Easy Healthy Lunches For Toddlers

Easy healthy lunches for toddlers.  That should be… simple, right?

As much as we may want to think it’s so simple, sometimes it can be overwhelming.  And let’s not go into when our toddler decides not to eat something that they’ve been eating for the past 3 months because…. well, they just don’t want to that day!

Ugh Toddler Drama

I totally get it mama!

Truth Be Told

Let’s put it out there right away, that I don’t have lunch prepared EVERY week.

I try my best to, because I’m a SAH mama and I SHOULD have this all set in stone right?

Wrong.

I have most weeks prepared for meals, because I’ve eventually found my groove with my little girl.  It didn’t start out this way.

Soon enough, it’s going to probably burn to the ground because we have another one about to arrive!  I’m going to have to reassess to find my groove with all over again!

In my mind, I would love to have all of the 50 meals that I find on Pinterest, prepared for the next 5 weeks.  You know, the whole prep ahead thing done and such.

But that doesn’t happen for me.  I personally like to plan each week, so that I can really change things up.  Plus, I’m one that likes to do cooking so it doesn’t bother me to do it each week.

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Sometimes when I get really ambitious, I put a menu of our easy healthy lunches out on the blackboard for everyone in the family to join along!

Blackboard Menu

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Anyways, what I’m saying here is that even though you may see a few ideas that you like, your own prepping style is going to have to come in.  You’re going to have to learn your OWN groove.  You’ll find what is easy for you.  Maybe it’s not exactly lunches that you need prepped but dinners and these meals can always be swapped out for different meals of the day!

Give it time and you’ll be a pro before you know it. Then of course, something with happen and it’ll all change so that you have to find your groove all over again too!

Now, what I noticed about my little girl, was that she started this whole, “I don’t want that, even though I just ate it yesterday” thing way before 2 years old.

So, I have to keep switching things up throughout each week, yet stay somewhat in the same range so food doesn’t go bad.  Talk about a whole-notha scheduling level!

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So, before I zone in to each of the easy healthy lunches..

Here are a few simple tips that I’ve figured out along the way:

Write a quick grocery list. 

It doesn’t have to be exact on everything you are making.  Take note on the main meals you are planning to make, then add in all the little essentials you’ll need.

This way, when you have 10 meals after scrolling through your Pinterest, you’ll actually see if you’ll be able to make all of those meals for that week.

After looking at the now grocery list, maybe need to take it down a notch or two depending on your schedule for that.

Repeat Foods. 

Not every day, but throughout the week.  So as you’ll see in a few of the lunches throughout the week, my little one will get some of the same foods.  This is only because food goes bad and well honestly, I hate to see food go bad.

What I will do is make the schedule for three days. Then see which foods I can repeat in other breakfast or dinner options.

For instance, if my little one has blueberries for part of her lunch on Monday, then maybe I’ll toss them in with breakfast on Wednesday, dinner on Friday and little snack bags for when we are on the go.

One to Two New Foods. 

I want my daughter to experience new foods, because there is such a range that I never want her to be limited to chicken nuggets or PB&J sandwiches.  Which I won’t lie, these happen at least once a week! 

So I try to incorporate at least one to two new foods throughout the week.  Usually foods that we don’t have on a regular basis or haven’t had in a while.

Reason being, is that as humans our taste buds always are changing.  Toddlers may eat a certain food one day and not the next.  Not to mention that our little ones are going through a lot of changes with emotions, teething and whatnot.  These all can be reasons for why our toddler may eat something one week but not the next.

It may be as simple as placing in a peach, avocado or Thai ramen from down the street.

Get creative!  Find a food that you also haven’t tried!  You’re toddler will love experiencing something new with you!  Our toddlers do as we do.  If they see you trying a new food, it might just entice them to do the same!

Whether you end of like the new food or not!

Easy Healthy Lunches For Toddlers 

Most of these meals are particularly for ages 1 to 3 years old.  There’s a couple reasons the meals are the way they are.

