Quick, Healthy Meals for Toddler

Updated on February 16, 2009
D.C. asks from Walnut Creek, CA
8 answers

Hi there! I just wanted some ideas for quick but healthy meals to prepare for a 12 month old toddler. First off I have no experience with cooking, but I am now experimenting! LOL. I would like to know what I can quickly make at night or quickly in the morning so I can pack them for babys daycare providers. Thanks much!!

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So What Happened?

Thank you all for your responses! I've already gone grocery shopping for a lot of these things! He's loving the real stuff!!

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answers from Stockton on

I love the bags of frozen vegetables in variety packs like california blend, tuscan blend, stir fry blend, southwestern blend, etc. <5 minutes in the microwave and toss with some whole grain pasta, maybe some bites of meat saved from dinner. This can be prepared the night before. Warm or cold, my daughter always eats it up, it's finger friendly and healthy in less than 10 minutes.

I think the key to her eating the veggies is the variety packs. It's easy to refuse a pile of broccoli, but with the variety, she feels empowered by having a choice of which veggies to eat (win for her) and because she always chooses to eat at least some of them (and often all of them) there's no battle (win for me). And it's so easy there's no excuse to not offer some veggies with each meal.

If I'm really in a pinch I'll open a can of soup with the same basic ingredients, vegetables, meat, noodles or rice, and just drain off the broth so it's not so messy for her to feed herself.

My daughter's also a fan of the deconstructed sandwhich. If I'm making one for me in the morning I just take the same items (bread, cheese, avocado, lettuce, tomato, meat, etc.) and cut them into bite sized pieces for her.

Also quick and easy is a scrambbled egg that you can punch up by mixing in a pinch of chopped frozen spinich (it thaws as the eggs cooks). Top with a little cheese and some diced tomato and avocado. My daughter doesn't mind cold eggs, so it works as a meal prepered ahead of time.

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answers from Salinas on

I am a huge fan of the frozen orgtanic veggies from whole foods... My daughter really likes the green beans or corn or whatever veggies cooked with garlic powder a tiny bit of salt or soy sauce... sometimes I mix in meat or buy a whole cooked chicken. Its a nice easy staple fall back for our family.

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answers from Bakersfield on

When my daughter was that age my ability to cook was not the problem, my ideas of what to give and ease of making/transporting/feeding foods to a baby where very limited.
I would like to recommend a book.
"the complete idiots guide to feeding your baby and toddler."
I completely apologize for the title, and don't mean to imply you are an idiot!! :*) but I spent some time standing in the baby section of the big bookstore, (at the point in my daughters life when I was as befuddled as your are)and this one was the most simple, and full of really easy, nutritious ideas for meals that my daughter liked and many were easy to transport when necessary.
An ideal baby/toddler cook book.

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answers from Sacramento on

baby corns are a good source of fiber and kids usually like them. I also do cold green beans to snack on and frozen peas (cooked) and let my child spray a little butter on them. Protein I usually do an egg or small cuts of meat.



answers from San Francisco on

For daycare, I always sent oatmeal and fruit for breakfast. Lunch turkey and cheese roll ups, Cheerios, other half of fruit (banana, melon, sliced grapes, apple bits, oranges slices, etc.), crackers, and thermos food

In a thermos I sent...
Chicken pieces with rice
pasta (with sauce when she liked it, but usually no sauce)
left over dinner...cut small.

My toddler ate what I ate, just smaller sizes and less of it.



answers from Sacramento on

We do apple's cut like french fries, applesauce (no sugar added) to dip the grahmn cracker's in. We also do little pizza's in a zip lock bag. We make them the night before and bake them and then refrigerate. Great snacks. I use sneaky chef and the suace is a butternut squash puree, the crust is whole wheat, cheese is cheese. Reduced fat cheese is gross!! Anyays there are good snack ideas/mneals on line if you google it. Also sneaky chef is an awesome way to get your kids to eat veggie's without them knowing it.



answers from San Francisco on

We started getting these ham steaks at costco. They come in a 3 pack and we freeze the extra . I cut it into cubes and send it with chesse cubes, apple sauce or apples and some crackers. I find she'll like something for a while and then I have to rotate what I send for her for lunch.



answers from San Francisco on

I also recommend Graduates meals from Gerber - those are great and very portable! I try to premake as much as possible and just have it ready to warm up in the microwave like mac n' cheese, canned veggies, pasta, even chicken mcnuggets (put in the microwave for 1 minute and them peel off the breading), bananas, etc

Next question: Food Suggestions for Self-feeding 10 Month Old.