The toddler stage is a very important time for children to be exposed to new and healthy foods, which can help set the stage for your child's future tastes and eating habits. While you certainly want to allow your child plenty of variety and nutrition, you probably will also want to have some simple meal ideas ready for those days where you don't have the time or energy to put into food preparation.
French toast sticks and silver dollar pancakes are simple to make and easy for toddlers to pick up and eat. Waffles are also popular, but be sure to slice them into bite-sized pieces before serving. Flavoured oatmeal is also a staple and can quickly be made more fun with a raisin smile adorning the surface. To give your little one more calcium, serve yoghurt or cottage cheese covered in a variety of fruits.
Lunch is one of the easiest meals of the day, as it often consists of sandwiches cut into quarters. You can use meats, tuna, eggs or jellies in the filling, and changing it up will keep your child interested. You can easily prepare quesadillas in the microwave and then slice them up for a calcium-rich treat. Pigs in a blanket are easy to make as well, just wrap crescent roll dough around sliced hot dogs and bake as directed. For sides, try veggies served with ranch dressing or pre-made pasta salad.
For dinner, try making kid-friendly dishes out of your own meal. If you're making chicken, slice a few pieces into thin strips and bake them for simple chicken fingers. Dice up steamed veggies like squash or sweet potatoes on the side. For a side of carbohydrates, make rice with veggies and chicken stock. As a stand by, almost all toddlers love sliced hot dogs or spiral pasta in tomato sauce.
You can make snacks from leftovers of other meals or just about any fruit. Trail mix and fruit salad are easy to throw together. Simple treats like sliced carrots, edamame, graham crackers, yoghurt tubes and string cheese are easy to pack up and take with you. Individual servings of apple sauce are also a good travel food, but be sure to bring a spoon with you or else you're certain to have a mess on your hands.
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