One, they are simple or easy for us adults because our little ones around this age are still developing many different angles.  Simple and easy meals will not overwhelm them into trying something.

Two,  the little ones are still getting teeth in during these couple of years, learning to chew as well as swallow without choking.  Foods need to be easy to chew with very few teeth.  As well as small enough that if they swallow the food without chewing it fully, they won’t choke on it.

Three, they are healthy!  Most of the meal below contain a fruit, protein, carb, veggie, & fat.  So they are also a easy healthy choice for Mama’s Lunch as well!

To go along with the healthy lunches is exercise of course!  If you haven’t already, jump on the band wagon with us & get your FREE Fitness Calendar all year long!

Lunch 4 - Simple lunches for a one year old

EASY LUNCH #1 (Photo Above)

Mac & Cheese with Peas – this particular mac & cheese was made with olive oil and almond milk, instead of the regular butter and milk.  I defrosted frozen peas and heated them up in the water with the mac and cheese before adding in all the mixin’s.

I have to be sneaky with the veggies and my little one! With this particular idea, I was just HOPING she would accidently eat a couple peas and not realize!

Sliced Apple with Cinnamon – I had a little extra time before she got too cranky, so I added in a little cut out to make it fun for her to eat!

Blackberries – I cut them into fourths to make it easier to eat.  Blackberries do have seeds in them, so if your little one does not deal with seeds yet, swap out for a different fruit until they are ready to incorporate.

Lunch 3 - simple lunches for a one year old

EASY LUNCH #2 (Photo Above)

Peanut Butter & Banana Quesadilla I took two small wheat tortillas, smothered some wonderful PB on them, sliced a bit of banana in there and heated it up in a skillet.  Much easier than I thought it would be.  But Be Warned:  They can be SUPER hot in the middle!  Give the quesadilla a few minutes to cool before cutting and serving to your little one.

Mini Peppers – I picked up some mini peppers and just sliced them up.  They are pretty colors and design, so they were fun for my little girl to put on her fingers and eat up.  Plus, it became a healthy snack for momma as well!  I like to spread some cream cheese on them!

Grapes – Sliced into fourths. Again, grapes can be a choking hazard for children.  I suggest cutting them up into quarters  while staying near your child.

Once your young toddler has more teeth and has shown that they can chew their food well, move into cutting the grapes into halves.  Then eventually a whole grape!  Aw, they grow so fast!

Lunch 9 - simple lunches for a one year old

EASY LUNCH #3 (Photo Above)

Smoothie – 1/2 Cup Frozen Blueberries; 1/2 Cup Frozen Strawberries; 2 Tbsp. Peanut Butter; 1 Frozen Banana; Almond Milk to desired thickness.

I suggest creating your own smoothies as well and get creative!  You can add in avocado, spinach or raspberries depending on what might be missing out of their diet.  I love doing smoothies with my little girl because it can turn out to be an all-in-one hit for veggies and fruits.

Plus, Mama get’s to have a healthy lunch as well!  Trust me, that recipe will make more than your little one can devour!

Chickpea Chicken Nuggets – Yes, frozen chicken nuggets!  This brand was made from chickpeas and my little one eats them! She loves dunking them into her ketchup without her even knowing she’s eating chickpeas.

Corn – I had made corn on the cob for one of our dinners this particular week, so I heated up a corn cob and sliced off the corn.  Sometimes I give my little one the actual corn on the cob as well just to change things up.

Lunch 8 - Simple Lunches for toddlers

EASY LUNCH #4 (Photo Above)

Cream Cheese Roll Up – I took a tortilla, spread some cream cheese on it, roll the tortilla up and slice! Viola!

My little one LOVES cream cheese, so that’s something particular that I make her.  You can also try swapping out the cream cheese for peanut butter and jelly or hummus!

Sliced Kiwi Easy one here, just slice and dice.  It is a great money saving fruit, since you don’t have to buy a huge bunch.

