Toddler Lunch Ideas

Toddler Lunch Ideas – what our Lil’ Duck likes to eat!

  • Leftovers from dinner!
  • Sandwiches on whole grain wheat bread
    • Peanut butter and jelly if they are eating peanuts
    • Grilled cheese
    • Deli meat & cheese
    • Any sort of melt is especially good, since Lil’ Duck loves to disassemble his sandwiches.
  • Fish sticks (especially with various dipping sauces, Lil’ Duck likes ketchup or bbq sauce but you can try anything you like, ranch dressing is a hit among many of his friends).
  • French fries – we actually get the healthy potato wedges with the olive oil so it’s all real potatoes and not a ton of grease and sodium.
  • Fruits – pretty much anything sliced up at this age is fine, barring allergies.
  • Yogurt (we still mix pureed fruit in as Lil’ Duck isn’t a fan of plain fruit, also mix in cereals and vitamins).
  • Crackers with cheese (melted in the microwave for a few seconds to keep them together) or cream cheese (you could do pasturized soft cheese, but I’m still wary personally).
  • Rice cakes – Lil Duck would eat these all day if I let him. We get the unsalted ones and put anything on top or just let him eat it plain. I also showed him how to break off pieces and scoop up spinach dip and tuna.
  • Low-sodium soups – veggie soup, chicken soups, etc – can be an easy way to get protein and veggies in. I usually offer the little guy the chunky parts and drain the liquid or eat it myself – if I want him to have broth, I put it in a cup with a straw. It’s just too messy otherwise, but it’s your house ;).
  • Pasta and sauce is always a hit – I mix pureed veggies in spaghetti sauce, melt cheese (we use rice cheese for the dairy allergy) over top, mix in some shredded meat, etc. Mac and Cheese is a hit for many – we have to get the rice version, but there are a lot of healthy mac and cheese mixes out there now as well.
    • Lil’ Duck also likes the ravioli/tortellini from the pre-made store packages, with or without sauce. We get the chicken or pesto ones most of the time, but there are also cheese-filled ones for those without dairy issues.
  • We also like the little microwavable meals from Gerber or the health food store – the adult meals like Chef Boyardee have too much sodium and junk, but the baby meals are pretty good.
  • Tortillas – wraps, burritos, etc – an easy way to make leftovers interesting and can make for a wide variety of lunches.
  • Speaking of burritos, we keep the frozen bean burritos in the freezer for a quick meal. Lil’ Duck likes them with chips and salsa ;).

Be sure to visit the rest of the Works For Me Wednesday tips for other great ideas as well.

13 Responses to Toddler Lunch Ideas

  1. Danielle Richards September 9, 2007 at 3:13 pm #

    Your ideas for toddler meals are great! I feel like we are in a food rut.
    Thank You!

  2. Jenn September 28, 2006 at 12:29 pm #

    Love it! My bug isn’t quite ready for packing lunches yet, but these are great idea for every day. I also drain the broth, she hasn’t mastered a spoon yet and it would be too messy.

  3. Robyn Tippins September 28, 2006 at 11:19 am #

    Oh, I love it! Posting this right now :)

  4. Janice September 28, 2006 at 3:43 am #

    i should print this out from when I am out of ideas! :)

  5. Jennifer Irving September 27, 2006 at 8:18 pm #

    Fruits are a great thing. My little boys have to have a banana every day. Their grandfather started this tradition when he came over for lunch, and these two piggies can scarf down a banana in like 3 minutes. They also love apples.

  6. Larae September 27, 2006 at 3:47 pm #

    GREAT ideas! I love them all. I have to remember these for the future when I have a lil one of my own. I especially love the idea of putting pureed veggies with the pasta sauce, brilliant! Thanks for sharing =)

  7. The Wooden Porch September 27, 2006 at 3:07 pm #

    Thanks for the list! Sometimes I have the hardest time feeding my little people.

  8. Stephanie September 27, 2006 at 1:23 pm #

    Ohhh, I am going to have to keep this list, I am often wondering what to make for lunch! lol THANKS!

  9. Leslie September 27, 2006 at 11:36 am #

    Great ideas!

  10. Pastormac's Ann September 27, 2006 at 11:20 am #

    Great list! Now if I could just get all my kids to like all the same thing at the same time.

  11. jen September 27, 2006 at 10:47 am #

    great ideas….you should check out the Silicon Valley Moms Blog..they are asking for posts for Manic Monday about kids and food…yours would be perfect!

  12. Kate September 27, 2006 at 10:22 am #

    Thanks for posting those ideas. It is so easy to get stuck in a food rut when little ones need the most variety.

  13. Chaotic Mom September 27, 2006 at 9:24 am #

    These are GREAT ideas! I needed the motivation to come up with new stuff for the boys. ;)

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