16 toddler food products that are nutritious and tasty

toddler food

by Rosie Floyd |
Updated on

As your little one starts to eat more meals, it's an exciting time for them to taste new toddler foods and sample exciting flavours they've not tried before. Of course, their tummies aren't quite big enough for full meals yet, they need smaller portions, and that's why toddler food products were created.

As well as being smaller in size, they're packed with all the good stuff your tot needs for nourishing their bodies, ensuring they're full of energy. Toddler food has also been designed with brain development in mind. Many meals contain superfoods that are renowned for aiding cognitive function. Serving them a the best toddler plate with their very own meal on it is a great opportunity to start teaching your tot to feed themselves too.

The best toddler foods at a glance:

  • Best overall toddler food product: Nature and Nurture, Baby and Child Vitamins - buy on Amazon

  • Best toddler food product for quantity: HiPP Organic Hearty Vegetable + Beef Casserole - buy on Amazon

  • Best toddler food product for protein: Little Dish Salmon + Pollock Fish Pie Kids Meal - buy on Ocado

There are many different meals out there, so if you're not sure what to choose from your little one, we're here to help. Breakfast, lunch and dinner are covered in our guide to the best toddler food.

The Nuby Earth First Tableware was awarded Gold for Best Toddler (12 months+) Food Range/ Product at the Mother&Baby Awards 2024.

These super hardwearing Earth First Baby Plates are made from plants – in fact, over 95% comes from sugarcane. What’s best is, the plastic looks and feels just as reliable and study as any other, only made in a friendlier way to the environment. You can even put them in the dishwasher. Sugarcane is a renewable resource, meaning it can be regrown to replace what has been used. The sugarcane plants also capture nasty carbon from the environment as it grows – win! Once your little foodie moves onto their big kids tableware, you can pop this into the recycling bin and give it another lease of life.

Our mum tester said: "I got on so well with these products, my little girl is 1 and she gets on perfect with them. I first started with breakfasts with the bowls and until she get used to them I introduced the plates and they fit perfect on the high chair we have now the cups for well in the drinks holders we have for our little girl."

Read our full Nuby Earth First Tableware review.

Pros

  • Plant Sourced Bioplastic 
  • Recyclable at home
  • Super hardwearing
  • Dishwasher safe

Cons

  • No suction
  • No cup section

Best chicken meal for toddlers

The Little Dish Fresh Kids Meals was awarded Silver for Best Toddler (12 months+) Food Range/ Product at the Mother&Baby Awards 2023 and 2024.

Up for Silver, Mother & Baby presents the little dish range. Thinking of toddler meal ideas can be tough for parents, so it's no surprise that this range takes the second spot. Little Dish makes fresh, perfectly nutritionally balanced meals to nourish growing bodies and minds. They have a range of 13 delicious meals - including the UK's first plant-based fresh toddler meal. The most exciting part: every recipe is nutritionist-approved, made from 100% natural ingredients, and is free from additives, preservatives and added salt and sugar. And – the kicker – it's ready in minutes. So easy!

One Mum Said: "We had a great experience with these meals. My daughter (nearly 3) is very fussy when it comes to vegetables and meat. But, she does love pasta and chilli etc. normally. These were great because had loads of hidden veg and the chicken in them was lovely and soft, so I just mashed it up a bit and most of the time she didn't notice she was eating chicken."

Read our full Little Dish Fresh Kids Meals review

Pros

  • Quick and easy to cook
  • Nutritious ingredients
  • Wide variety of meals

Cons

  • Not all meals are available in all supermarkets

The Tidy Tot Silicone Plate & Pots was awarded Bronze for Best Toddler (12 months+) Food Range/ Product at the Mother&Baby Awards 2024.

Beautifully designed silicone suction plates in either an Owl or Fox by Tidy Tot, created for your little one's meal times.

Our mum tester said: "I like that it has a suction cup at the bottom of the plate to make sure it clings to any surface as I have an 18 month old son who likes to tip his food over! It feels really good quality and it's super easy to wash so it's always ready for the next meal. I like that it's big enough that the plate will still be used when my son is a little older. There's plenty of room to let food cool down before eating."

