29 quick and healthy toddler meal ideas

toddler and mum eating together

by Lorna White |
Updated on

As your baby gets older, it can be tough to think of new toddler meal ideas and recipes to try and we've all been there as you stare into the fridge, trying to decide what to make.

We've gathered together our favourite toddler meal ideas to tempt your tot with and separated them into toddler toddler breakfast ideas, lunch ideas for your toddler and some dinner recipes too, with the aim of giving you some new inspiration when it comes to feeding your little one so your time in the kitchen is well spent, but stress free.

Happy cooking!

Breakfast toddler recipe ideas

3-ingredient banana pancakes

Banana pancakes for toddlers

Pancakes are always a winner no matter your age, and these ones are super simple and quick to make. These banana pancakes from Baby Foode use just three ingredients so are super easy to throw together. Serve alongside some fruit so your tot gets a portion of their five a day.

Baby-friendly granola

baby granola

This super healthy, low-sugar baby granola from What Mummy Makes can be pulped to a crumb for babies 6 months plus and makes a nice crunchy textured breakfast for toddlers aged 3 plus. Top with fruit and a drizzle of honey for some extra sweetness.

Breakfast corn muffins

Breakfast corn cakes for toddlers

These delicious corn muffins for toddlers are super easy to make and easy to serve, making minimal mess (hopefully!). They're also great for early morning breakfasts on car journeys when you can't get them out the door!

Annabel Karmel's dippy egg with cheese and tomato toasts

Who doesn't love a good dippy egg? These toast soldiers from Annabel Karmel are made with tomato and cheese to add some more flavour and some goodness.

Annabel Karmel's purple porridge

Your tot will be fascinated with this pretty purple porridge packed full of nutritious blueberries, which have the highest antioxidant content of any fruit. Better still, it takes a speedy five minutes to make.

Lunch recipe ideas for toddlers

Macaroni cheese muffins

Tots will love these simple to eat savoury macaroni cheese muffins packed with calcium and made using pasta, tomatoes and cheese.

Orzo rainbow salad

This super healthy orzo rainbow salad can be made the night before in under 10 minutes and stored in jars in the fridge overnight. Simply add the dressing before serving.

Veggie bites

veggie bites

These bitesize veggie bite balls are brilliant for packing a punch of veg into your tots mealtimes, but in a sly way. They're great for batch cooking and freezing too, so you have something yummy (and healthy) to turn to on those busier days.

Annabel Karmel's quinoa and vegetable croquettes

Annabel Karmel's quinoa and vegetable croquettes

These quinoa and vegetable croquettes are full of nutritious vegetables for a healthy lunch option for your tot. This recipe makes 20 so you can easily freeze them for later.

Griddled chicken with three quick sauces

These simple griddled chicken dippers are a fun and delicious lunch option that kids will love. It's also a great opportunity for them to try different flavours in sauces.

Annabel Karmel - Griddled Chicken

Pitta pockets with tuna and sweetcorn

Pitta bread is essential for filling with nutritious ingredients for an easy lunch option. These filled pitta pockets full of tuna and sweetcorn are high in omega-3 eggs for a super healthy meal.

Pitta pockets with tuna and sweetcorn

Salmon and rice salad

If your tot has found a taste for fish, they'll love this fun salmon salad with rice that's packed full of nutritious and healthy veggies.

Salmon and rice salad by Annabel Karmel

Mini tomato and feta omelettes

mini omelettes

Once you've mastered this recipe, these dinky tomato and feta omelettes make quick snacks for your toddler or even work as canapés for your guests at your next party. Bake in silicone muffin tins for the perfect shape.

Spinach frittata

This is a really quick and easy recipe that the whole family can enjoy. For grown-ups, serve the spinach frittata with some salad or ratatouille.

Sweetcorn Fritters by Annabel Karmel

These sweetcorn fritters are suitable to give your tot from 6 months so are ideal for BLW. The best part is that veg can also be easily hidden inside.

