Kids Tips

Healthy Toddler Food Ideas


Making sure your toddler gets enough veggies can be a challenge, since other foods – especially packaged foods and carbohydrate-based snacks – are easy to grab and very appealing to kids.

When I get into feeding ruts with Lucy, I try to think about what kind of vegetable dishes inspire me to eat veggies, and then make baby versions of those for her.

Salad is usually a hit at our house. I know the idea of a toddler salad sounds weird, but with all sorts of yummy additions and a great dressing, Lucy loves them (not always, but often). I just chop the ingredients really small so she can easily eat everything.

This one is spinach, pear, goat cheese, and sunflower seeds:

toddler food ideas

This one is lettuce, apple, sunflower seeds, and green onion:

winter vegetables

This is a “deconstructed” taco salad, with avocado, black beans, chopped tomatoes, and fresh green beans. Salsa mixed with ranch dressing on the side for dipping:

toddler meal ideas

When salads and raw veggies aren’t being well-received, I offer roasted, since roasting veggies makes them extra tasty – kind of like “fries.”

winter vegetables

Or, there’s always mixing veggies into the foods I know she already likes – e.g. pasta with cheese sauce.

toddler food ideas

And when even the mixing-in-method isn’t working on a given day (or week or longer), I don’t freak out. I just try to offer a wider variety of fruit, so she still gets nutrients and fiber.

toddler food ideas

Remember, your child may not eat a balanced meal or have a balanced day, so instead aim to help them have a balanced week. They’ll get the nutrients they need over the course of a week, and you won’t have to battle it out at mealtime or worry that your child is becoming malnourished. If you’re somewhat relaxed about food, they will likely be relaxed too.


  • Reply
    Annie A.
    February 2, 2013 at 11:59 am

    Amazing, thank you!!

    • Reply
      February 2, 2013 at 9:13 pm

      Hope this was helpful!

  • Reply
    February 2, 2013 at 12:26 pm

    For how many people did you make the fruit platter shown above? It looks a LOT!

    • Reply
      February 2, 2013 at 9:12 pm

      Haha, yes it is! I brought it to a play group for both the moms and kids. If I were making it just for Lucy, I’d make a very small plate with just one or two pieces of each thing.

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