What about some healthy food ideas for toddlers? Make nutritious food choices appropriate for their age group, and try to include foods they enjoy eating. Focus on fruits, veggies, whole grains, lean protein, and low-fat dairy products, which you should be doing anyway.
It doesn’t hurt to start kids on healthy foods early, so if you have children in your life who are toddlers or older, these food ideas can be great for them.
Remember, there is never a “one size fits all” answer when choosing what to feed our little ones. You know your child best, and they may have allergies or other intolerances where some of these ideas are not appropriate.
What healthy food can I feed my toddler?
Oatmeal is a great breakfast food for toddlers. It’s made from whole grains, high in fiber and nutrients, including B vitamins, magnesium, iron, and zinc. Oats are also gluten-free, so they’re not likely to trigger any allergies. Applesauce is a toddler favorite.
Apples contain vitamin C and dietary fiber. They’re fat-free, sodium-free, and cholesterol-free, which is perfect for healthy eating. Peanut butter (or any nut or seed butter) can be a quick snack to take on the go. It’s full of protein and other nutrients like zinc, calcium, manganese, and magnesium.
Baby food pouches are a great idea for those times when you’re out and about with a toddler or on a car trip. It can be a nutritious alternative to sugary snacks that may not offer as many nutrients. Carrots, broccoli, zucchini, and sweet potatoes are all vegetables that your little one may enjoy eating.
Top 10 Healthy Food Ideas For Toddlers:
Bananas are healthy food for toddlers full of nutrients like vitamin C, vitamin B6, magnesium, and potassium. If your little one is not a fan of the taste, try freezing peeled ripe bananas for an afternoon snack.
Snacking on apples will provide fiber (apples contain soluble fiber, which is heart-protecting), and they’re full of antioxidants. Apples also offer a great source of vitamin C. Still, they’re low in sodium, saturated fat, and cholesterol, making them a healthier choice than most processed snacks that may be full of artificial colors and flavors.
3. Peanut Butter:
Peanut butter (or any nut or seed butter) can be a quick snack to take on the go. It’s full of protein and other nutrients like zinc, calcium, manganese, and magnesium. Pairing it with different types of fruit or toast can add variety to your toddler’s diet.
4. Whole Grains:
Whole grains are one healthy food for toddlers that provide fiber and B vitamins which can help boost brain function. Whole grains also help fill your toddler up so they may not be as hungry for sweet snacks between meals.
Avocados have healthy fats which are good for brain development, and they also contain monounsaturated fatty acids, which can help lower cholesterol levels. Avocados are high in fiber, antioxidants, and vitamin C while being low in sodium and cholesterol.
Broccoli is low in saturated fat, high in dietary fiber, folate (vitamin B9), vitamin C & K, manganese, and contains iron amongst its many health benefits. It can be steamed or lightly boiled to make it tender but still crisp enough for your little one to eat.
Greek yogurt is one healthy food for toddlers high in protein and calcium while providing probiotics that can help boost immunity and digestive health. Always go with plain or vanilla yogurt and avoid yogurts that contain lots of added sugars.
8. Egg White Omelet:
Eggs are not only a great source of protein, but they’re also low in saturated fat and cholesterol. Choose egg whites instead of whole eggs when preparing an omelet to increase the amount of protein that your little one will be eating.
Blueberries, strawberries & raspberries are all excellent sources of antioxidants and dietary fiber. Many recipes can incorporate these types of berries into your toddler’s diet, including smoothies, muffins, or even them as a healthy snack when you’re out and about.
Carrots are one healthy food for toddlers that contains lots of beta-carotene, a powerful antioxidant and can help boost immunity. It is also high in fiber, antioxidants, and vitamin C while low in sodium and cholesterol.
Breakfast ideas tips for toddlers:
- Whole-grain toast is healthy food for toddlers full of fiber and B vitamins which can help boost brain function. Whole grains also help fill your toddler up so they may not be as hungry for sweet snacks between meals.
- Whole-wheat pancakes are another tasty breakfast idea but avoid the kinds that come with lots of added sugar and opt for fruit instead.
- Whole-grain waffles are another tasty breakfast idea with a longer shelf life than pancakes. Make these ahead of time and freeze them so you can pop them into the toaster when you’re in a rush.
