Have a picky eater on your hands? Need nutritious & delicious toddler lunch ideas? Look no further than these hot & cold lunch ideas for toddlers.
44 Healthy Lunch Ideas For Toddlers
If breakfast is the most important meal of the day and dinner is for quality family time, where does that leave lunch? Trust me, lunch is important. It just needs a new PR rep.
Lunch is the meal that gives you enough energy to power through the rest of your day without breaking down and raiding the vending machine! Lunch is important for you, but it’s especially important for your toddler as his or her brain is still developing. Figuring out nutritious and delicious toddler lunch ideas that your picky little eater will actually eat… well, that’s another story. 😉
Lucky for you, I’ve had years of trying to figure out healthy lunch ideas for toddlers who think vegetables are poison. Now, I’m going to share those tasty hot and cold lunch ideas with you.
Bonus: These toddler lunch ideas aren’t just for toddlers. Nope, you can easily utilize these hot and cold lunch ideas for work for you and the hubby.
So, without further ado, here are my 44 favorite toddler meal ideas!
1. Homemade Go-Gurt With Hidden Veggies (Freebie Finding Mom) – There’s a lot to like about this cold lunch idea. One, it’s nutritious, thanks to the fruits and veggies. Two, it’s a great way to beat the heat. Freeze it, and it’ll have a consistency very similar to ice cream! Three, it’s a more budget-friendly version of the Go-Gurt you buy at the store.
Bonus: There’s lots of delicious things you can do with yogurt. Here are 30 healthy yogurt recipes to inspire you.
2. Goldfish Encrusted Chicken Nuggets (Freebie Finding Mom) – Does your little one like chicken nuggets? How about Goldfish? Of course he or she does. Those were rhetorical questions. Bring these two toddler favs together with this toddler lunch idea.
Bonus: If you’re at war with a picky eater, you aren’t alone. Here are 34 recipes for picky eaters that’ll help you win the battle once and for all! 😉
3. Healthy Baked Broccoli Bites (Freebie Finding Mom) – Don’t judge a book by its cover! You may think this recipe is a no-go just based on the title. After all, what little one willingly eats broccoli? However, you really should try this lunch idea for toddlers. The spices and other ingredients do a great job disguising the vile taste of vegetables!
4. Cheesy Baked Cauliflower (Freebie Finding Mom) – 10 minutes of prep time is all that stands between you and this toddler lunch idea. Don’t worry, thanks to the cheese and spices, he or she won’t even realize this dish is healthy. Tip: Make extra… you’re definitely going to want to snag some for yourself! 🙂
5. Coconut Oil Popcorn (Freebie Finding Mom) – Okay, this probably isn’t one of the best lunch ideas for toddlers. It’s more of a snack, but it’s still a fantastic recipe to have on hand. Whip up a batch of this super healthy popcorn for your next family movie night or add it to a balanced toddler meal as a yummy side dish.
Bonus: Looking for more healthy snack ideas? Get started with these 38 kid approved snack recipes!
6. Pan Fried Cinnamon Bananas (Freebie Finding Mom) – You can have breakfast for dinner, so why not breakfast for lunch? This simple toddler meal idea is sure to be a crowd pleaser. Not only is it healthy and yummy, it only calls for 5 ingredients!
7. Homemade Sweet Potato and Kale Veggie Chips (Freebie Finding Mom) – Nothing goes with a sandwich better than chips, am I right? Unfortunately, they’re high in carbs, salt, and fat. Boo! Luckily, you can still enjoy this class cold lunch idea for work complete with chips…just choose veggie chips like these sweet potato and kale varieties. 🙂
8. Crockpot Turkey Meatballs and Sauce (Freebie Finding Mom) – This lunch for toddlers is super easy. For one, you can make the meatballs ahead of time, freeze them, and just use them for lunch or dinner as needed. Two, you can just pop your pre-made meatballs in the crockpot first thing in the morning, cover them with sauce, and let the slow cooker do the rest.
9. Mac and Cheese Bites (Freebie Finding Mom) – I originally whipped up this recipe as a way to root on the home team during football season, but they also make an awesome toddler lunch idea. Seriously, they’re ooey, gooey, and cheesy…what’s not to love?
Bonus: One thing that makes this recipe frugal is the fact that it is meatless. Yep, going meatless, even one meal a week, can help you rein in your grocery bill. Try any one of these 32 vegetarian toddler recipes for a delicious, meatless meal.
10. Easy Breakfast Pizza (Freebie Finding Mom) – Just because the word “breakfast” is in the name doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy this tasty dish at lunchtime. In fact, it’s a great lunch idea for toddlers because you can customize it to fit their tastes. For example, you can leave out the peppers, add bacon, etc.
11.Gluten Free Healthy Breakfast Smoothie (Freebie Finding Mom) – We’ve all had those days where the mere thought of stopping long enough to eat something (let alone make something!) makes you break out in a cold sweat, am I right? When you need cold lunch ideas that are great on-the-go, try this healthy smoothie recipe!
Bonus: If you need more super quick lunch ideas, be sure to check out these 3 ingredient recipes.