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Lunch Ideas for Toddlers

The term “toddlers” is used for those children who are between the ages of 1 and 4 years. Even those children, who are below the age of one, need more than basic baby food, for proper growth and development. In case the right food is not introduced at the appropriate age, the toddler could face some trouble in acquiring the important chewing and swallowing techniques. Hence, it is essential for all parents to ensure that the toddler food they prepare and feed their little ones, help them develop the right skills and at the same time, provide the vital nutrients that are required for proper growth. Moreover, if meals for toddlers and infants do not contain solid food, the child could refuse to have it later.
Since most toddlers need a lot of energy to remain active, they should be given healthy meals that are packed with nutrients. In addition to three square meals, toddlers should have at least 3 other snacks, which could include milk, juice, fruits, breakfast cereals and nuts. Most parents ensure that their children consume the required amount of milk each day. Other dairy products, like cheese and yogurt are also quite enjoyable and healthy at the same time. However, even healthy snacks for toddlers should be given carefully, as a child could get too used to them, after which he or she could refuse to eat proper food. Therefore, lunch ideas for toddlers should be as innovative as the snack ideas adopted by parents.

Health experts state that breakfast, dinner, snack time and lunch ideas for children should contain 2 servings of either fruits or vegetables, like pears, bananas, apples, grapes and peaches, as well as cucumber, broccoli and carrots. All meals should also contain at least one source of protein, to make them complete and wholesome toddler meals; therefore, eggs, beans or meats like chicken, beef and turkey should be given to toddlers on a daily basis. Foods that are healthy and enjoyable for children include whole wheat bread, bagels, muffins, crackers, pancakes, and so on.

Unfortunately, it has been seen that many children, who are between the ages of 1 and 4 years are picky eaters, which is why many mothers and caregivers feel at sea, when they have to prepare diet for toddlers. However, since toddlers are just learning to feed themselves, they are usually more than happy to try any food that they can put in their mouths, on their own, i.e., without any help. Hence, cheese cubes, carrot sticks, pieces of fruit, vegetable wedges and other types are finger foods generally become their favorites quite easily. To make the food more attractive, parents are advised to ensure that all these finger foods for toddlers are placed on their plate in such a way that they do not touch each other. Kids’ lunch ideas for older children should include foods with interesting names too, just to motivate the child to try the recipe. There are several books and online resources that focus mainly on food ideas for toddlers. However, since every child has a different taste preference, parents usually need to alter the recipes for toddlers a bit, to suit their children’s taste. Studies indicate that most toddlers do not like foods that have strong flavors and aromas.

Healthy Lunch Ideas for Toddlers

There are several quick lunch ideas for kids and toddlers, which are highly nutritious and can be prepared by parents within a matter of minutes. Given below are a few toddler recipes, which are generally a part of lunch ideas for kids:

Bull’s Eye:


  • 1 Large egg
  • 1 Slice of bread (large)
  • 1 Teaspoon of butter
  • A Pinch of salt to taste
  1. Using a cup or a glass, cut out a large hole in the middle of the bread slice
  2. Apply the butter on both the sides of the remnants of the bread. Heat a frying pan, or a skillet, and place the buttered bread on it.
  3. Cook the bread for a couple of minutes and then flip it over
  4. Break the egg right in the middle of the hole and sprinkle some salt on the egg
  5. Cover the frying pan with a lid and allow the egg to cook on a low flame, till it is set and till the underside of the bread is golden brown
Serve it on a plate, after allowing it to cool for a few minutes. Some parents beat the egg, before placing them in the hole.

Teriyaki Chicken Fingers With Baked French Fries:

  • 5 Pieces of chicken, cut into strips
  • 2 Medium sized potatoes, cut into strips or wedges
  • ¼ Cup soy sauce
  • 1½ Tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1½ Tablespoons olive oil
  • A pinch of salt, to taste
  1. In a large mixing bowl, add the soy sauce, the brown sugar, half a teaspoon of olive oil and some salt.
  2. Add the chicken wings to the bowl and coat them with the sauce thoroughly. Leave it aside for a few minutes
  3. In a separate bowl, toss the potato strips with a tablespoon of olive oil and then place them on a baking sheet, making sure that the potatoes are in a single layer.
  4. Bake the fries in a preheated oven for around 20 to 30 minutes, flipping them around with a wooden spatula, at regular intervals, so that they do not get burned.
  5. Bake the chicken in the same oven, till its juices run clear.
  6. Allow the fries and the chicken to cool a bit, before serving them to the child
Although the recipes for toddler lunch ideas mentioned above are quite safe if prepared effectively, it is important for parents to check with a pediatrician before using any of them. Moreover, it is very important for parents to make sure that new foods are introduced gradually and carefully. Since children can be prone to allergies and food intolerances, it is best to consult their doctors before giving them any new food for the first time. In case a child shows a negative reaction to any food type, it is important to speak to the child’s doctor immediately.
Submitted on January 16, 2014