Toddler and Preschooler Meal Ideas

I said I was going to do a post on meal ideas, but then I realized that most of my meal ideas have been covered in my post from last week. But in case any of you out there are visual people, here are a few pictures and descriptions of recent kid meals at my house…


Steamed broccoli with a little butter
Fresh sliced pineapple
Steamed, diced sweet potatoes (I think it is easier to dice it first because steaming)


This was a snack one afternoon for the kids and me:
Sliced peaches
Celery with peanut butter


Another snack:
Cheddar cheese
Whole wheat crackers


Mac ‘n cheese with broccoli
Sunflower seeds
Fresh pineapple


Greek yogurt


Breakfast… (or dinner, depending on my mood!):

Eggo whole wheat waffles (sometimes I put peanut butter on these, too)


Peanut butter toast


BBQ pulled pork
Mac ‘n cheese (homemade this time!)
Green beans (canned, unsalted)
A whole banana (Bean likes to peel his himself)


Bean’s favorite breakfast/snack/meal ever:  Put dry Cheerios in a bowl. Spread a layer of Greek yogurt on top. Add any kind of fruit or protein to the top. (Bonus: Bean likes to choose his fruit and then add it to the top himself. Also? I may or may not let him drop the fruit into the bowl from very high places like the counter top… bad mommy…)

There are lots of food ideas out there, but one of my favorite places to get menu ideas from for the kids is this awesome book called, “Super Baby Food,” by Ruth Yaron. She has some really great information about feeding babies from infancy all the way up through elementary school. She gives you really flexible food ideas that can be used in a variety of ways and for all kinds of meals. She does a lot of cooking and baking, so I find that I can make a batch of some of her snack ideas or meals, and then the kids can eat on them for several days. I got this book when I was pregnant with Bean and have used it with both my kids.


Because I love this book so much, I’m giving away a copy today to a blog reader! Leave a comment below to be entered to win telling me what your child’s favorite food is today… because we all know that tomorrow it might be different! Tweet or Facebook about the giveaway and leave the link in a separate comment to be entered to win up to three times! The giveaway will be open until Wednesday at 8:00PM EST, and a winner will be announced on Thursday. Good luck, and happy, healthy eating!

(This is not a paid advertisement or giveaway.  I just really like this book!)

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108 Thoughts to “Toddler and Preschooler Meal Ideas”

  1. Jaime

    Blueberries & peas…she’s only 8 months old:)

  2. My 2 years old’s favorite food is BANANAS! Also b/c he loves to peel them like Bean! For the longest time he wouldn’t eat any type of chicken so it was quite hard coming up with different ideas…b/c most kids LOVE chicken… 🙂

  3. Melissa H

    My daughter loves grapes and strawberries!

  4. So many fruits and veggies!! I swear, my husband and I need to take a page out of yalls book! Looks delicious 🙂

  5. Melanie Mott

    Organic kids cliff bars wants them all the time!

  6. Alyson W

    Bananas and chicken!

  7. Nikki

    I’m pregnant with our first, but being creative here (sort of) I’m going to say our kid is going to love strawberries, bananas and cheese. Those seem to be my biggest cravings–I can handle that!

  8. ann

    For breakfast this morning, it was banana. However, by lunch, he’ll be gagging on them, and by dinner it will be his favorite food again. We left him for the first time last week, and came home to a child who no longer likes cheese. My world no longer makes sense. This phenomenon was explained when we finally got it out of Nana that she’d been feeding him meals of chocolate pudding.

  9. I find it so hard to cook for my daughter. She has a peanut allergy so I am constantly trying to find new things to make her.
    I love your meal ideas!

  10. Jenn

    My 2 yr old loves bananas. Many of our meals look like yours, lots of fruit and cheese around our house.

  11. Gab M.

    My 10 month old loves fresh pears and yogurt.

  12. Laurie

    right now it is strawberries and homemade smoothies

  13. Oh, I could totally use this, as I’m just a month into starting solids with my baby boy. He pretty much enjoys everything I’ve given him so far – today for lunch it will be peas and brown rice!

  14. Kristen

    My son loves strawberries!

  15. Kat

    I think some favorites stay the same in this household and some of them keep changing. The staples in our household are grilled cheese, blueberries, bananas, and hot dogs.

  16. Jennifer

    My daughter loves clementines right now, but lima beans are a perpetual favorite. I have heard great things about this book!