Dinner meal ideas for toddlers

Fish pie in a mug

Michela Chiappa’s Fish Pie in a Mug

This hearty fish pie in a mug makes a filling dinner for your tot. Make it in their favourite mug to encourage them to eat the lot!

Beef, Quinoa, Parsnip and Squash

This beef, quinoa, parsnip and squash dish provides a nutritious dinner for your child. It’s packed with protein, vitamins and minerals and will leave them feeling nice and full.

Salmon, potato, pasta and dill

Oily fish is a super important part of your babies diet as it contains all the essential fatty acids for their brain development. This salmon, potato, pasta and dill dish is a tasty and nutritious dinner idea for tots.

Salmon, potato, pasta and dill by Annabel Karmel

Chicken, parsnip, apple and kale

Full of nutritious veggies, protein and fruit, you can purée or chop the chicken, parsnip, apple and kale together so they can experience different textures and tastes in one dish.

Luxury fish pie with cheesy mash topping

fish pie

This Mary Berry fish pie dish is a family fave everyone will love. It's packed with protein so is ideal for growing toddlers.

30 minute Sunday roast

There's nothing like a tasty roast dinner on a Sunday. It may sound like a massive chore, but this family roast can be made in just 30 minutes complete with all the trimmings!

Coconut, corn and fish chowder

Try something different with this creamy coconut, corn and fish chowder dish that serves four. With so much flavour and nutrition, it's the ideal winter fuel.

Cod, apple and cous cous balls

cod apple and couscous balls

Ideal for lunch or dinner, these cod, apple and cous cous ball bites are great for fussy eaters. Not only that but they're also super nutritious.

Pulled chicken baps with apple coleslaw

Having a family barbecue or burger night? Involve your tots in the action with these yummy pulled chicken baps with apple coleslaw.

Chicken curry

Curry night doesn't have to be just for grown-ups. We think your little one will love this mild chicken curry dish which is ideal as a first try of curry flavours.

Cosy cottage pie

Cosy Cottage Pies

Treat your kids to the ultimate winter comfort food with this tasty cottage pie dish. Bake in mini ramekins to make the perfect portion.

Mighty meatball pasta bake

Mighty meatball pasta bake

Meatballs and pasta are a match made in heaven. Suitable for babies 1 year plus, this can be batch cooked and frozen for days when you don't feel like cooking.

Spiralised vegetables with a creamy tomato sauce

Suitable for babies 6 months and over, they'll love the texture of these spiralised vegetables topped with a tomato sauce.

Krispie chicken nuggets

Chicken Nuggets by Annabel Karmel

It's a winner winner chicken dinner with these protien packed crispy chicken nuggets. Prepped in just 20 minutes and only taking 12 to cook, you're gaurenteed to be making these more than once a week.

How to plan toddler meals

When it comes to planning your toddlers meals, there are a few things you need to keep in mind.

Make sure they have a balanced diet – You'll want to make sure your tots diet includes protein, carbohydrates, fibre, healthy fats as well as fruits and veggies.

What's in season – Seasonal produce will not only be more readily available, but it'll also taste a lot better too so thinking about what fruits and veggies are in season can help you decide what to feed your tot.

Don't forget the snacks – As well as preparing breakfast, lunch and dinner for your little one, they'll also need a mid-morning snack and a mid-afternoon snack to keep them nice and full. It's also worth noting that two to three hours is a good amount of time to leave between your toddlers meals.

Keep things simple – No mama has time to spend all their time in the kitchen preparing food, so don't forget, your toddler will still enjoy very simple but nutritional meals that don't take ages to prepare.

Things to remember

According to the NHS, there are a few things us as parents should be doing to make sure our child has a healthy balanced diet.

• Make sure they're getting their five portions of fruit and veggies per day.

• Try to avoid sugary foods and snacks where possible such as sweets, biscuits, cakes, chocolate, sugary cereals and fizzy drinks.

• Control portion size by serving meals on a child sized plate to avoid larger portions. Getting into a good routine and giving your child plenty of time to eat at their pace is a good idea too.

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