Read our full Tidy Tot Silicone Plate & Pots review.

Pros

  • Dishwasher, Microwave, Freezer and Oven safe
  • Strong suction base
  • Removable pots

Cons

  • Expensive

Best food vitamin supplement for toddlers

Gold Winner for Best Toddler (12 months+) Food Range / Product at the M&B Awards 2023

The Nature & Nuture Baby & Child Vitamins has been listed as Gold Winner by Mother & Baby 2023 for its popular supplement. It contains the three advised vitamins recommended for children between the ages of six months and five years: A, C and D. A gentle formula, these drops don't contain any flavour, lactose or gluten, so they're super easy to administer.

One Mum Said: "I was really pleased with the drops overall. It is very reassuring to know that the drops are free of nasties, especially when giving them to a newborn baby. This is something that was very important to me. The drops are vegan friendly, which again is important to me and my family, and they meet all advised guidelines by the health visitor for a breastfed baby. My baby had no problem taking the drops straight off my nipple before a breastfeed. The drops were easy to dispense and the bottle lasted a good six to seven weeks, which is good value for money."

Read our full Nature & Nurture Baby & Child Vitamins review

Pros

  • Flavourless
  • Suitable for vegans and coeliacs
  • Liquid format
  • Bottle/quantity long-lasting, with 60 doses

Cons

  • Packaging is not very eye-catching
  • Not suitable for formula-fed babies

Best cheese and tomato rice meal for toddlers

Bronze Winner for Best Toddler (12 months+) Food Range / Product at the M&B Awards 2023

In the Bronze Category, we have Tilda's Cheese & Tomato Rice. It's been described as "basmati rice that has been made for all those little ones who love Margarita pizza." Ready in 40 seconds, this yummy packet meal is perfect for parents always on the go. Eaten hot or cold, this gluten-free meal is one of your little one's five a day. Plus, it contains limited to salt and additives.

One Mum Said: "When opening the packet, I could smell the rice. The appearance of the rice was attractive, and the flavour was there. When I gave it to my son, I watched to see what he would do as our food was something different. I looked at him and he tucked in straight away and started to eat. He is usually a fussy eater, and he won't eat things he doesn't like the look of. He carried on eating and also wanted more. I tasted it and I like the flavour and how it looked. This is something I would give to my child again and again."

Read our full Tilda Kids Cheese & Tomato Rice review

Pros

  • Ready in 40 seconds
  • Can be eaten hot or cold
  • Gluten-free
  • 1 of your five a day

Cons

  • Bag not resealable

Best breakfast for toddlers

Organix Tropical Sunshine BowlWaitrose

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, but when you are rushing around trying to get a tot ready for nursery, making a healthy breakfast can be tricky. We are obsessed with this sunshine bowl by Organix. It is made of organic fruit, yoghurt and cereal - the perfect start to the day. These super tasty pots come in a handy tub with a lid and are great for little ones and parents alike. 

Mother&Baby Writer, Mother of three, Hannah James, said: "Living with three little ones under five means our mornings are very chaotic - to say the least. Our whole family love tucking into our morning treat. It is quick and healthy and the best part is it tastes delicious. I love that they are packed full of organic goodness."

Pros

  • 100% organic Contains naturally occurring sugars
  • Source of Fibre
  • Vegetarian friendly

Cons

  • Sold as individual pots 

Best vegetable and beef casserole for toddlers

A hearty and warming casserole of chunky vegetables and tender beef is the perfect meal for those colder autumn-winter evenings. This delicious toddler meal is made with high-quality organic ingredients, chunky textures and no addded salt.

Review: "Feed my kids on these, they are super, a min in the microwave and the meal is ready, great for busy mums."

Pros

  • Gluten-free with no added salt.
  • Suitable for 1 - 3 year olds.

Cons

  • Comes in a pack of five, so if your toddler doesn't like it, there are still four more left

Best potato and lean beef hotpot for toddlers

Packed with chunkier textures, this hotpot will encourage chewing. It also contains iron, which supports normal cognitive development in toddlers. It has also has 2 of your baby's 5 a day, with a good source of Iron which supports healthy development and no artificial colours, flavours or preservatives.