  17. Natalie

    Like Nikki, I don’t know yet! But my cravings have been for whole wheat bagels with plain cream cheese and a slice of tomato… Thanks for the give away!

  18. Mandy Blank

    My son would live on blueberries right now if we allowed him to!

  19. janna beth

    it changes by the minute…i can usually get him to eat frozen blueberries…but hot dogs are a close second 🙂 (micah is 2 1/2 can you tell) he drives me crazy, I can’t get him to eat veggie of any kind! grrrr

  20. Leigh

    We haven’t started solids yet (just over 4months old), so does formula count? We’ll be starting solids soon and I’ve been meaning to buy a book – this would be perfect!

  21. Summer

    Bananas, mandarin oranges, Cheerios, and graham crackers!

  22. Carrie

    My little man just started feeding himself bananas and is loving them.

  23. Kimmiejo

    My 2 year old doesn’t like to eat. He only wants to drink milk, so I’m not really sure what his favorite food is. We find something he will eat one day and then the next day he refuses to eat it. I’m hoping this book might give us better ideas.

  24. Rachel G

    My little guy is 11 months old and loves to chew on cucumbers from our garden!

  25. Jess Z.

    Today my 3-yr-old loves banana muffins, and my 1-yr-old loves nothing? She’s teething = FUN!

  26. Tiffany

    Katie loves bananas. Oh and Fruit Loops (not healthy but i indulge her every so often)
    Love your meal ideas. Can’t wait to go to the store. Thanks!

  27. Jess W.

    Yogurt & scrambled eggs. My tot will eat anything and everything at Daycare but is so picky at home… no fruits & veggies unless pureed like baby food. She’s 13 months. It frustrates me to no end!! Grrr.

    ~ Jess W.

  28. Today, my 14-month-old prefers raisins. Or yogurt, peanut butter, bananas, popsicles, or french toast.

  29. Allison H

    My 3 year old loves Peanut Butter and Nutella sandwiches. Does that make me a bad parent:)?

  30. Meghan

    My 10 month old LOVES spaghetti! She likes most foods, but that is definitely her favorite 🙂

  31. Jenna

    I’m pregnant with my first child, so I’m going to say ice cream. 🙂

  32. Donna

    lunchmeat, cheddar cheese, and crackers (basically a homemade lunchable…)

  33. Meghan

    Without fail, whenever someone asks my toddler what he wants to eat he says, Cheerios, raisins & milk!
    Thanks for the great meal ideas, it is funny b/c sometimes we all just need a kick to remind us on how easy it can be – we don’t have to be killing ourselves making big meals our kids never eat. So, thanks 🙂

  34. brittany

    I don’t know what my baby’s favorite food is yet. We just started solids last week and went with sweet potatoes. Little dude loves them so far!

  35. Leticia

    Mac n Cheese, sometimes it’s the only thing we’ll eat!!

  36. Rebecca

    Any fruits are usually a hit – strawberries and peaches are a huge hit at the moment, although never combined.

  37. Today….it’s probably grapes. He’s been fighting against his usual loves of blueberries and baked chicken. Toddlers…..I’ll never understand em.

  38. Beccak

    Gummy fruit snacks, all the way. Hey, at least they’re made with real juice . . . don’t judge too harshly 🙂

  39. Aimee

    Today – cheerios, yogurt bites and yogurt, cheese or veggie puffs, and whole wheat waffles. We still have trouble with most table foods but these are always a “more” food, except maybe the waffles.

  40. My baby still has 11 week +/- 2 weeks left to cook herself, so she’s not eating anything yet.

  41. Mommy’s milk is still her favorite… She’s only 9 weeks 😉

  42. My son’s favorite food is breast milk! But we’ll be starting real food in 3 months or so and I desperately need guidance!

  43. My two year old twins LOVE to eat. Today Veronica can’t get enough avocado. Clarissa is gobbling up peanut butter banana muffins.

  44. Meredith c

    My daughter loves chicken and fresh fruit. My son loves cheese right now. Both of them love the cherry tomatoes that they get to pick themselves at grandmas house. It is one of their favorites things about grandmas house in the summer

  45. Liz McCracken


  46. Kelly P

    My little one has not yet made its debut, so it will be a while before I know what s/he likes 🙂

  47. Kaitlyn

    Turkey Bacon and asparagus pasta- No joke. I can hide anything in some penne pasta and he’ll it it. So favorite food is probably penne pasta!

