All parents will agree to one thing, time certainly flies when you have a baby on your hands. In a flash, your baby has turned 1 and is officially a toddler. Among the many other changes happening with your baby, one is the meals and food they eat. Are you prepared to put on that chef’s cap for your baby? Read on for some inspiration with our meal and snack ideas for your toddler.
Meal Ideas For Your Toddler
The years from 1 to 3 are when your child is officially a toddler, and getting their nutrition right during this time is crucial. This is when you can lay a strong foundation for your baby’s health. As they get more curious, so do their tastebuds, and you’ll need to replace mashed, bland food with more advanced textures and flavors. Here are some meal ideas for your toddler to explore that are both, nutritious and textured.
Stuffed Paratha: When making the paratha for your little one, ensure that it turns out soft and easy to chew. You can stuff the paratha with nutritious blended veggies and paneer, but remember to avoid putting in masalas or anything with a distinctly strong flavor. The advantage here is that your baby can break and bite into the paratha themselves without needing too much parental help or supervision.
Porridge: Soft, mushy, and easy to digest, a small bowl of unsweetened porridge can make for an easy breakfast. Oats are packed with minerals and vitamins and are one of the healthiest foods to give a baby. You can also add in some pieces of slightly mashed banana. As your baby grows, you can also use this meal to teach them how to use a spoon and feed themselves.
Scrambled Egg With Slices Of Tomato: An excellent source of protein, iron, fat, and vitamins, eggs support the nutritional growth of your child. Soft scrambled eggs with bite-sized pieces of tomato give your baby their needed nutrition while introducing different foods and flavors.
Cheese Dosa: Instead of regular dosas, make your toddler a healthy dosa by using mixed lentils. With their nutritional advantages, this healthy dosa with some tasty cheese is a good idea for your toddler’s breakfast.
Meal Ideas For Your Toddler (Lunch & Dinner)
Khichdi: Worried about giving your baby something that will throw their delicate digestive system out of order? Turn to some good old khichdi! This age-old Indian staple calms and detoxifies the digestive system, alongside improving immunity. You can also add some soft-boiled, finely chopped veggies to the mix.
Soup: You’ll definitely have to clean up a reasonable mess after the meal is done, but soup is a good meal idea for your toddler. The advantage of soup is its versatility; you can try a range of different soups like pumpkin and carrot, chicken soup, and spinach soup. You can also add some well-boiled pasta to the soup to give your baby something to chew on.
Stew And Rice: Delicious, nutritious and easy-to-eat, there’s nothing like a hearty stew with some soft rice. You can make the stew with any meat, but you can also make a healthy veggie stew as well.
Pesto Pasta: Pasta is fantastically chewable, and is a yummy lunch with veggies and pesto sauce. Feel free to throw in some chopped, soft-boiled carrots, peas, broccoli, cauliflower. Shredded chicken is a good choice for meat-eaters.
Veggie Bowl: Soft-boiled vegetables with a small dash of oregano seasoning make for a yummy, colorful and nutritious meal. Throw in some cauliflower, carrot, peas, broccoli, and potato. Ensure the vegetables are bite-sized and soft enough for your toddler to eat without getting choked. You can also add some roti pieces or some rice to the bowl.
Snack Ideas For Your Toddler
Your toddler won’t be able to manage 3 heavy meals a day like adults. Instead, you may have to keep an eye on their behavior to identify when they’re hungry. Some of the behaviors toddlers exhibit when they’re hungry are getting irritable and crying, smacking and licking their lips, having clenched fists, and chewing on their hands or on objects around them. For those times, you need to have some snacks on hand so your child’s appetite is satiated.
Sandwiches: An easy-to-make snack idea for your toddler, you can make an easy sandwich out of almost anything. A good idea is to make a peanut butter sandwich, as long as there are no solid pieces of peanut in it. You can also spread some avocado on lightly toasted bread.
Fruit Bowl: With different textures and flavors, a bowl full of fruit slices can make for a fun, nutritious toddler snack. Letting them go at the bowl with their hands is a good idea, especially If they’re still too small. This also helps their tactile perception develop as they understand the various textures by feeling them.
Chikoo Milkshake: A milkshake is not just healthy, but is also filling. Plus, the sight sweet from the chikoo is bound to make them happily drink it all! Just make sure you peel the skin off the fruit before you blend it.
Cucumber Sticks And Curd: Cutting cucumber into easy-to-hold slices is a good snack for your toddler. This goes well with a bowl of blended curd. You can also serve them some crackers for a different texture with this.
Rajma Salad: A healthy, tasty snack for toddlers is a fulfilling rajma salad. Well-boiled rajma with chopped tomato and cucumber is easy to eat yet has a bit of a bite – something your teething toddler will appreciate.
Puffed Rice With Jaggery: Packed with vitamin D, iron, fiber, and calcium, puffed rice is a good snack idea for your toddler. Pair it up with some small, healthy pieces of jaggery for a fun snack.
As they grow through their first few years of life, toddlers’ small bodies go through several changes that you as parents need to keep up with. These meal and snack ideas for your toddler are sure to help you be the hands-on parents you are. Speaking of being hands-on, you also need to watch your child’s nutrition intake and get them immunized. Download the ImmunifyMe app, which can help you keep track of your toddler’s immunization schedule, help with a nutrition plan, enable telemedicine consultations, and more.
FAQs On Meal And Snack Ideas For Your Toddler
What Should A Toddler Eat For Snacks?
Crackers, chopped fruits, cucumber slices, salads, and milkshakes are good snack ideas for a toddler.
What Is An Appropriate Meal For A Toddler?
A meal for a toddler needs to be healthy, nutritious, filling, and of course, appealing to their tastes. Include different textured foods to develop their eating habits and tactile perception. This will also be important since this is the age that they will want more than just mushy, bland food.
What Can I Feed My Toddler For Dinner?
Pasta with boiled vegetables, khichdi, rice and stew, and a meal bowl are good ideas for dinner for a toddler. Ensure you feed them nutritious food that doesn’t have too many spices or masala.
Do Toddlers Need Snacks Between Meals?
Yes, toddlers need snacks between meals, which is why you’ll probably need a list of meal and snack ideas for your toddler. Unlike adults, toddlers can’t eat a heavy meal that keeps them full until the next one. Their growing bodies need healthy snacks to munch on at regular intervals.