Review: "I have these on monthly subscription as my little one loves them. So easy to heat up and always goes down well. Packed full of veg. I love this range as I know my toddler is getting good nutrition."

Pros

  • Two of your toddler's five a day.
  • You can heat bthe owl on full power for 1 minute.

Cons

  • Some toddlers may not like the more chunky texture

Best bolognese pasta bake for toddlers

The Mamia Organic Bolognese Pasta Bake is the ideal solution for when you need a quick yet tasty and nutritious lunch or dinner for your toddler. Just pop it in the microwave, and it'll be ready in no time at all.

Pros

  • No added salt.
  • Organic products - organic tomato passata (34%), organic carrot (16%), organic onion (15%), 

Cons

  • Not suitable for toddlers with wheat allergies

Best toddler yoghurt

In this four-pack of yoghurts, there are strawberry, peach, apricot and raspberry flavours for your little one to devour. Perfect for an after-dinner dessert or part of their breakfast.

Review: "My children love the flavour, the creamy texture and there are no fruit lumps. I am happy because they are made with good ingredients and supposedly organic dairy is more nutritious than non-organic (read some research a few years ago but it may have since changed). I think the price is fair. Yes they have some sugar added but almost all yoghurts do and many contain more sugar than these."

Pros

  • Blended with real fruit purée.
  • Suitable for Vegetarians.

Cons

  • Contains some added sugars

Best veggie chilli for toddlers

A nicely spiced chilli filled with quinoa, vegetables and beans, suitable for toddlers on a plant-based diet. It's a great source of protein with no added salt and seven different veggies packed inside.

Review: "Decent sized pots & it looked quite nice for baby food."

Pros

  • Organic and suitable for vegetarians.
  • Suitable for the microwave.

Cons

  • Cannot be reheated or frozen

Best chicken tikka meal for toddlers

Don't want your toddler to miss out on the delights of a takeaway? This Annabel Karmel Chicken Tikka Toddler meal will be a tot-friendly version of your favourite curry.

Review: "My little girls is a very fussy eater so I thought I'd try her on something new. I bought some Annabel Karmel toddler meals and her favourite is the mild chicken tikka and rice. Never seen her eat so fast! She said it was yummy and I have to say it smelt really good too! I like that it has natural ingredients and is low in salt, will definitely be buying this again!"

Read our full Annabel Karmel Chilled Toddler Meals review

Pros

  • Has both chicken and rice included.
  • Free from artificial flavours

Cons

  • Some reviews mention the rice portion being quite big

Best fish pie for toddlers

How delicious is this Little Dish Salmon + Pollock Fish Pie Kids Meal? 100% nutritious and perfect for dinner will have your little one ready for trying something new, especially with its rich vitamins and nutrients that will aid in developing your little one's brain.

Review: "Great size and nutrition for my little toddler. Ate it surprisingly quickly and a great way to introduce them to adult-style meals."

Pros

  • Low in salt with no added sugar
  • Can be frozen

Cons

  • On the pricier side compared to some toddler foods

Best risotto for toddlers

Packed with veggies and nutritionist-approved, this tomato & basil risotto is super tasty. You can make four portions per packet and it can be frozen so it's great for busy mums who like to batch cook.

Review: "15 month old ate it so easily. Great consistency, so easy to cook. Very convenient and helpful on a busy evening!"

Pros

  • Gluten-free and vegan.
  • Suitable for the microwave.

Cons

  • Takes 15 minutes to make, which is longer than some of the other meals on our list

Best Mexican toddler meal

Introduce your toddler to the flavours of Mexico. This Chicken Guisada Mexican Stew Pot is surprisingly delicate and light, it has a sprinkle of mild spices to intrigue their tastebuds along with red peppers and sweetcorn for added texture.

Review: "I've tried these myself as I insist on tasting stuff before my kids go anywhere near it. I really liked this one. The range is good and so much less dull than the other stuff I've tried."