- Oatmeal is one healthy food for toddlers that provides a lot of iron to help boost your little one’s energy levels, as well as fiber and B vitamins to help focus. Oatmeal is an easy breakfast dish that can be made ahead of time or frozen into popsicle molds.
- Hard-boiled eggs are a great protein source and an easy dish to prepare in large batches and take with you when you’re on the go.
Snacks idea for toddlers:
- Whole-grain crackers are one healthy food for toddlers high in fiber and B vitamins to help boost brain function. Choose only the kinds made with whole-wheat or brown rice.
- String cheese is one healthy food for toddlers that provides protein, calcium, and vitamin D while low in sodium. It is also low in saturated fat and cholesterol.
- Nut butter or hummus are healthy snacks for toddlers because they provide lots of protein, unsaturated fats, fiber, and iron. They can be part of a balanced meal as long as they’re not eaten too often because they still contain sugar and sodium.
- Whole-grain toast is a healthy snack for toddlers that is high in fiber and B vitamins. Whole grains also help fill your toddler up so they may not be as hungry for sweet snacks between meals.
- A hard-boiled egg is one healthy food for toddlers that provides protein, calcium, and vitamin D while low in sodium. It is also low in saturated fat and cholesterol.
Lunch ideas tips for toddlers:
- Whole-wheat pasta is a tasty dish combined with tomato sauce, vegetables, or lean proteins to provide your little one with the necessary nutrients. Pasta from whole grains is high in fiber and a good source of iron which helps to boost energy levels.
- Bean burrito is a healthy lunch idea for toddlers that provides protein, fiber, and antioxidants. It is also low in cholesterol and saturated fat. Opt for a whole-wheat tortilla so that you can increase the amount of fiber that your toddler is getting with their meal.
- Quinoa salad is a healthy lunch idea for toddlers with high protein, fiber, antioxidants, and good carbohydrates. It is also full of iron to boost energy levels and vitamin C to help boost immunity.
- Cheese quesadillas are healthy foods for toddlers that provide protein, calcium, and vitamin D while low in sodium. They are also low in saturated fat and cholesterol.
- Lean beef or other lean proteins may not be a toddler’s favorite food, but they are a tasty dish that can help boost their iron levels and immune system. Serve it with lots of veggies and whole-wheat pasta to increase the amount of fiber.
Dinner idea tips for toddlers:
- Baked chicken is healthy for toddlers because it provides protein, vitamins, and minerals. It also contains no saturated fat and low sodium levels to help reduce the risk of high blood pressure and heart disease.
- Porkchop is another healthy dinner idea for toddlers that provides protein, B vitamins, magnesium, and zinc. Make sure you choose lean cuts so that your little one doesn’t get too much cholesterol or calories from their food.
- Mediterranean salad is a fresh and tasty dish that provides protein, fiber, antioxidants, healthy fats, and energy carbohydrates. It also has iron to help boost your little one’s energy levels.
- Sweet potato fries are a nutritious side dish that can easily be prepared ahead of time and frozen in batches to take out and bake as a quick after-school snack. Baked sweet potatoes are a great source of fiber and beta-carotene, which helps to boost your little one’s immune system.
- Rolled oats are a tasty carbohydrate low in sodium and provide lots of fiber to help regulate digestion. It also has iron, calcium, and magnesium to help increase your little one’s energy levels.
How do I get my picky toddler to eat healthily?
Getting your toddler to eat healthily isn’t too difficult because they generally like food that tastes good. At this age, it’s more important to teach them the importance of eating a balanced diet and giving them lots of options rather than forcing them to eat.
If you’re struggling with getting your little one to eat their veggies, try to steam and purée them and mix them with a different food like pasta.
Please don’t give your little one too many snacks between meals as this will affect their appetite for dinner. If you’re cooking with them, ask if they want to help and let them decide what goes in the dish, as this gives them a sense of control over their food choices.
The Bottom Line
The best way to ensure that your toddler is getting the proper nutrition they need is by making sure you’re feeding them a variety of foods. It’s important to remember that toddlers have smaller appetites, so don’t be afraid to stop eating after just one or two bites! Check out our list of healthy food ideas for toddlers and start cooking up some delicious meals today! If you have any questions about what might work well with your child, please leave a comment below, and we’ll answer it as soon as possible!