When kids are hungry, it can drive a mom crazy. Toddlers or it can be said the 12 to 36-month-old baby children are very choosy and fussy when it comes to food. Not all toddlers are like this, some are smooth when it comes to eating a meal. So what should one serve to a toddler who is hungry and crazy for food? Toddlers are just babies growing into a child so they may not be able to eat heavy meals thus, the meal we serve them must be light and digestible. Well, let’s see! Here are sample meal plans for toddlers aged 1 to 3:
In this article:
What should My Toddler Eat?
Toddlers are growing children who need energy every day to play and run. Growing children need high vitamins and nutrients diet. A high fibre diet is necessary for toddlers as they need energy and nutrients for their growing body. High fibre diet is nutritious and keeps the body and stomach full. A toddler can be fed with food like carbohydrates, peas, beans, lentils, cereals, kinds of pasta and rice. Bread both white and wholemeal bread is also a good option while serving a toddler. One should ensure that the toddler gets high protein and iron food like meat, couscous, chicken and fish. Poultry products like milk, cheese, yoghurt and eggs are also a good option. Mothers can also give their child foods that are high in sugar and fats, like chocolates, cakes, biscuits and cookies.
How much should My Toddler Eat?
A toddler can eat up to two to three meals a day. Mothers can also include snacks in their meals. The food that a toddler can eat also depends on the level of physical activity he/she does. A toddler needs up to 1000 to 14000 calories per day, however, this might not be the case for every toddler out there! Toddlers should be allowed to explore their world of food. In the beginning, he/she will eat by tasting bits of portions through fingers and then he/she would start eating with both hands while using the utensils as well. Toddlers should be allowed to skip a meal and they should not be forced to eat more food. However, mothers should make sure that the toddler has a proper meal schedule throughout the day.
Sample Meals for Toddlers
A toddler is a baby cum child, thus they are choosy and little fussy. Generally, toddlers don’t like eating food, but mothers can always try to add a tasty punch to all the meals so that it gives a lip-smacking flavour and the toddler runs to the table every time the meal is placed. Here are sample meal plans for a toddler:
Vegetarian Meals Plan
Capsicum and Corn Tacos
This meal is easy and simple to make. First warm all the items like corn, tomato, capsicum and beans. Warm the tortilla as well. Now place the tortilla and put all the ingredients inside it like corn, capsicum, tomato and add some salsa as well. Serve this to your toddler with some beans and cheese. This meal can be given at breakfast and dinner as well. In the breakfast make sure you accompany this meal with some orange juice or mixed fruit juice. In the dinner, the meal can be accompanied by a chocolate muffin. Ensure that there is less quantity of high sugar In the meal.
Pancakes with a Punch of Apple
Apple pancakes are a great breakfast meal. It is nutritious and tasty. Make a pancake mix with multipurpose flour, baking powder, vanilla essence, cinnamon, milk and baking soda. Add some grated apple and nut butter like walnut butter or peanut butter and pour it on the pan, make sure you add some honey over the pancakes. It can also be served at dinner time. After it’s cooked serve it with some apple juice, orange juice and mixed fruit juice.
Fried rice is a combination of carbohydrates and nutrients. Cook some rice with vegetable broth and after it’s cooked add some olive oil, soy sauce, frozen peas and carrots. This meal can be given for dinner and lunch.
Oatmeal with Blueberries
Oatmeal is the best combination with blueberries or strawberries for a healthy breakfast. However one can also choose the child’s or one’s favourite fruit. Oatmeal is a whole grain and is very nutritious for your child. It will help in keeping up with the energy requirements of the toddler while keeping him fit and healthy as wells.
Chicken and Corn Tacos
Chicken and corn tacos are nutritious and fulfilling for the toddler. Warm the tortillas, corn and rotisserie or shredded chicken and place all the savouries inside the tortilla. Add some cheese and salsa to the taco and serve it with fruits and berries. Mothers can also add a fruit juice with the combo. Make sure you don’t warm the salsa.
Mac and Cheese
Macaroni and cheese are loved by kids and toddlers. Mac and Cheese is both a healthy combination and it serves the dietary needs of the toddlers as well. Add some macaroni and cheese on the pan, you can also add some peas or broccoli in the pan for a veggie and leafy taste. Adding peas and broccoli can make the mac and cheese quite healthy. Mac and cheese are perfect for Dinner, Lunch and Breakfast as well.
Scrambled Eggs with Vegetables and Bread
Scrambled eggs are the best kind of breakfast for an adult, child or toddler. Simple yet tasty it provides enough nutrients and vitamins to the body. Beat the eggs and stir it in the pan while heating it a little bit. Add some chives, cream cheese or favourable cheese and spinach as well to give it a veggie punch. Serve it with butter and bread. This is the best combo for breakfast.
