Looking for a tasty and nutritious meal for your growing toddler?
It’s time to say goodbye to the same-old, same-old and welcome in some new, simple and truly scrumptious meals that even you (mum & dad) would want to try! From fish burgers, pitta pizzas, veggie fritters, and so much more! We have 10 mouth-watering lunch ideas for toddlers to try…
Also, have a look at our toddler lunchbox ideas too!
10 Lunch Ideas for Toddlers
Fish Burger Wrap
Kids love burgers! So, for this burger remix, we will be using bread-crumb fish instead of a beef burger. White fish like cod, are rich in omega-3 fatty acids which are essential for our brain cell growth and our heart health! Swap out the bun for a wrap if you want to go that extra healthy mile, but realistically you can use any carbohydrate alternative like bagels or pittas for example! Is your mouth-watering, yet?
Peanut Butter and Banana Toast
2 words, NOM-NOM! Peanut butter and banana toast are the perfect nutritious lunch ideas for toddlers if you are strapped for time. Peanut butter is an impeccable source of nutrients with its plant-based protein and healthy fats. Remember to always check the label on your peanut butter jar before purchasing, to make sure it doesn’t have any added sugar or salt. Finally, tick off one of the 5-a-day boxes by adding some banana slices to your toastie. Bananas are one of the BEST fruits your kids can eat as it offers nutrients such as potassium which will give your child the energy they need for the day.
Bonjourno! I heard there are food artists in the room? Have some fun with your healthy food by making a Pitta Pizza! Encourage your kids to make their own lunch, with the freedom to choose their own five-a-day toppings. Prep your toddler’s toppings by slicing them up beforehand so they can choose a sweet selection of veggies as if it were a pick ‘n’ mix! All you need is some tomato puree, your pitta, a sprinkling of cheese, your veg, and (if you want to be controversial) throw on some pineapple! After your prep time, it will only take 10 mins to cook. You can even have this food cold too (once it’s been cooked and put in the fridge). An interactive and creative lunch idea for toddlers!
Noughts & Crosses Sandwich
Whoever said don’t play with your food? In this fun lunch idea, you can get creative with your toddler’s sandwich, using cookie cutters on your vegetables and bread to recreate a game of noughts and crosses! All you have to do is make your sandwich as usual with a vegetable filling inside. Next, just cut the sandwich up into lots of squares so it forms a grid. Lastly, cut the X’s and O’s shapes out of your chosen vegetables using free-hand or with a cookie cutter to add on top of the sandwich squares. Fun right? These are great lunch ideas for your toddlers who are at nursery or playgroups.
Sweet Potato Noodle Ham & Cheese Cups
FINGER FOOD ALERT! These savoury cups of gold and sweetness are a seriously tasty meal for your little one. If you do not eat pork or meat, do not worry as the ham is not the main attraction of this meal! Sweet potato is an exquisite alternative to your standard starchy potato. To get the marvellous cup effect, all you need is your standard cupcake/muffin tray! It is a very simple recipe that you can find here.
The Ideal Lunch Box For Your Toddler
Fruit: At least 1 serving of fruit.
Have a good range of colourful and exciting fruits for a bitesize boost of vitamins. Get creative using cookie cutters if your toddler isn’t very interested in fruit.
Vegetables: At least 1 serving of veggies.
Baby carrots/carrot sticks, sliced cucumber sticks and hummus are great healthy snacks to pack in your toddler’s lunchbox.
Protein: At least 1 serving of protein, whether it’s in the form of meat or poultry, nuts, legumes, or dairy.
Granola bites are a fun and healthy protein alternative to meat. You can add some raisins and choc chips to them for some extra sweetness.
Complex Carbohydrates: Whole grains are essential for long-lasting energy and proper toddler brain development.
Some examples of the best whole grains are oats, brown rice, quinoa, corn, farro, buckwheat, teff and sorghum. You can find whole-grain in foods like cereal, bread and snack bars etc… Some gluten-free whole grains are brown rice, quinoa, corn, and more.
Fats: Toddlers need fats to grow properly
So, choose dairy products with fat and don’t shy away from plant-based fats like avocado and nuts or seeds.
Examples of Ideal Lunches for Toddlers
Mini Egg & Veg Muffins
This toddler lunch idea is fit for a King or Queen’s banquet, and maybe even an adult platter lunch… These egg and vegetable muffins are packed with courgette, carrot, peas, eggs and feta cheese. Add them to your lunch ideas for toddlers or as a snack, it’s up to you! Find this delicious 17-minute recipe here.
Goldilocks Porridge (gluten free)
If you are looking for basic food recipes that are so scrumptious even Goldilocks can’t resist them, then why not try a classic bowl of porridge. Tasty, simple and easy for toddlers to swallow, this recipe only requires 4 basic ingredients!
- Measure 90g of porridge oats and 450ml cow’s milk or plant milk alternative.
- Then mix it together and either cook it on the stove or in the microwave for a couple of minutes.
- For the toppings, you need only 1 teaspoon of honey or maple syrup and a large handful of blueberries, halved.
- Add it to your porridge and enjoy!
So easy to remember right? Another great thing about porridge is that oats are naturally gluten-free, but always check the packet of oats before you buy them to make sure. You can also create different variations of this porridge with other delicious ingredients. Why not swap out the blueberries for strawberries? Add some cocoa powder maybe or some hazelnut spread? You can always swap out the oats for quinoa too! The possibilities are endless and it makes for a great lunch idea for toddlers.
Veggie fritters are brilliant lunch ideas for toddlers! These adorable bites are made with courgette, carrot, sweetcorn and peppers! It’s a great way to pack in those five-a-day veggies all in one go! They can work as a lunch snack in your toddler’s lunchbox or you can serve them as part of a main meal. For the recipe click here.
Tuna & Broccoli Pasta Bake
This serves a family of 4 and is perfect for a hearty weekend lunch and only takes 25 minutes to make! Fish is very healthy for humans – did you know the natural oils of fish like tuna is full of Omega-3 fatty acids like DHA, which are essential for brain health? Fatty fish has been shown to stimulate brain cell growth too! And we all know why we need broccoli in our lives, its green goodness gives us fibre and energy which help our digestive systems. Broccoli also supports our immune system, boosts our heart health, our eye health and more!
A hearty and tasty lunch idea for toddlers, that they’ll love!
Find this scrumptious recipe here.
Found some tasty food? We hope you’ve found the perfect balanced lunch ideas for toddlers that will satisfy their little taste buds and give them lots of energy for each day ahead of them! For more inspiration check out our latest blogs…