Toddler Food Ideas

Updated on April 04, 2008
H.I. asks from Edwardsville, IL
20 answers

I am a SAHM of a 4 year old and a 2 year old. My children are not picky eaters at all. I feel as if I am giving them the same breakfast and lunch every week. Does anyone have any suggestions as to some meal ideas that are easy to make. I just want to change things up for the kids a little without having to spend alot of time preparing the meals. Any suggestions would be appreciated. Thanks!

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So What Happened?

Thanks so much for all of the feedback. I have lots of great ideas that I will be trying out now. I appreciate everyone who took the time to respond to my question. You have all been a big help!

Featured Answers



answers from Detroit on

You could take a tortilla shell and put scrambled eggs in it. The you could add anything to it. Like.... Sausage, onions salsa, chicken. you could also do this for lunch with peanut butter and jelly. They taste allot better if you heat the shell up for about 10 seconds.

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answers from Detroit on

My 4 year old loves to "help" in the kitchen. When I was on Maternity leave (5 mos old daughter) we made the following easy breakfasts/lunches:

muffins-- every kind imaginable (esp. likes a WW muffin you mix one can of pumpkin and one box of spice cake-- that's it)

egg muffins-- mix a dozen eggs, a little milk, whatever veggies you like or have, and a little shredded cheese. Cook in a clean (must be very clean of it will absorb flavors) muffin tin. Re-heat for breakfast

Soup-- this is a better winter/fall option. But I made a different pot of soup every 3-4 days. My son loves to help chop and mix and we could have it for lunch with veggies, fruit or a sandwhich. It really doesn't take that long and you have lunch for a few days (and maybe dinner:)).

Cut up fruit and veggies is a favorite at my house.

Breakfast ideas we use are yogurt, yogurt drinks, applesauce, fresh fruit (bananas are my sons favorite), muffins, and granola bars.

I wouldn't worry too much about changing it up-- as long as your kids are eating healthy food.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Grand Rapids on


You may want to check out websites like, family fun magazine and They all have great kid friendly recipe ideas, Kraft has a good lunch section. If you are into all organic etc.. I am sure most recipes can be tailored to your preferences. Good Luck, I know how hard it is coming up with something new and fun. Sometimes I just use cookie cutters to cut their sandwiches into fun shapes for a change of pace.

SAHM to 5 yr old girl, 2 yr old boy and 1 due in July.



answers from Detroit on

The Pampered Chef had a cookbook called "Let's Eat". It is full of kid friendly recipes. However, we no longer have that in our catalog. You could try finding it on eBay. I have it, it's great. It might give you some ideas. I hope this helps.



answers from Grand Rapids on

I had an awsome breakfast snack type thing but it's great for breakfasts too. It is scrambled eggs wrapped in a tortilla kind of like a burrito. You can add onions, cheese and salsa or just about anything they are very good.



answers from Kalamazoo on

Try Racheal Rays book 365 meals, a different dinner everyday. It starts with a master recipe and shows you how different you can make it just by changing a few ingredients. It gave me a lot of great ideas and I was able to go back through a lot of my own recipes and make variations of them. Even just using a different kind of cheese in a grilled cheese sand. can make a big difference in taste. good luck and have fun.



answers from Saginaw on

pillsbury canned breads are the greatest things for making ordinary food different! you can take the grands biscuits and roll them out a little flatter, and fill them with just about anything...fold them over and bake, and you have a hand held gourmet sandwich...i make them into empanadas with cooked chicken, cream cheese, onion, pepper and spices. but you can literally put ANYTHING in there. pizza fillings, fruits, etc. the possibilites are endless. same thing with crescent rolls...I make a breakfast "pouch" with scrambled egg, bacon and hashbrowns inside a crescent roll pouch.
another super easy thing is those frozen bags of seasoned pasta and veggies....put as much as you want in a bowl with some water and microwave it...awesome side dish to add to some chicken or a hot dog or something. flavored yogurts make an awesome fruit dip. take go-gurt and put it in the freezer for a frozen treat this summer. Another easy and fun lunch in the summer is tuna salad with pieces of lettuce and slices of cucumber and carrots, etc. just give them a mound of the tuna salad, and let them spoon it into pieces of lettuce to make mini bite size lettuce wraps.
hope it helped!



answers from Detroit on

I bought a quesadilla maker a few weeks ago and have been making cheese/chicken/beef quesadillas for my 2 year old and the rest of us. They are easy to make and there is not alot of cleanup. I usually try to stick with things I know he likes such as chicken tenders or nuggets, mac & cheese, peanut butter and jelly, soups, fruits, and yogurt. My 2 year old can eat chicken at every meal, so I bake my chicken, broil it, or grill it so he's not always getting fried chicken. At least twice a week, my 2 year old will eat a tv dinner either a Banquet chicken nuggets/fingers meal or a Kids Cuisine (he loves tv dinners too)! As far as breakfast goes, yogurt with fruit is good as is Co-Co Wheats, Instant Oatmeal, or Cream of Wheat. Just add a slice of toast and orange juice and there's breakfast.




answers from Detroit on


I have a 6 and 7 year old and a 4 month old.

