Feeding your toddler can be challenging at the best of times, not to mention if you have a fussy eater. So many mothers, myself included, pull their hair out wondering if their kids are getting enough nutrition into their tiny bodies. After the age of one, most kids start to eat pretty much what their family eats, with food cut into smaller pieces or mashed if needed. This is how I've nourished Orlando to date, creating family meals based around what I feel he might eat well. This way I don't have to cook a smorgasbord of options to suit every member of the family.
I often get asked for meal ideas to feed little ones. It's only taken me three years to pull this post together! I hope these recipes will help you out in creating healthy lunches and dinner that the whole family can enjoy.
We love a good shepherd's pie with mashed potato, especially in winter. It's soft, easy to eat and nourishing. I usually swap the potato for a sweet potato mash or a cauliflower mash. This fish pie by Delicious Magazine is a goodie to throw into the weekday mix. Play around with different types of fish and toppings to find the winning combination for your family.
Following the fishy theme, fish parcels are always a hit for the little man with a some steamed veggies or a broccoli mash. Love this recipe by Delicious Magazine, for Orlando I usually keep it simple and add a little olive oil, lemon, salt and pepper to the fish and get more fancy with the adult versions.
Fishy cakes or fishy balls, this is another great way to encourage your little one to eat more fish and subtly introduce them to veggies and other flavours, love this recipe by The Skinny Pot.
If your toddler is new to soups I would suggest by start out with a basic broth recipe and slowly adding vegetables to it like corn and peas and gradually building up to something like this yummy spring vegetables quinoa minestrone by Simply Quinoa. You can pick what you put into this soup, I know know Orlando wouldn't touch the kale or anything big green and leafy, but as for all other vegetables anything goes.
Curry is my go to meal in a hurry. Love this chicken and vegetable curry by Whole and Heavenly Oven. You can moderate how spicy you make your version, but it's a tasty way to get your protein, veggies and a little bit of carbohydrates in.
Salads have been a tricky thing to get my son to eat. We've started off by giving him fruity salads with chunky steamed veggies and a yummy, sweeter dressing. Love this Broccoli and Apple salad by The Recipe Critic.
We love pulses at our house. Lentils are amazing because their tiny little bodies are packed with potassium, calcium, zinc, niacin and vitamin K, but are particularly rich in dietary fiber, lean protein, folate and iron so if you're not against pulses, they are a great way to get key nutrient into your bub. Love this Lentil and sweet potato stew by Eat Yourself Skinny.
While it's still cool, fill up on belly warming stews. We love a stew because you can throw pretty much anything in a pot and it will turn out delicious. There are plenty of meaty recipes out there, here's one to get a little more veg on your plate by Brand New Vegan
Meatballs are a hit at our house. I like to make a big batch of meatballs and use half as meatballs and the other as little burgers for luch and snacks. This Moroccan meatball and vegetable ragout by From a Chef's Kitchen ticks all my nutrition boxes, and tastes pretty amazing too.
Being married to a Mexican comes with some sweet perks. A sexy accent, quirky in-laws and incredible food. Orlando has been accustomed to quesadillas from a young age, where we just made them using tortillas and cheese. We have started to add fillings like chicken and veggies. Love this version by Baby Foodie.
A savoury muffin is a sure fire way to get some goodness into a fussy eater. If they're funny with veggies, get the grater out and make those veggies virtually invisible! These beauties by Ambitious Kitchen are great on their own, freeze quite well so you can make them in bulk, great in lunch boxes, or to have on hand when you're on the go.
You can you use any bean you happen to have in the pantry for this recipe by Peas and Crayons, but black beans are great because of their high fiber, potassium, folate, vitamin B6 and phytonutrient content.
Great for breakfast, lunch or dinner, these little frittatas by Kristine's Kitchen Blog are quick to make, great to keep in the freezer and a good source of protein with some extra veggies on the side.
Love these Baked Green Bean Fries by Damn Delicious. Orlando loves these which is miraculous, I think it's just a mental thing because we call them green chippies!
Similar take on the old fritter, these Cauliflower Tots by Sweet as Honey are pretty sweet. Great on the go, as a snack, as a side for pretty much any meal of the day.
Meatballs are a great place to hide sneaky veggies. Love these Zucchini Meatballs by Diet Taste.
They're cheese, packed full of protein and just the right amount of cheesy. These Cheesy Veggie Quinoa Bites by Cupcakes and Kale Chips are the perfect snack or meal for tiny tummies.
Grilled chicken pieces are great to throw into a toddler friendly Meze style platter. These Mediterranean Grilled Chicken pieces by The Mediterranean Dish are great with a with Dill Greek Yoghurt Sauce and perfect for both kiddies and grown ups.
While this Zucchini Bread by Simply Recipes may not be a 'meal' it's a handy recipe that's tasty, and can be turned into bite sized muffins. Great way to disguise a hint of green goodness in a tasty loaf.
How amazing does this Cowboy Caviar by Culinary Hill look? For Orlando I would make a little side version without the onion and a little less herbs and no tomatoes, but a pretty yummy way to help them eat salad.
Fried rice is the quickest and tastiest meal for little people. We love packing ours with colourful veggies and protein if the occasion calls for it. Adding brown rice instead of white rice is an added nutritional bonus. Love this recipe for Veggie Fried Rice by Cooking Classy.
A healthier alternative to traditional nachos, these Sweet Potato Nachos by Slim Sanity are so tasty!
Love these because they are just so colourful! Check out the recipes fo Rainbow Veggie Pinwheels by Dinner At The Zoo.
Home made nuggets are always a winner at our house. Crunchy on the outside soft and delicious on the inside, they make a great snack or meal with some mash or veggies on the side. Love these veggie nuggets by Real Mom Nutrition.
This frittata is a good one to make in bulk and freeze. Packed full of tasty goodness, you can rest assured that this created by the Taste team will tick all your nutritional boxes.
You can't go wrong with a good pancake for breakfast. Finding a recipe that is healthy and tastes good can be a little tricky however. I've tried almond meal and find it burns too quickly, I've tried coconut flour and it's just that little bit too dry. Buckwheat or even amaranth flour however both hold up under pressure, and with a touch of yoghurt could even pass for the real deal. This recipe is packed with protein, which will keep you fuller for longer, without the bloat. Enjoy!
Chia jam is one of those things that I like to make every now and then to add to oats, buckwheat pancakes, or as a tasty layer to a chia puddings. A great refined free alternative to traditional jam, this is baby is packed full of goodness including omega-3 fatty acids, antioxidants, fibre, iron, and calcium.
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