Healthy Toddler Friendly Food Ideas
Alright, let’s be real here, managing to find healthy toddler friendly foods can be somewhat challenging at times. Especially depending on what phase your little peanut is going through. And goodness knows, us mothers, will never have enough time in the day to finish all of the day’s tasks, let’s not waste any more time with the chit chat. Let’s get right to it! Here are some ideas for healthy toddler friendly foods that are sure to please!
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My boys LOVE these! Granted, they aren’t AS healthy as fresh fruit per say, but they are definitely a great alternative to other options. And I have definitely been known to describe these as “candy” a time or two, for persuasion purposes.
Veggie Tater Tots
Looking for a good swap for tots? Green Giant has it on lock when it comes to healthy alternatives. I’ve seen broccoli, broccoli and cheese, cauliflower and even sweet potato tater tots. These are a big hit in our household. As long as they’re crispy my boys will devour them. If you’d like to try them out, they are available at Walmart. And if you’re feeling super adventurous, try out Walmart’s grocery pick up program (that is literally a lifesaver!) Click here to get $10 off your first pick up order http://r.wmt.co/v/shayna_
Our delicious “milkshakes” are a great way to sneak it all sorts of fruit, spinach, avocado and any other vitamin packed superfoods you can think of. The combinations are unlimited! And calling them milkshakes (while possibly, slightly deceiving) works wonders for convincing picky little eaters that they will actually enjoy the taste! A favorite in our household is a CHOCOLATE BANANA SMOOTHIE that tastes like a dupe for a Wendy’s Frosty – Yum!
Homemade Chicken Nuggets
If your kid is like mine, chicken nuggets are a big hit, but let’s face it, serving them Mcdonald’s nuggets 5 days a week may not be the healthiest (but hey, no judgment here!). Baking them at home in the oven is a great alternative and cuts out a lot of the unwanted fat. Click here for a recipe to try at home to curb the chicken nugget cravings!
Berries, Kiwi, Strawberries & Watermelon
These are an easy sell. They don’t look weird (well maybe kiwi), they’re refreshing and they taste delicious! Why wouldn’t a kid want to eat these!
Now I get it, nut allergies are a big problem for a lot of kids these days so feel free to skip on by this one. But if you don’t have a household with nut allergies, these can be a really great snack for kids who are into crunchy stuff. My boys go crazy over cashews and pistachios (I obviously buy the ones that are already shelled because…can you imagine the amount of time and speed you would need to shell pistachios for two hungry little boys.. YIKES!) Any who, this satisfies the whole crunchy salty craving that’s usually satisfied by chips.
We LOVE these bad boys in our house! I actually call them cheetos and for some reason this is more appealing than veggie straws, but hey, I’ll take it! You can usually find them in zesty ranch, cheddar or lightly salted flavors.
Carrots and Ranch
I’ve found that if you slice carrots very thin it makes it way easier for little ones to eat and they actually enjoy it! Even my husband gets in on the sliced carrot action. Add a little ranch to the mix and bam you’ve got a hit!
Another nutty substitute, but needless to say if you your kids are cool with nuts, then throwing a little chocolate into the mix is a no brainer.
So I’m not sure how it happened but these are playfully referred to as pizza snacks in our household (as I write this, I’m suddenly seeing a little bit of a deceptive trend here… my kids might be a little confused once they’re in school and chatting with other kids about what’s in their lunch boxes). I like to throw some corn tortillas in a pan and fill it with a little bit of colby jack or mexican blend cheese and whala! Add some mild salsa and it’s a snack my kids love to devour.
Turkey & Cheese Sandwich Cut Into Shapes
Any sandwich cut into shapes or characters is a win. Valentine’s day? Use a heart cookie cutter. Christmas? A tree. If you’re child is really into vehicles, there’s even transportation cookie cutter sets on Amazon that would make adorable little sandwich shapes!
Here’s my favorite recipe for homemade popsicles… are you ready! Put chopped up watermelon into a juicer and pour the juice into a popsicle mold. That’s it! That’s my kind of recipe! Delicious, sweet, healthy goodness that your kids will love. Check out these fantastic dinosaur popsicle molds to really take your frozen treats to the next level.
Here are some other amazing suggestions from some of my readers, to get toddlers to eat healthy!
“Let them pick… I’ll give my boys an option… you can have celery or carrots, a plum or berries, etc. also, when it comes to meat, a roast, or pork chops… I let them put pieces on a ‘healthier’ cracker. I’d rather them have a few extra crackers with a meal than not eat the protein!!”
This is a great way to let your little one have options while still overlooking what they pick. Awesome idea!
And Missy suggests,
“Sneaking veggies and fruits into everything! Mashed carrots and chopped spinach in spaghetti sauce was a big go to. A food processor is your best friend! Obviously, I would offer the real thing at every meal, but this way, I knew it was eaten. The book Deceptively Delicious by Jessica Seinfeld is a great place to get ideas!”
I love the idea of using a food processor to mix it, so they never even know the difference! Another great idea!
There you have it. Hopefully some of these ideas can help win over even the pickiest little eaters, so they can munch on snacks that are power packed with nutrients. If you have any additional ideas for healthy toddler friendly foods, feel free to leave a comment down below!
- Dried Fruits
- Veggie Tater Tots
- Homemade Chicken Nuggets
- Berries, Kiwi and Watermelon
- Veggie Straws
- Carrots and Ranch
- Tail Mix
- Homemade Quesadillas
- Turkey & Cheese Sandwiches in Fun Shapes
- Homemade Popsicles
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