Becoming a mama has made me especially conscious of the food I not only put in my own body, but feed to my daughter. It has opened my eyes to focusing on the foods that make me feel good, the foods that don’t, and ultimately how much you have to be your own advocate when wanting to eat healthy.
Some of my favorite Instagram accounts to check out for meal inspiration, toddler healthy eating, & learning about what is in our foods are:
- thefoodbabe (educating us about what is in our food)
- teeny_tinybellies (toddler meals)
- kidfriendly.meals (toddler meals)
- toddler.foodies (toddler meals)
- newwaysnutrition (toddler healthy eating)
When we first started introducing foods to Blakely, she would try any and everything. She was so fascinated and interested in foods and how things taste. But now that she has hit the big TWO years old, she has gotten increasingly picky with what she will eat. Girl knows what she likes and doesn’t like…. and it’s “cookies, ice cream, crackers” all day long! We are even (still) dealing with her throwing her food on the floor, every night might I add, if she doesn’t want to eat it. So all tips for what to do there are welcome!
Anyways, I put together a general guide of what I feed my toddler. Since I stay home with Blakely, I am doing the cooking for all of her meals. A lot of the ideas I list below would be easy to prep and store in case you don’t stay at home or don’t have the time to cook things every day for them!
I divided the idea list up into breakfast foods, lunches (which always seem to be the hardest to know what to feed her for some reason!), and a master-list of all her favorite snacks. For the most part, I try to stick with healthy & fresh items for her, or items with minimal ingredients. But as you know, life is not perfect & realistically some nights her dinner is a blueberry muffin and a cookie because that’s all she will eat.
Last thing- before I dive in, as a reminder I am not a nutritionist or dietician, just a mama who is passionate about nourishing our bodies with good food and sharing with you all what I find along the way.
1) Pancakes: What I love most about feeding her pancakes is that she loves them and they fill her up! We love the Simple Mills brand because the ingredients are just so good. And we also love the Kodiak Cake ones for a little extra protein boost. I will say pancakes are more of a weekend breakfast because they’re more time consuming to make, unless I have them prepped in the fridge and can just warm them up.
2) Sausage: Our favorite brand to use for breakfast sausage is by far Applegate. We also love their bacon & lunch meats! Their chicken and maple sausage is the best & is a great way to get in protein for your toddlers at the beginning of their day.
3) Fresh fruit: 90% of the time Blakely is having a banana with her breakfast. This is one of her favorite foods and something we know she will eat! We’ll usually top it with some kind of nut butter to make it more filling. We try to incorporate some kind of fruit with every meal. We usually also have strawberries, blueberries, apples & grapes on hand so we’ll alternate those.
4) Oatmeal: This is one that we don’t cook daily, but should because of how good of a breakfast it is for little ones (and adults!). We love the Bob’s Red Mill old fashioned rolled oats & usually top it with fresh fruit, cinnamon, & a little honey for Blakely. We also love the Trader Joe’s Instant Oatmeal because it’s packed with healthy fiber from the whole grain oats as well as the added chia seeds and flax seeds. Sometimes we will stir in peanut butter to her oats as well.
5) Yogurt or Yogurt Pouches: Yogurt these days is unfortunately packed with so much sugar, but I’ve found that the Siggi’s yogurt pouches have some of the lower sugar content. And if you’re wondering why I’m concerned with sugar amounts, listen to this amazing podcast with the founders of Serenity Kids from the Skinny Confidential podcast. Sometimes, I’ll give her a spoon & yogurt in a bowl of whatever yogurt I have on hand for myself (which is usually this one).
1) Chicken Nuggets: This is something that I most always have stocked in our freezer. The only brand I buy for Blakely is the Applegate chicken nuggets. I love what this brand stands for, and equally love its minimal ingredients (where you can actually pronounce all that is in it!!). And also, they taste so good it is often my lunch too!!
2) Pasta + Peas: This is a weekly staple in our house for both lunches and dinners some nights. It is just SO easy & Blakely will actually eat it right now which is a huge win. Our favorite pastas are Banza chickpea pasta (or get the giant bundle from Costco), Trader Joe’s vegetable ridiatore pasta, or the Whole Foods Brand. We usually top her pasta with Rao’s marinara sauce or pesto.
3) Quesadillas: Another go-to lunch that I know Blakely will eat (and she actually had today!). For a little extra protein boost, not only add tons of cheese to the quesadilla, but first add refried black beans.
4) Sandwich: I cut off the crust for Blakely and then cut the sandwich either in half or into quarters. Sometimes I even cut it into little bites like when I’m serving her peanut butter + jelly. Another great easy sandwich idea is a grilled cheese or avocado toast (not technically a sandwich, but a filling + yummy lunch idea)! We add “everything but the bagel seasoning” on the avo toast and Blakely loves!
5) Mac & Cheese: Mac and cheese is always a trusty go-to. Our favorite brands are the Banza chickpea mac and cheese or the Annies organic mac and cheese! This is such an easy lunch that makes great leftovers for lunches the rest of the week. We’ll usually add peas or steamed broccoli into the mac and cheese to sneak in a little veggies.
On the go snacks:
- 1) That’s It bar
- 2) Serenity Kids pouch
- 3) Serenity Kids puffs
- 4) Apple pouch
- 5) Pirates booty or pretzels
- 6) Fruit/veggies that don’t need to be cut
At home snacks:
- 1) Apples + peanut butter
- 2) Cheese stick / cheese cubes
- 3) Once Upon A Time smoothie
- 4) Banana + nut butter
- 5) Hummus + Simple Mills crackers or carrots or cucumbers
- 6) Quartered grapes
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