Chicken Baked Tenders
Kids like to eat crunchy and tasty food. Chicken Baked Tender is very crispy and tasty. They are a good option for your toddler’s dinner meal. It is quite easy to make it first make sure that you heat the oven and crush the Tortillas or the Bread crumbs and keep it in a bowl. Now put the chicken tenders in flour, try to use multipurpose flour or maize flour. Now quote the chicken tenders with the egg white and egg yolk mixture. After coating it with egg coat it with the crumbs as well. Now put it in the oven and bake. Now you can serve the chicken baked tenders to your toddler. Make sure you bake it and not fry it.
Mornings often need light savouries. After breakfast, there are chances that your child would demand more snacks and food to eat. In this time you can inculcate good habits in your child. Serve a banana with some water, a banana would give the carbohydrates to the body and water would help in keeping your toddler hydrated.
The lunch is the heaviest among the meals throughout the day. There are possibilities that your child might feel hungry after some time, you can serve an afternoon snack. In afternoon snack the toddler can be served with kiwis, apples or any fruit of his/her choice. Serve some milk as well with the fruits. This will help your toddler in keeping the stomach full and it will also serve the nutrient requirements of the child.
Dinner is usually light and after that, the toddler might feel like eating some sugary food, one can serve yoghurt after dinner. It is sweet and will act as a dessert. It has calcium and proteins which will help in making your child smart, strong and healthy. One can also serve flavoured yoghurts.
Sweet Dishes and Sugary Snacks for Toddlers
Toddlers are in their growing age so it is important for them to eat every food and at the same point take care of the fact that their body doesn’t accumulate with too many sugary foods. Thus one should ensure to make the puddings and desserts as healthy as possible.
Avocado Chocolate Pudding
Avocado chocolate pudding is healthy and at the same time, it serves the purpose of a dessert. Take some ripe avocado, take out the flesh of the avocado and add cocoa powder, milk or yoghurt preferably Greek. One can add coconut milk of the toddler his vegan or if the mother prefers to give a vegan diet than a vegan pudding is possible. After adding all this add some maple syrup and vanilla essence or extract. Blend all of this together and keep it in the fridge for some time. After it is settled and ready to be served, give your toddler this healthy pudding after the dinner or anytime during the day! It is imperative that your toddler will love it.
Chocolate Smoothie with Some Veggies
Kids and toddlers are known to avoid veggies and healthy food. But what if we trick them? Well here is an option of giving your toddler the best you can to help him with his growing requirements. Take some cocoa powder, chocolate milk, banana, baby kale or baby spinach, some avocado flesh and peanut butter. Blend all these ingredients and allow it to settle itself in the fridge while it cools down a little bit. After the smoothie is cold and ready to be served give your toddler this tricky mixture of chocolate and veggies.
Chocolate Cookies without Baking
Chocolate cookies are possible without baking as well. This chocolate cookie will serve the function of sweet dishes and a source of nutrients for the child. Take some Cashews and dates in the blender and mix it as much as possible to give the texture of soft and smooth dough. Now put some vanilla extract, cocoa powder and shredded coconut. Now mix all the ingredients in a blender and make the cookie of your favourite shape by shaping the cookie dough that you just made without baking. Make sure you serve this to your toddler as soon as possible and don’t tell him/her about the ingredients you put inside, this is because toddlers and kids are good at avoiding nutritious food. Store these cookies in the fridge and you can store them for a couple of days as well. The mother can even add some oatmeal in the cookies. This will help the toddler in staying healthy while being a kid with a sweet tooth. This can help in handling the sweet cravings of the toddler anytime without any hard work and labour.
Tips for Feeding Toddlers
Toddlers are growing children, they tend to have likes and dislikes. To feed your toddler make sure you serve tasty snacks between the meals of the days. Toddlers are kids and they like to be loved, make sure that you all eat together as a family! This will help in generating positivity in your kid’s life. The most important tip for feeding toddlers is that never force your child to eat anything he/she refuses to eat. The most important make sure you offer a variety of food to avoid boredom for your toddler.
Make Sure You Involve Your Toddler in Everything that you do
This statement explains the fact that when kids are involved in making food and helping with chores while cooking they become interested in making food and eating it as well. They can peel vegetables or help in peeling fruits, kids can be a great help and a fun company as well.
Make Sure You Make a Fun Snack that is Healthy as Well
Kids like to avoid veggies and leafy stuff. It is sometimes impossible to feed these young ones with green vegetables, for solving this cute problem make sure you make interesting, colourful and tasty snacks that have a good taste and can secretly hide a nutritious vegetable or food ingredients.
Accept Food Refusal
Toddlers can be fussy and moody. Your kid might feel full or heavy or maybe he doesn’t want to eat more, In that case, you can accept the refusal your cute toddler makes! It is advised that you don’t force your toddler to eat anything he/she is completely refusing to. Let the toddler grow according to their wills, choices and ways! This will help in the natural development of your toddler and would help him/her in making his/her own decisions.
You might be thinking that why you should eat healthily? Well as a mom or parent of your toddler your child must see you have a healthy diet. This will encourage him/her in accepting a healthy diet and making it a thing you all do casually in the family! You can be a role model for your kid if you eat a healthy diet!