  48. Theresa H.

    My little guy is just 2 months old so he doesn’t really have a choice at this point. I’m looking forward to seeing what he likes!

  49. Oh geeze. What she loves? Nothing. Clearly, that’s why I need this book. Ha. Feeding her is a pill (every.single.meal.time.) I guess I could say she loves blueberries. But that changes with the wind – so it’s probably changed by the time I hit ‘submit.’ ha!

  50. Abby S.

    Great ideas, and it all looks delicious!

  51. From the time I was pregnant to today, Logan loves all things spaghetti. If it’s not up his nose then I consider my cooking a failure!

  52. Both of my kids love grapes! and just about any kind of fruit. But they will fight over grapes. 😉

  53. Christen

    My 7 month old just got introduced to peaches and he seems to love them.

  54. Joke

    No kid here yet, but if they are anything like me then they will beg for ice cream every day!

  55. Rachel

    I so need some help with my 20 month old. She is very picky!

  56. El

    My oldest (3 1/2) loves chicken (for the moment), and my youngest (15 months) loves yogurt – pretty consistently. 🙂

  57. Mollie

    I’m preggo with my first, but if this pregnancy is any indication she will love ice cream and Mexican food!

  58. Thanks for the giveaway. I really could use help in this area. We get in a slump where he have peanut butter sandwiches all the time. New idea would be great.

  59. Laura

    I don’t have any children, but I do nanny for 3 little boys. Right now they are very into ham and cheese roll-ups, strawberries, and bananas. They also love greek yogurt with cereal mixed in.

  60. Julia

    My little one is 6 months old so we are just getting started. She is loving avocado right now though! I am currently looking for some good baby food books for ideas and this one sounds perfect!

  61. My 5 year old is back to eating next to nothing, so I think a growth spurt is coming soon, though the kid does love greek yogurt! My two year old has been surprising me the last 2 weeks, she always asks for cheeseburgers now. Peanut butter used to be the only protein she would eat, so though they aren’t the healthiest things if she wants a cheeseburger, she’s going to get it. (and lucky for me she does NOT like the happy meal version! woohoo!)

  62. Leah

    FRUIT! Pretty much any kind of fruit reigns supreme at our house. So much so that I can’t fix my daughter fruit or even show her we have it until she’s eaten some or most of her other food.

  63. Kelsey

    I’m having my first baby in December so I am need of any and all helpful ideas on what to feed our baby will be great!!!

  64. Heidi

    My baby is 4.5 months old so her favorite food is formula! We do a mix of Similac Advance and Costco’s Kirkland formula. She is doing great on it!

  65. Mandy

    My 15 month old son has been chugging milk like it’s going out of style the past few days. I don’t know what’s gotten into him!

  66. Lindsay

    Breastmilk! Ok, my little dude is only 5 months but we’re starting solids in a bit so I need all the ideas I can get! I’m hoping he likes fruits and veggies as much as I do. And chocolate a lot less than I do… 🙂

  67. Megan

    Fruit is definitely my 16 month old’s favorite food – veggies are a bit of a struggle! I’m always looking for creative ideas, so this book would be perfect!

  68. Kathleen

    I have a six month old daughter, and right now her favorite thing to eat are apples. She scarfs it right up and makes little “mmm…mmm” sounds. And she gets so excited that we have to hold down her high chair with our feet.

  69. Laura

    Haha, breastmilk for now! But I would love to have this book for when we start solids in a few months!

  70. My girl Ava’s favorite food is watermelon, hands down. Norah, the baby, it was turkey but now she seems over it. She is a picky little eater, waiting to see what she *might* eat next : )

  71. Kathy Z

    Watermelon or beans. I’m not sure which is his favorite – but my little guy will go to town on either. And it’s a toss up which makes for a messier diaper.

  72. Anna

    BERRIES!!! My little one is 18 months and he loves to say berries… He especially loves strawberries!!

  73. Oh thank goodness – another food post! I need all the help I can get right now. Today – Maddie’s favorite food is bananas, that’s the only thing she won’t ever refuse!

  74. I already have that book, so I don’t need to be in the giveaway, but I just wanted to say how much I LOVE the book! My son is 7 months old and it is so helpful to know which foods are best at which ages. She covers all the bases and I can feel good about what I’m feeding my babe.