Avocado – 1/2 avocado mashed up with a bit of lemon juice, pink Himalayan salt and some pepper.  For this one, I’ve noticed my little one does not take to eating just sliced up avocado, so I have to make it a little enticing for her.  What can I say? The girl has some taste!  

Tip for the other 1/2 of the avocado is to keep the seed in and store it in a sealed container with lemon juice.  This will keep it from browning up and you can still use it within the next 2 days.  3 days, if you get lucky!

Sliced  Mini Peppers  – Same as the top photo, the mini peppers come in a bag, so I made sure to have at least 2 meals with this particular food item.  I picked up some mini peppers and just sliced them up.  They are pretty colors and design, so they were fun for my little girl to put on her fingers and eat up.

Lunch 1 - simple lunches for toddlers

EASY LUNCH #5 (Photo Above)

Baked Chicken – My Fiancé and I usually use baked chicken for our salads throughout the week.  So this is an easy throw in for some protein, since the chicken is already cooked and ready to go.

I normally bake the chicken at 350 degrees for 20 minutes (depending on the size of the chicken breasts).  Play around with seasonings on what you find that your kiddo enjoys.

I put some honey mustard on her plate for her to dunk her chicken in.  It’s just a different taste than always having ketchup.  She enjoys it! And if I find that my little girl tries the sauce but does not like it, I offer her a different option.

Toddler Tip: They love to choose!  If they get two options and they are allowed to make a choice on what they want, it can make a world of difference for temper tantrums and also, allows them to know that they have a voice

Cereal –  Who doesn’t love breakfast for dinner or lunch at that!? 

Pick any cereal you have, throw some milk in there and you are good to go Mama!  We chose frosted flakes and almond milk for this lunch.

Grapes – Sliced into fourths.  Again, grapes can be a choking hazard for children.  I do suggest cutting the grapes up into fourths.  Once your child shows that they can chew well, move into halves.

Chewing well + more teeth = time for full grapes!  Yay!

Lunch 6 - simple lunches for toddlers

EASY LUNCH #6 (Photo Above)

Turkey & Cheese Roll Ups – I chose turkey, but feel free to add in any other options, like ham, roast beef, or chicken!   You can also add in tomatoes, avocado, onions, or anything that comes to mind that you think you may want to try with your little one!

Strawberries & Green Beans – Plain and simple here!  Cut & serve Mama!

Lunch 5 - simple lunches for toddlers

EASY LUNCH #7 (Photo Above)

Chickpea Chicken Nuggets – Yes, frozen chicken nuggets! This brand was made from chickpeas and my little one eats them! She loves dunking them into her ketchup without her even knowing she’s eating chickpeas.

Black Beans – I can turn out to be a lazy Mama sometimes, so yes, these were from a can.  No judgement here!  

You can buy the dry beans and soak them on your own.  I did buy the can with low sodium black beans, because we had an extremely busy week.

Colby Cheese – They have individual blocks of cheese, just like string cheese, which I do like to have for my little girl as well.  They love enjoying the whole pulling it apart aspect!

Peas – I like to buy frozen organic peas.  They are just as good as fresh and usually cheaper!  I add on a little salt and pepper to make them have some type of taste for my little one.

Grapes – Sliced into fourths. Yes, once again I’m acknowledging that grapes can be a choking hazard for children.  Repetitiveness increases memory!  Fourths first. Halves with good chewing skills. Then full grapes for the finale!

So, there you go Mama!

I hope you found some ideas to make for your little one this week!

Feel free to comment below on some of the meals you make your little ones!  Sharing is caring!

 

You got this Mama!

 

Love,

Anna

XOXO

 

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Comments

  1. This site definitely has all of the information and facts I needed concerning this subject and didn’t know who to ask.

    1. Glad we could help! Please feel free to share to others that might be looking for some of the same information! Have a great rest of your Sunday!

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