As a first time parent, it's hard to ever think past breastfeeding or bottle feeding. The you hit toddler stage and you're in shock with how much those little tummies can eat! Plus, what do you even feed them?! After lots of research and a little bit of trial & error I'm excited to share a big list of toddler meals and snack ideas. If you're looking for fancy recipes this isn't the post for you. What I'm sharing below is really basic meals that are easy to whip up. We almost always have this stuff on hand now.
When I did research I found blog post on blog post with overly put together meals, snacks and recipes that just weren't going to fit into our everyday. You know I love a new, healthy recipe (like these green blender pancakes) packed with tons of goodies and made into one simple bite size portion. However, as a busy parent I know in my gut I'm not going to get around to preparing these every.single.week.
My View on Feeding Addison
Below I'm sharing images taken over the last 2 months to give you an inside look at what I'm feeding Mr. Addison on a daily basis. Most of these meals are things Kirby and I eat with him. My goal is to always keep things as healthy as possible. I maintain Addison's meals the same way I do mine. If you're eating food that's good for you, you're doing it right. I will say we don't give him pizza, chicken fingers, greasy foods, sweets or things like that often or at all. In my opinion, he just doesn't need them right now and will have plenty of life to enjoy eating them. Why not fill him up with goodness for as long as I can?
I'v worked hard on making each meal and snack time as special as possible. I enjoy eating with Addison for almost all of them (he eats 5 times a day) and I know he likes it too. He now waits before family dinner to say prayer and it's moments like that, that give me all the feelings.
Toddler Meals & Snack Ideas
* Under each image is a small description of what it is.
* Addison drinks almond milk with breakfast, lunch & dinner, and water for snacks/during the day.
* I don't "portion" out his food. Nothing wrong with doing it, but I never take them time to measure 1/4 cup of veggies or 1/2 cup of yogurt a day, type thing. After all of the trial and error I have found the meal size I know Addison eats and also just go off of what he's already had that day for snacks, etc. I make sure to balance his diet out with lots of greens, proteins, fruits and carbs. I also focus on bringing in different foods each week that we didn't have the prior week.
* Not every snack time or meal time works out. Addison does reject some foods and we just try to keep him full & happy when that happens. Other times we are on the go and snacks are simple like a banana, a bar, a packet, puffs... Whatever works!
Foods he loves not pictured: Cheerios, Kiwi, smoothies, oranges, watermelon, chocolate almond milk and anything with peanut butter.
Foods he hates: peas, broccoli (we have to put cheese on it), some rice flavors and I'm sue there will be more!
Truly hoping this can help give you a visual for whipping up some of your own fun toddler meals and snacks!
Dairy free frozen waffle (we like Van's or Nature's Path), scrambled egg with spinach + strawberries
Crockpot Chili (we love using Bear Creek's Darn Good Chili - super easy!) & French bread
Dairy Free Mac N Cheese (only like Annie's!), chicken with broccoli and butternut squash (grab the ready to serve bag at Trade Joe's) + raspberries
Chicken and avocado (with everything bagel seasoning), sweet potato + strawberries
Pasta with red sauce, homemade turkey meatballs and green beans
Homemade cheeseburger (very light on cheese), fries + mix of fruit (strawberries, blueberries, blackberries & raspberries)
Chicken with broccoli & carrots (small amount of parmesan cheese over the top), strawberries and rice (we just get flavored box rice)
PB&J's are always a hit and great for days when we're short on time! I like mixing it with leftover veggies, fruits and anything else I can do to give him some nutritions. I only use 1 piece of bread for his sandwich and switch between white or whole wheat.
Pancake (we use Bisquick with almond milk) with drizzled maple syrup, scrambled egg with spinach + blackberries
Chicken with broccoli & carrots, butternut squash, small amount of Mac N Cheese + strawberries
Chicken with green beans, blackberries & sweet potato
Caesar salad with chicken (I just give him some from the bag salads I eat - we use Primal Kitchen dairy free Caesar dressing), avocado and everything bagel seasoning +sweet potato
SNACK: Oatmeal with almond milk (I use Mom's Best quick oats) & raspberries
Pasta with red sauce & ground beef + buttered bread (we use Earth's Best dairy free)
SNACK: Yogurt (are favorite dairy free is So Delicious) & fruit
Pork-loin with green beans, mashed potato and blackberries
Tuna (mixed with an olive oil mayo), avocado toast + strawberries with honey
SNACK: Breakfast bar (Plum is our fave brand) & fruit (or avocado)