Pros

  • Chicken is Halal.
  • Dairy-free

Cons

  • Might be too much spice for some toddlers even though it is very mild

Best cereal for toddlers

These fruity, puffed hoops are a great option for breakfast. Pack with energy and important nutrients to give your toddler the best possible start to the day.

Review: "Hipp provides the best baby food for my baby. We used it with my daughter as well."

Pros

  • No GM or preservatives.
  • Puffed organic grains with mixed fruit juice concentrates.

Cons

  • Not a huge bag for the price

Best mac and cheese for toddlers

This Mac & Cheese by Morrisons is a great source of calcium. It's got pasta and cheese inside, of course, but there are also carrots, butternut squash and sweet potato to add some texture to the mix.

Pros

  • Organic and suitable for vegetarians.
  • Microwave for best results.

Cons

  • Not suitable for home freezing

Best lasagne for toddlers

For when your toddler has an even bigger appetite. This Hipp Organic Lasagne Bolognese Meal is not chopped so it can be cut to the perfect size for your little one and they can begin to learn to feed themselves.

Review: "My son is autistic and has sensory issues, he loves this lasagne. This is 1 of the 3 food he will eat."

Pros

  • Certified organic.
  • Made using premium, quality organic ingredients.

Cons

  • One review mentions it has more pasta than meat

FAQs

What is the best food for toddlers?

From casseroles and hot pots to pasta and curries, we've rounded up a whole host of different options that we're sure your toddler is going to love. We'll let your little one be the judge of which toddler food is best.

What food is good for toddler brain development?

The below foods contain vitamins and other nutrients that have been proven to support brain development as your little one grows.

Eggs

Eggs are nutritious and typically a crowd-pleaser for young children. They contain brain-boosting nutrients in eggs, such as choline, which is especially important for normal brain development and can improve cognitive functioning.

Seafood

Oily fish and other seafood provide protein, zinc, iron, choline, iodine and omega-3 fats. However, you should avoid feeding your toddler seafood high in mercury, such as tuna, as too much can have harmful effects on a developing nervous system.

Leafy green vegetables

Leafy greens, such as spinach and kale, are a great source of iron and folate. Folate aids with cognitive development where iron plays a role in developing the part of the brain responsible for learning and memory.

Lean beef (or meat alternative)

Lean beef qualifies as brain food for toddlers as it is an excellent source of zinc and iron. Black bean or soy burgers work as great ironing-containing beef substitutes.

Yoghurt

Unsweetened yoghurt supports brain growth by containing nutrients such as protein, zinc, choline and iodine. Toddlers need iodine to produce thyroid hormones, vital to brain development and neurological processes.

Nuts and seeds

Nuts, seeds and nut butters make protein and zinc-packed snacks. They both contribute to healthy brain growth and the development of long-term memory. Just make sure they're small enough to not be a choking hazard. This is why whole nuts, such as peanuts, shouldn't be given to children under five.

Beans

Beans offer several beneficial nutrients for a developing brain including zinc, protein, iron, folate and choline.

What food is good for toddler growth?

Young children need protein and iron to grow and develop. Beans, pulses, fish, eggs, foods made from pulses (such as tofu, hummus and soya mince) and meat are excellent sources of protein and iron. The NHS recommends trying to give your toddler one or two portions from that group each day.

What causes toddlers to lose their appetite?

Toddlers can go through periods when they just don't have an appetite. Like adults, children can sometimes feel put off their food when they're ill. If your little one is experiencing a cough, cold or sore throat, this may be why they're off their food. Teething can also cause your child lots of pain, so they may feel their mouth is too sore to eat.

You may find that growth affects your toddler's appetite too. As your toddler gets older and grows more, their appetite decreases in line with the slight decrease in nutrition requirements.

If your child's activity levels have changed, expect their appetite to change too. If they've had a couple of days using less energy, their body will feel like it needs less food.

Rosie Floyd is a Commercial Content Writer at Bauer Media, working across a number of brands including Yours, Mother&Baby and What’s The Best.

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