When my older two were 3 and 4 (and still today when they're home from school), we did lots of different kinds of sandwhiches that I would often make the night before (this made lunchtime easier and the sandwhiches actually tasted better). I would always use a hearty but soft whole grain bread and make combos like turkey, mustard/mayo and cheese; ham, mustard/mayo and cheese; roast beef and mustard; egg salad; tuna salad; chicken sald (made up from the previous night's rotissere chicken). If your kids eat lettuce (romaine counts as a veggie serving), top the sandwhiches with it the day you are serving (mine were too picky for lettuce).

Also, my kids loved crackers with different (protein-based) toppings like melted cheese, tuna salad, chicken salad, and pb & j (using natural pb...not skippy or jif).

And then there are tortillas.....we stuffed them with everything. I heat on a skillet for a minute, then stuff with cheese...or taco meat (I always make extra at dinner, portion it off and freeze to reheat) with cheese and lettuce tomato etc...or leftover rotissere shredded chicken(I portion/freeze as well) seasoned/heated up with some cumin, garlic salt/pepper....or scrambled eggs with ham/cheese. Of course you can stuff with any cold fillings you would put in a sandwhich, including something fun like fruits, veggies, hummous, taboleh, etc. Tortillas are great for the kids to get hands on as well.

One of my favorites though is leftover pancakes. I always make a surplus of multigrain (my own recipe) that we enjoy the next day too---and the leftovers I portion off with a bit of wax paper between each one and freeze for an anytime meal. The only trick there is to choose a recipe/or mix that tastes good cold or at room temp because I'm not crazy about the way they turn out reheated. We do the same with waffles. My kids eat them with their hands, like a cookie, for lunch at home or school or in the morning before school.

Nachos are another favorite (you can add bean dip, veggies, ground sirloin, chicken, etc. to the cheese). kids love omelettes/fritattas (fritattas are easier to prepare since they finish in the oven and you don't really need to babysit).

Pizza bagels using day old bagels or from the freezer (when we can't finish them all from the weekend, I just slice and then freeze so they're ready for the toaster or oven).

Eggs...again...I also love to use my almost-expired eggs for hard-boiled eggs. They peel easier the older they are. I turn them into egg salad, throw in pasta salad, and my kids feel super special when I slice them in half and mix the yolk with mustard and mayo and turn them into deviled eggs. Also, they just love them as is. I always buy organic because the yolks have extra omega-3, which is great for their little brains (ps---Costco has a great price on them).

And my final bit of two cents is cold capellini (angel hair pasta) from the night before that I lightly dress with olive oil/butter. This happens to taste great the next day cold or reheated. You can use any shape pasta, and smaller bite-size shape can turn into a pasta salad with raw veggies, vinaigrette, hard-boiled eggs, etc.

To all of those dishes we add fresh fruit/or veggies (though my kids were never great about veggies).

I always found that prepping as much ahead of time and keeping in fridge or portions in freezer (if possible) made me feel much more motivated to offer a variety. Most of the time I do it when I am wrapping up leftovers from dinner, anyhow.



answers from Saginaw on

My sister used to give my neices meals in ice cube trays to give them a variety! So fill the squares up with different things, celery and peanut butter, orange slices, cheese, anything really! It is fun for the kids to eat!




answers from Grand Rapids on

H., This is something I like to do for my kids, I make them a platter (dinner plate) of lots of different things, you can put out some cubed meat, like leftover chicken breast or ham , cubed or shredded cheese, cut up fruit, apples-bananas-grapes-pineapple or julianned carrots. I know this might sound wierd but my kids love leftover cold steamed broccoli so I usually put that on too. Any kind of cracker or cubed bread is good sometimes I put toast on, cut up in strips or squares. For the veggies we dip in ranch dressing and for the fruit I make a dip of equal parts plain yogurt and peanut butter. You can use anything to keep it new just use your imagination and keep stuff bite sized ( my oldest is 12 now and he still loves to eat this way sometimes) This is also an easy thing to do ahead of time, especially if you know your going to have a busy day, and it travels well so its easy to take along. Hope this is what you were looking for.



answers from Detroit on

My son is 9 and still he will only eat certain be it...if they're getting what they need, their loss.



answers from Detroit on

Add fresh fruits to the pancakes.



answers from Lansing on


Fruit Smoothie with graham crackers on the side.

Yogurt with gronola or grape fruit nuts mixed in.

Wheat toast with peanut butter spread and a glass of orange juice.

Scrambled eggs plain or mix some cheese and ham or veggies in it.

