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Simple, Healthy Toddler Friendly Meals to Try in 2023

Simple, Healthy Toddler Friendly Meals to Try in 2023

Cooking for veggie-averse, often texture-sensitive, and picky toddlers isn't easy - especially when you want to make their meals healthy and easy. We're here to help with some easy, nutritious meal options your toddler will love - and they're great for the whole fam! Check them out below:

Protein-Rich Options:

It's important your toddler is getting their daily dose of protein. This article outlines how much your toddler should eat each day, with some creative protein options (if your kiddo isn't the biggest meat fan). Below we have a few meal ideas that the whole family will love - including your growing toddler:

1. Breakfast for Dinner

Breakfast for dinner is a classic, but to make it even more fun for your toddler by serving their eggs in puff form (try out this ham & cheese puff recipe). They're super easy to make, and they are full protein and yummy flavors.

Pair with toast, diced fruit, or yogurt and you have a meal the whole family will love (and it takes only a few minutes to prep).

2. Get Creative with Peanut Butter

Looking for a simple yet healthy lunch option your toddler and your husband will like? This peanut butter, apple, and raisin sandwich is a yummy twist on a classic, and it packs in a great amount of protein too.

For healthy snacks that pack in the protein, try apples and peanut butter, ants on a log, or crackers with peanut butter and honey. There are tons of options to stay healthy and simple for protein-packed lunch ideas.

3. Healthy Chicken Nuggets

Parents, it's time to ditch the dino nuggets (as much as your kids probably love them). Try out this healthier baked chicken nugget recipe instead! They are super crispy, have great flavor, and still provide the protein your child needs.

Toddlers Wearing Toddler and Baby Accessories

Sneaking in Their Vegetables:

If your toddler loves vegetables, count yourself lucky. For the rest of us, getting your toddler to eat their veggies is a battle. Luckily, we have some easy meal options that might help - your toddler won't even realize you're sneaking them in.

1. Spaghetti Squash Spaghetti

This was my mom's favorite when we were kids, and even though we knew we weren't eating noodles, we still loved her recipe. Just roast the spaghetti squash cut in half, season with salt and pepper, and pull right from the husk.

There are tons of options for customization here as well. Keep it simple by only adding butter, or make a spaghetti sauce with sausage or beef to pour on top. Either way, it's delicious (and healthy).

2. Hidden Veggie Mac & Cheese

I know, you're probably skeptical, but this recipe has high ratings and uses three different veggies, all without your toddler noticing. Every kid loves mac & cheese, so use it to your advantage and sneak some veggies in!

A lot of veggie disguise mac & cheese recipes use some combination of sweet potato, squash, zucchini, carrots, and cauliflower, but the recipe above has the highest ratings for toddler-tricking success;). And it only takes 30-45 minutes to whip together.

3. A Healthy... Hamburger?

Every kid loves hamburgers, and they don't have to be McDonald's-level unhealthy. If you make your own patties at home (try turkey for a cleaner, healthier meat), cut fresh veggies, and try out thinner buns, they become a fun, protein-rich meal your kid will love.

This recipe adds zucchinis right into the burger meat, which is a great way to sneak veggies into your kid's meal and stretch your beef. Plus, it cooks perfectly fine and tastes just as yummy!

Toddlers Wearing Toddler Bows

Last-Minute, But Still Healthy:

We get it, your schedule as a mama is busy and sometimes meal times are rushed! Here are some healthy options you can whip up in just a few minutes, and your toddler will still love them:

1. Loaded Sweet Potatoes

Loaded sweet potatoes are just as yummy as the regular thing, and far healthier with tons of fiber and vitamin A. You can top them with sour cream, bacon, ground beef, chives, and cheese (or any leftover taco ingredients you have from the night before).

There are several different ways you can cook your sweet potatoes, which make it an awesome option if you're on the run. Check out a recipe here for inspiration.

2. Gourmet Meatballs

This amazing chicken meatball recipe makes a full meal in only 30 minutes, has incredible flavor, and serves enough for the whole family. Meatballs are a fun dinner classic we know your toddler will love, and this protein and veggie-packed recipe is perfect.

This is a great option if you're having guests and want to impress. It's the perfect balance between complex flavors and classics your toddler will love - mom win!

3. Grilled Quesadilla

Quesadillas are super easy to whip together for your kids, and if you have leftover salad or taco ingredients, you'll have half the work done already. Just butter a pan, lay down a flour tortilla, fill it with all your child's favorite toppings (taco meat, cheese, veggies, etc.) Lay another tortilla on top and flip after the bottom gets golden brown.

Dinner will be ready in minutes, and this is a great option that will feed the whole family. Dip in sour cream or guacamole - it's so tasty!

Toddler Holding Toddler Quilt

Leftover-Friendly:

If you're a fan of cooking in bulk to feed your whole family (or freeze for later), these recipes are perfect. They're made from ingredients that last a while and taste yummy even if they're a week old. Check them out below:

1. Summer Squash + Beef Pasta

This summer squash and beef pasta recipe is delicious, time-saving, and simple. It only requires 6 ingredients, most of which you likely already have in your pantry. Pick your toddler's favorite noodle shape to make it fun for them too!

We love this recipe because it's easy to cook in bulk and makes for great leftovers. If you're looking for a low-maintenance, yet healthy dinner the whole family will like, this is the recipe.

2. Creamy Butternut Squash Apple Soup

Soup is one of the most leftover-friendly meals, and this recipe is delicious and packed with healthy fruits and veggies! Perfect for cold weather, you can easily make this soup in a huge pot so it will last you multiple meals. Too many leftovers? Just freeze it for later.

This soup is also great because baby can have it too! Blended vegetable soups are great for families with members from babies and toddlers to adults - everyone will be happy eating this.

3. Zucchini Boats

This delicious recipe is healthy, fast, simple, and veggie-packed. My mom used to make these and add little paper flags to the top for an added "boat" effect - it totally worked and we always got excited to eat our veggies in ship-form.

Have leftovers? Pack a zucchini boat for lunch or store them in ziploc bags - they taste just as yummy the next day!

My Toddler is Texture-Sensitive. What Should I Do?

 A lot of toddlers have a texture sensitivity of some kind, and it can be difficult working around it. With a texture sensitivity, it's even more difficult to get your toddler to eat healthily.

This article has some great tips for feeding toddlers with a texture sensitivity, and it offers some great, healthy alternatives to foods your toddler might not like. Check it out for some awesome mama tips!

Cooking for toddlers isn't easy, and you're doing great mama. Hopefully these ideas inspire some healthy cooking for your kiddos!

Don't go yet! Check out our favorite toddler products below; they'll make your life as a toddler mama far easier. Here are our top sellers:

Mom Packing Diaper Backpack

^^ Toddler mamas still need a useful bag for on-the-go, and our Diaper Backpacks are the perfect tasteful option. They look cute, have plenty of pockets for everything your toddler needs, and they're durable for your lifestyle. Choose your favorite color here.

Storage Cubes in Storage Shelf

^^ Our new Rope Storage Cubes are perfect for your toddler's play room! They fit in standard cube shelves, are durable and long-lasting, and keep your play room looking cute. Grab a few to organize here.

Toddler with Toddler Quilt Blanket

^^ Every toddler needs a cozy blanket they can snuggle for naptime and bedtime, and our selection of Toddler Quilts are perfect. Choose your toddler's favorite pattern - they'll love the 4 thick layers of 100% organic cotton that will last years. Order one here!

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