese and cookies/crackers: This toddler lunch idea makes me laugh because when I feed my son pigs in a blanket, he sucks the pig (i.e. hot dog) out of the blanket and eats that first then he devours the blanket (i.e. crescent roll).
12. Celery with nutbutter, cucumber and celery sticks, roasted sweet potatoes, and a hard boiled egg: If your family is a Paleo family, here’s a sensible option for you. 13. Heart shaped turkey, Gala apple half, Quaker Whole Hearts oat cereal, chocolate Teddy Grahams, raisins and yogurt craisins: This mom felt inspired by Valentine’s Day. With the help of a heart cutter, she mastered a very thoughtful lunch.
14. PB&J quesadillas, cheese, and peaches: Here’s another great alternative to the basic PB&J sandwich (see #3 above). You can whip up some PB&J quesadillas for your little one.
15. Peanut butter sandwich, cheese, shredded carrots, strawberries, carrots and cucumber slices with hummus: This mom was motivated by Halloween when constructing this toddler’s lunch. She creatively crafted a skeleton peanut butter sandwich on whole wheat bread with raisin eyes and a strawberry nose and a pumpkin made from cheese and shredded carrots.
16. Whole wheat macaroni with ground organic chicken cooked in olive oil and organic cheddar cheese, edamame, organic blueberries and strawberries: For those organic eaters, here’s a toddler lunch idea you’ll love. I never though about adding chicken to macaroni and cheese, what a great way to work in some lean protein. 17. Omelette, turkey sausage, blueberries, oatmeal, homemade english muffin: Here’s a look at a variety of ways to use eggs to sneak in veggies like spinach into your little one’s meal, consider tossing them in a hearty omelette.
18. Peanut butter and honey puzzle sandwich, half a banana, homemade chocolate yogurt, and strawberry slices: A peanut butter and honey sandwich shaped like a puzzle? Here’s a mom with a whole lot more creativity than I possess. I also like the idea of chocolate yogurt, it is a nice alternative to the plain yogurt I typically feed my son.
19. Salmon bites, cut grapes, Italian meatloaf leftovers, mixed veggies, blueberry yogurt, and polenta with cheese (leftover from dinner): So you really can work salmon into toddler meals? I have been searching for ways on how to do this. Of course, there is no guarantee my little guy will eat it.
20. Broccoli and cheese, cut up hot dog, pasta, strawberries, fresh mozzarella, and cranberry orange mini muffin: Here’s how to give your toddler hot dogs and feel less guilty about it. Balance the meal with these delicious and healthy sides. 21. Smoked turkey & cheese, multi-grain Tostito scoops with Trader Joe’s Garlic Salsa, apple slices, and Trader Joe’s chocolate chip cookies: After your little one finishes his/her smoked turkey and cheese and apple slices, let him/her indulge with chips and salsa and a couple of chocolate chip cookies.
22. Vegemite & cheese on wholemeal, cucumber sticks, half cherry tomatoes, half boiled egg and a piggy: The piggy in this meal is a shortbread cookie (see the easy 3 ingredient shortbread recipe here). It is more specifically referred to as a pig in mud (a.k.a. chocolate). (By the way, if you are like me and have no idea what vegemite is, it is a vegetable extract used as a flavoring or spread.)
23. Celery, raisins, sugar snap peas, watermelon, cheddar cheese: Want to teach your kids how to count to four? Create this “Number 4″ themed toddler lunch with 4 celery sticks, 4 raisins, 4 sugar snap peas, 4 pieces of watermelon, and 4 slices of cheddar cheese. You can leverage this same idea to incorporate a specific shape or color.
24. Shredded pork roast, rice, broccoli, onion, mushrooms and watermelon: This toddler lunch idea reminded me that my son’s doctor instructed us to start incorporating rice into his meals. Here’s a smart way to do just that, add it along side a stir fry.
25. Ham, American cheese, cookies, holly shaped cereal bar, and melba toast rounds: If your child loves lunchables, why not try this DIY lunchable meal?
What are your favorite toddler lunch ideas? Please share in the comments.