Toddler food ideas
If your like me, I am always looking for new ideas on what to feed my 2 year old. Most of them time we try to encourage her to eat what we are eating, but when you get home late from work and they are starving it’s easier to have something prepared in the freezer!
I am super conscious of trying to incorporate veggies in her diet. Her lunchbox always has at least 2 serves of vegetables - one is incorporated into her lunch (some ideas below) and I add in carrot and cucumber sticks, corn on the cob or cherry tomatoes (cut in quarters). Granted the veggies often come back untouched, but my philosophy is that she will eat them eventually! If kids aren’t offered veggies regularly they are never going to try them!
I have included some of my go to meals below. These meals can all be prepared in bulk ahead of time and then portioned into individual serves. They are grab and go meals packed full of goodness! I use them for lunches and dinners. Izzy loves to help in the kitchen so I try and get her involved too!
Isobel’s veggie pancakes
These are a staple in Isobel’s lunchbox - she has them most days of the week! We often cook these on a Sunday morning after we have had pancakes for breakfast. I just double the flour, milk and egg mixture - cook pancakes and then add the rest of the ingredients to the batter.
1 cup self raising flour
1 cup of milk
Handful of frozen peas & corn
1 small grated carrot & zucchini (or a bag of coleslaw works too! I often just use up whatever is in the fridge)
1 cup grated cheese
Dash olive oil
Small tin of tuna in springwater (drained)
- Whisk together the flour, egg and milk.
- Stir in the veggies, tuna and cheese.
- Heat up a frying pan with a small amount of olive oil.
- Spoon in 2 tablespoons of mixture to form a pattie.
- Wait until bubbles start to pop and flip.
- Wait until golden brown or cooked through.
- Transfer to plate and repeat until you have used all of the mixture.
- Ready to serve or once pancakes have cooled, wrap in foil and place in the freezer.
Makes 10-12 pancakes.
Quiche in a flash
These quiches were inspired by one of my fav Insta accounts @the_real_dads_of_melbourne - I just tweaked the recipe a bit to add in some more veg. I love to take these for my lunches too!
Mini stand n stuff tortillas (find them in the Mexican section at the supermarket)
Grated onion, carrot & zucchini (squeeze out the excess liquid)
Frozen peas and corn
Bacon chopped (optional)
- Preheat oven to 170 degrees celsius
- Sautee vegetables and bacon in fry pan until soft
- Whisk eggs
- Place veggie mixture and cheese in the bottom of each tortilla
- Pour over egg mixture
- Add some more grated cheese on top
- Bake in over for 20-30 minutes
- Eat!! Or once cooled pop into zip lock bags (we use compostable freezer bags) and pop into the freezer!
Jamie Oliver’s 7 veg sauce
This is such a good way to get extra veg into yours and your toddlers diet! I always have a batch of this sauce in the freezer - it is the quickest and easiest mid-week meal. Cook your favourite type of pasta, add your sauce and some parmesan and you are good to go! Sometimes we add some cooked chorizo, chicken or bacon, olives and parsley. Whatever is in the fridge!
2 small onions
2 small leeks
2 sticks of celery
2 red capsicums
½ butternut pumpkin
2 cloves of garlic
2 teaspoons dried oregano
2 x 800g tins of crushed tomatoes
- Start with your veg prep – you can either do this by hand or, in batches, rattle it all through a food processor.
- Peel the onions, wash and trim the leeks, celery, carrots and zucchini, deseed the capsicums and pumpkin (there’s no need to peel it), then finely chop it all. Peel the garlic and finely chop by hand.
- Put a super-large pan on a medium heat with 2 tablespoons of oil. Add the garlic and oregano, fry for 1 minute, then add all the prepped veg.
- Cook with the lid on for 25 minutes, or until the veg are soft but not coloured, stirring regularly.
- Pour in the tinned tomatoes, then just under half-fill each tin with water, swirl around and pour into the pan.
- Simmer for 25 minutes, or until the sauce has reduced. Leave to cool a little, then blitz until smooth.
- For Isobel, I freeze small portions in baby food trays (I use the Heinz ones but you can use any ice cube trays). For us, I freeze approximately 300ml per serve in plastic containers. This is enough for all 3 of us for dinner.
Disclaimer: I am not a dietitian but I do work in health promotion and promote healthier eating as part of my job. For more info and inspiring recipes check out http://www.nutritionaustralia.org/national/resources/children
What are your go to meals for your toddler? Tell us in the comments below!