A true look at What My Toddler Eats in a Week. 20 healthy and fun meals to get ideas for your own little one. Also included are links to recipes, advice on how to deal with picky eaters and my tried-and-true methods on how to make healthy meals without losing your mind!
One question I get asked all the time from my readers is what the heck do I feed my toddler? Toddlers are a tricky bunch. They like a certain food one day and then the very next day they throw it at your face like it is the grossest thing they have ever seen. They devour some meals and don't touch anything at the next meal. Sound familiar?
It's crazy. They're crazy!
This post should really be called 'What I Feed My Toddler in a Week' because what I feed my toddler and what she actually eats, can be two different things. Some days she crushes her meals and asks for seconds and sometimes even thirds.
Then there are the meals where she won't touch anything, like a-n-y-t-h-i-n-g on her plate.
As much as this gets my blood pressure going, I have to step back and honor her own body and know that sometimes she is going to be hungry at the same time as I am and other times she won't. Of course on her picky days, I keep her plate on the counter or in the fridge for when she is actually hungry (usually 20 minutes after we finish eating🙄).
So here is my advice - feed them healthy food, and let them decide if they want to eat it. The hardest part is to not give in to their demands for gummies, cheese or whatever else they are obsessed with at the moment just because they don't like what you made them for dinner. Stay strong! Know that you are not always going to win with toddlers, but keep up the good fight and keep feeding them real food and eventually they will come out on the other side of their toddler craziness.
Below is actually what my toddler 'eats' in a week. I didn't sugar coat any meals, this is just what we eat in our house on any given week, the good and the not so good (truthfully, I did style the fruit and veggies up a little bit more then I normally would). And just for reference as you read along, Parker is my true toddler and is 2.5 years old, while Ellie is my preschooler and is 5 years old. They have been eating the exact same meals ever since Parker turned one, although I did cut up Parker's food way more when she was younger.
As you can see below, the one thing I focus on more then anything else is color. I try to load up my toddlers plate with as much color as I can find in my fridge. And while you will see a ton of blueberries, strawberries and carrots on these plates, know that the assortment of fruits and veggies changes weekly based on what I find in season and buy for the week.
Mondays usually start off strong with a ton of healthy food that I have made during the weekend or that I have planned ahead of time to make on Monday. We usually make a big batch of chicken and/or steak for dinners on Mondays and then eat the leftovers all week long. You will see that by Friday, our meals start to look a little less healthy, thats life. And because I started off strong at the beginning of the week, I don't worry about it too much.
Breakfast - pressed carrot, apple, pineapple and sweet potato juice, mini cheese and egg muffins and cut strawberries.
Snack (morning) - fruit balls, blackberries, cheese and a frozen yogurt squeeze.
Lunch - turkey and cheese sandwich (you can kill me now for cutting it into a butterfly;), cut tri-color carrots and blueberries.
Snack (afternoon) - sliced apples with peanut butter and yogurt dip
Lunches are usually my most stressed out meal. Both of my girls get home from preschool at 11:45 and boy are they tired and hangry! I try to make fast lunches such as sandwiches, turkey and cheese rollups, mac & cheese or have leftovers ready to go for them when they get home.
Breakfast - cream cheese + jelly toast sandwiches (great for car rides), sautéed cinnamon apples in coconut oil and turkey bacon.
Snack (morning) - both girls had snack at preschool
Lunch - leftover chicken and veggie lo' mein, cut watermelon and blueberry noosa yogurt.
Dinner - Lemon Grilled Chicken Kebobs with brown rice, beet and carrots that were spiralized (they loved this!) and blueberries. Adults had the same meal but with the beets and carrots over a bed of greens with more veggies added in. For dessert, we each had a piece of dark chocolate.
When my girls get hungry, they get mean. So I always have a bag full of emergency snacks in my porch for such occasions. I load it up with healthy granola bars, organic gummies, apple pouches and baggies full of trail mix. I am also not above bribing them with these snacks when they get all crazy on me.
Breakfast - cinnamon maple syrup oatmeal with a container of add-ins (dried cranberries, slivered almonds, and help seeds) and turkey sausage.
Snack (morning) - hard boiled egg, cut grapes and blackberries and a Fig Bar.
Lunch - packed bento with sliced turkey, cheese, cut carrots, cherry tomatoes and pretzels with a pesto + greek yogurt dipping sauce. Also included are cut strawberries and a package of Made Good oat balls (got these from Costco).
Snack (afternoon) - popcorn and orange sections.
Dinner - turkey sweet potato poppers with avocado dipping sauce, cut cucumbers and blackberries. Adults had the same thing with the cucumbers and blackberries over a kale salad with hemp hearts, feta and almonds. For dessert we all had a piece of dark chocolate.
Later in the week is when I typically bust out all of the leftovers that I made during the previous weekend. I just get too lazy to cook real meals later on in the week. I will also use my crock pot later in the week because it has easy prep and easy cleanup for when life gets a little too crazy.
Breakfast - green smoothie (avocado, spinach, pineapple, coconut milk and a banana), strawberry and watermelon finger salad and some reheated blender pancakes that I had in the freezer.
Snack (morning) - Both girls had snack at preschool today.
Lunch - leftover grilled chicken with True Made Foods BBQ Sauce (it's made with veggies!), cut peppers, pineapple and blueberries and a healthy coconut cookie.
Snack (afternoon) - cut apples and a reusable bag with pirates booty, dried cranberries and cashews.
Dinner - spinach and cheese tortellini with spinach pesto sauce, chopped up meatballs with tomato sauce, raspberries and a homemade gummy (using these cute molds from Zoku) for dessert. I had the night off to go get a pedi and run some errands, so I ate pretzels for dinner while browsing around Target:)
Typically Fridays or Saturdays involve pizza and a movie at our house. Usually I make homemade crust and let the girls top it with any veggies we have in our fridge. I find that when I let them make their own pizzas, they tend to put on (and eat) way more veggies then if I were to do it myself. The crust below as an organic pre-made crust from Trader Joes that I will now have on hand for when I don't have time to make pizza dough.
Breakfast - green smoothie (spinach, pineapple, banana, coconut, coconut milk and hemp seeds), multigrain frozen waffle with almond butter (we had a car breakfast today).
Snack (morning) - organic apple sauce pouch, Beech-Nut granola bar and banana.
Lunch - bean, steak and cheese quesadillas, cut avocado with a squeeze lime, strawberries and blueberries.
Snack (afternoon) - skipped snacks because they both took long naps.
Dinner - pesto and red pepper pizza, carrot sticks and air-popped popcorn. Adults had the exact same dinner along with some adult beverages.
What is your favorite meals to serve your toddler during the week?