Feeding a toddler is difficult. They tend to be picky eaters, they eat on sporadic schedules, and they need a lot of assistance at meal time (I wonder at what point can I expect my child to safely wield a steak knife?). Lunch is always a bit of a struggle for me because it happens to fall right in the middle of the day between the time that I’ve just cooked and cleaned up breakfast and have to start prepping for dinner. I have, however, found a few tried-and-true lunches that are my go-to’s on busy days. Note: I always offer milk or water and at least two fruits and/or veggies with each meal. My 2-year old will always eat the fruit and, more often than not, he goes for the veggie, too. Here are some of my faves:
- peanut butter and jelly sandwiches (when I’m feeling fancy, I’ll even make them into “t-balls”–use the top of a glass to cut out the sandwich bread into circles–and use string cheese to make the “T” and the “bat”. If you know my son, you know that this is about the coolest lunch in the world to him).
- “deli tray”- cubes of lunch meat and cheeses
- breakfast foods: oatmeal, scambled eggs and toast, a muffin and yogurt–breakfast is usually my son’s favorite meal of the day, and who says you can only eat those things in the morning anyway?
- quesadillas with salsa “dip”
- anything on a stick: fruit, cheese cubes, chunks of meat, grilled veggies
- mac and cheese (yeah, it’s terrible but he loves it…)
- smoothies (you can sneak all kinds of good stuff into thesese guys!)
- leftovers from whatever we ate for dinner last night
- chicken nuggets and sweet potato fries
- pasta (he usually loves any kind of pasta)
- hummus with crackers, pita wedges and veggies for dipping
- tortilla roll ups (lay out a tortilla, spread on some cream cheese, layer on lunch meat/cheese/spinach/lettuce, roll up, and slice into rolls)
- grilled cheese and soup
- prepared tuna fish spread on crackers (or with goldfish crackers swimming in the tuna fish “sea”)
- healthy nachos (multigrain crackers baked with shredded cheese, beans, etc.)
- english muffin pizzas (1/2 a whole wheat english muffin spread with pizza sauce, topped with shredded mozzarella cheese and whatever toppings you like, then baked in the oven)
- “beanie-weenies”–baked beans with little hot dog pieces
- yogurt parfait (plain greek yogurt layered with granola, berries, and honey)
- mini whole-wheat bagels topped with peanut butter, bananas and a drizzle of honey
- “pigs in a blanket” (wrap a ‘lil smokies sausage or slice of turkey inside 1/3 of a crescent roll, then bake)
I’m always looking for new ideas, so feel free to leave a comment if you have any other great lunches!
2 thoughts on “Quick and Easy Toddler Lunches”
I wish Judah would eat even half of that! Lunch I’d either pbj, grilled cheese, quesdilla, or chicken nuggets, muffin pizza, (no fruits our veggies cuz he refuses). For dinner he gets whatever we are having, which end up in the trash untouched 😦 toddlers are frustrating!
Yeah, David has a lot of days like that, too. I think our dog has gained about 5 pounds since we’ve started letting her eat David’s “leftovers”!