  75. Kris

    My 8-month old’s favorite food is Cheerios,

  76. Sanja

    My 16-month-old prefers frozen fruit to regular fruit!

  77. Laci

    My almost 3 year old is a fruit eater, his favorites being grapes and watermelon. And his 18 month old brother will eat almost anything…but I suppose his favorites would be CARBS: bread, waffles, tater tots, noodles….

  78. Erin

    My 3-year old would eat peanut butter several times a day on anything and everything. She’s a peanut butter addict.

  79. Erin R.

    My older son LOVES blueberries. Would eat them at every meal if I let him. He also likes those fruit pouches as a treat sometimes. My younger son is still figuring out what he likes… quite picky. I’ve enjoyed reading your baby &I toddler food tips!

  80. kk

    I just brought the bok thanks to your recommendation..i just tried rice cereal today and now i know what kinda mistakes i’m making! thanks for the recommendation.

  81. I have been blessed with a pretty good eater, but my son has been going crazy over classic summer watermelon lately!

  82. HollyT

    6 yr old: fruit of any kind!
    3 yr old: yogurt
    10 mo old: anything and everything! 🙂

  83. Ruth

    I have been wanting to leave a comment for quite some time but… I
    Anyway may 16 months daughter loves cheese!!

  84. Yogurt with fruit!! Trying to teach my daughter’s how to feed their young children a little better! This book would definately help! Thanks

  85. Ana

    My kid loves to eat Cornflakes with pineaple and yoghurt! And I love it too!

  86. Christina

    Generally I’m happy to get my three year old to eat ANYTHING. The 15 month old is going to weigh more than her in nothing flat because she’ll eat most things, including shrimp!

  87. Amanda

    My little guy is 10 months old and is pounding blueberries by the fistful!

  88. Karen

    My daughter loves Mac N Cheese–I’d love your homemade recipe! I’d also love this book–I’ve got a new one on the way! Thanks for the chance to win!

  89. Erin

    Current favorites are black beans and pancakes.

  90. Abbie

    Ella’s favorite is currently blueberries.

  91. Kate B

    These days it’s all about the bananas… or “nana! ‘nana! as my daughter calls them.

    May I ask…how do you get your kids to eat so neatly? Or is that the magic of photography? I notice Gracie is never wearing a bib in photos of her in her highchair, and the food is always in/on the bowl or plate. If I didn’t put a bib on Lily, well, I’d be doing about double the laundry I do now. And keeping the food on the dish is a skill we work on daily. Foods like yogurt or applesauce are things I only let her eat independently if we’re planning on bathtime right after mealtime. If I want her to eat those neatly, I need to help her, and she’s at an age where her willingness to accept help comes and goes with her mood.
    Also, does Gracie do ok with whole celery sticks like that? Or do you have to cut them smaller for her?

  92. My 18 month old daughter Mikaela’s favorite food right now it peas. We buy a bag of frozen peas and warm them up a serving at a time and she’ll eat them all. She also likes black beans and grilled cheese sandwhiches.

  93. Kari

    My 9 month old loves avocado these days.

  94. My 3 year old’s favorite right now is grapes, followed closely by mac and cheese. My 9 month old loves green beans and mandarin oranges!

  95. Breast milk and formula for now, we are starting solids in a couple of months or maybe next month depending on what the pediatrician says…he is 4.5 months old.

  96. Stephanie

    Well my little one just started eating solids a week ago, so he probably likes peas the best so far. But I would love to have that book to get great ideas of what else he needs!

  97. Theresa

    My 9 month old loves peas!

  98. Carleen

    Milk! She will be starting solids next month, yikes!

  99. […] else.  Pinterest is a big one these days (just search for healthy meals).  I also use that Super Baby Food book I’m giving away (giveaway ends today!).  But I think blogs are fantastic for food ideas for families because they […]

  100. Heather Dziema

    at the moment any nutrition my 4 year old takes in is a win…and my 10 month old, well, Woe to those who stand between her and a fresh peach….

  101. Irina

    My 9 month old loves her some bananas and freeze-dried mangoes!

  102. BRENDA

    Carter’s favorite is, and has been for a while, Chicken Nuggets! Ugh! That is what he asks for every single day!

  103. I have 1 year old twin boys (and am 31 weeks pregnant with #3) and would love to win this book! I have such a hard time being creative with their food. One of mine is a super picky eater, but loves corn and the other will eat anything he can feed himself!

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