Bagels with light cream cheese. I personally like the bagels toasted.

Fruit medley and a slice of ham (I brown it in my skillet)

Smokey Links light, toast, sunny side up eggs (dip the toast in the yoke)


Hummus and flat bread rolled up (put favorite veggies in it)

Onion bagel toasted with tuna on it (I mix my tuna with light miracle whip, mustard, onion flakes, and a touch of relish)

Pick out three different dips, put in small bowls, cut up a bunch of fresh veggies and let the kids dip. I add chicken tenders that I make myself.

My kids love as a treat a Hazelnut Chocolate spread on wheat toast with a side of your choice.

Nachos (spread tortilla chips on a baking sheet with edges; heat up Fat Free refried beans (try to get the true mexican ones); may need to add a touch of water to make the beans easier to spread; pour and spread over the tortilla chips; Light mexican cheese sprinkled all over; Bake in oven until cheese is melted.

Mini Pizza's - English muffin, pizza sauce, mozzeralla, and favorite toppings. Bake or Broil in oven. You can do this on a tortilla too, but will need to spray the tortilla with a PAM spray.

If you'd like more suggestions just email me. I should get back to work.



answers from Kalamazoo on

I would recommend an amazing book called "Feed Me, I'm Yours". My mom used it for me as a child and bought it for me when I had my baby. Everything from baby food, to mostly toddler and older children's food and fun projects (edible Play-Dough, etc).



answers from Grand Rapids on

i used to keep pancake mix made up in the fridge and french toast is good, fresh fruit,



answers from Detroit on

Try this website out for good kid meals.
I think there's even a free e-book of recipes.



answers from Detroit on

Hi H., I'm not sure what is part of your regular menu, but here are a few lunch ideas:
pizza english muffins (pizza sauce and cheese on an english muffin)
mac n cheese, pb&J on buns in stead of regular bread, tunafish with bits of celery (grilled, toasted or plain old bread), grilled cheese, spaghetti or the ready made pastas that you just add sauce, BLT's, roll-up sandwiches (anything that you would normally eat on bread, put it on a tortilla and roll it up, eggs (scrambled, sunny side up or as egg salad..can cook in microwave for 1 minute with or without a little milk and cheese for scrambled, no need for a stove!),
I always try to have a fruit, fresh or canned, a veggie, raw or cooked, and dairy (cheese or yogurt) as a option with the main meal. Left overs are great too! Or crackers, granola bars might be good side options.

Breakfast ideas: french toast (can get the sticks that you throw in the oven), eggs, cereal, yogurt, pancakes (try them with blueberries or chocolate chips), oatmeal with blueberries (I use old fashioned oats and frozen blueberries) or the packets are an option. Malt o Meal.

Hope a few of these are new ideas! Good luck!



answers from Grand Rapids on

Hi H.,

My daughter really likes rice and veggies. The kind of rice I use is lundburg brand ('s a little bit more expensive so I mix it with regular brown rice. I never use minute rice. I can get it at the Health food store here (harvest Health or meijer, or family fare) In a big pot I will put broccoli, cauliflower, sugar snap peas, (stuff like that) with olive oil and some water, place the lid on and steam them lightly so they still have a little crunch.
then I will peel a carrot into many shredds and add them, mostly for color, but it tastes good as well. I am not sure how you feel about onions but I like them and I also slice up onions very thin or chop them up quite small (I don't like crunching into onions but I like their flavor) And I will add them with the broccoli so they are nice and soft.

When everything is pretty much steamed I add some soft of seasoning, nothing too strong. Then I put the rice on a large platter and spoon the veggies over top. My husband and I add butter and salt to ours once it's on our plate. You really should try this brand of rice, it's so flavorful and delicious.

So I make this once a week but with different veggies and seasoning but the same basic idea but different. I just slice the veggies up real small for my 14month old and add rice, she absolutely loves it, and there is plenty left over for lunches the next day!

I also have a recipe for Potato Leek Soup from my mother in law, it's awesome. I make that and my daughter really really like it as well, it's a simple very easy to make soup that doesn't take much time.

If you want I will give you the recipe, just let me know.



answers from Grand Rapids on

My husband is a stay at home dad, and I work full time outside the home. Because I leave very early in the morning, I have a tendancy to make/pack my breakfast and lunch the night before. I will often ask if he wants to give our daughters the same thing, and if so, I'll make extra for them. Sometimes it's just extra pancakes, or a couple extra hard boiled eggs - but to them it's huge because they normally get cereal or oatmeal. Lunches he is better at than me, but he left the restaurant industry to stay with our kides. Our daughters are happy with Peanut Butter & Jelly every day, and will often ask for it. But he does do things like mac & cheese with Kosher hot dogs (the only kind we eat) or meat sandwiches for them. He likes to keep it simple, and quick.

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