Easy Healthy Dinner Recipes Toddlers – If you have toddlers in your home, feeding them can be frustrating. I know this all too well. My son Max is the pickiest eater I have ever met and I often struggle to get him to eat anything but Cheerios. While I could go into the endless details of how my son has come to love all of my wonderful cooking, or how I am his favorite in the entire world — because he loves mommy’s food, or other things that mothers say (he does not love me or any of that stuff) — I thought I would give you some options for food to prepare for when dealing with your finicky toddler.
Make-Ahead Toddler Dinners
Make-Ahead Toddler Dinners
Getting dinner (or lunch, for that matter) on the table with an active and hungry toddler underfoot often feels impossible. Heck, it often is impossible. And even the best laid dinner intentions can quickly go by the wayside when someone is in need of your attention, wants to be held, or just wants to reconnect with you after a long day.
I love taking advantage of dinners for kids that my whole family likes, but that store really well, to help make it easier to feed my family at the end of the day.
Which means I often double cook these recipes and stash one in the fridge or freezer for a future meal. Or, if I happen to have time to meal prep, these are the first recipes I turn to. Or if I just want recipes that I know hold well to eat as leftovers, this is my list.
These meals either freeze well—so you can make them weeks (or months ahead) and pull them out when you need them—or they store well in the fridge for 3-5 days. Which gives you a lot of flexibility in terms of cooking when you have the time and ensuring that everything you make will be delicious whenever you get to eat it.
You can pair these ideas with simple sides like cut up fruit, applesauce, crackers, cheese, or anything that sounds appealing to you. Add some milk or water and enjoy the recipes right along with your kids.
1. Veggie-Loaded Marinara Sauce
You can freeze this sauce when fully cooled in a quart-size freezer bag. Remove as much air as you can and freeze flat for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator or place the bag in a large bowl filled with warm water and let thaw. Serve with pasta, meatballs, or even over couscous.Easy Marinara Sauce with Extra VeggiesServe this sauce with 1 pound of your family’s favorite pasta for an easy and healthy dinner.Get the recipe
2. Healthy Toddler Meatballs
Make a double batch the next time you make meatballs and tuck a bag full away in the freezer. Meatballs freeze extremely well! To freeze, let cool fully, then place into a zip top freezer bag, removing as much air as possible. Thaw directly in pasta sauce or in short 10-15 second increments in the microwave for quick toddler dinners.Healthy Meatballs (with Hidden Vegetables)With the texture you expect from a traditional meatball, but added nutrition from three types of veggies, your whole family will love these.
3. Broccoli Tots
With a quick blitz in the food processor, you can have a batch of these seriously yummy broccoli tots in the oven—then let cool and store in an airtight container until you’re ready to serve them later in the week. They reheat in minutes and have a soft, yet slightly crunchy texture that everyone will enjoy. Parents can have theirs alongside a simple salad or with some fresh fruit.Homemade Broccoli Tots (Better Than the Freezer Aisle!)You can cook the rice up to 5 days ahead of time and store it in the fridge until you’re ready to bake the tots
4. Sheet Pan Black Bean Quesadillas
If I ever have a little extra time in the morning, I love to prep this meal so it’s ready to stick into the oven at the end of the day when we all get home. You can make enough quesadillas for the entire family at the same time, which means no standing by the stove flipping them endlessly.Sheet Pan Black Bean QuesadillasThese easy quesadillas can be made with pumpkin puree, sweet potato puree, or butternut squash puree. You can also skip it and just go with beans and cheese! I make these as half moon shapes since it helps contain the mess a little when feeding these to kids.
5. Easy Peanut Sauce
This peanut sauce, which has the option of adding a nice dose of greens, can be made up to 5 days ahead of time and stored in the fridge in an airtight container. It can also be frozen in an airtight container for up to 3 months. Serve over noodles or rice and veggies—which you can also make ahead!Easy Peanut SauceThis makes enough for 12-16 ounces of noodles, or enough for 1-2 meals as a sauce over grains or protein for a family of 4.
6. Mini Egg Muffins with Cheese and Veggies
You can freeze a batch of these protein-packed muffins to quickly reheat for any meal of the day. Simply let cool and then place in a zip top freezer bag, removing as much air as possible. Freeze for up to 3 months and either thaw overnight in the fridge or heat in the microwave in short 10 second increments until warmed through.Make-Ahead Egg and Cheese Mini MuffinsThese soft breakfast egg cups are packed with protein and vitamins—and can be made ahead of time! Add any veggie you like, whether carrots, butternut squash, broccoli, or spinach.
7. Easy Baked Zucchini Fritters
Making a batch of these simple, but so good zucchini fritters the easy way—in a muffin tin!—and storing them to reheat later is a genius dinner option. They’re great on their own, served over a salad for adults, or even served alongside simple buttered pasta.Easy Baked Zucchini FrittersIf you have a lot of zucchini, you can double the recipe to make a full muffin tin‘s worth!Get the recipe
8. Shortcut Squash Risotto
You can either make the components of this dish—the roasted veggies and the rice—up to 3 days ahead of time and simply assemble it at dinner time, or make the entire dish ahead and store it in the fridge. Add a little milk if needed for moisture before serving. You can freeze roasted veggies as well. Let cool and store in a zip top freezer bag with as much air removed as possible for up to 3 months. (This is great for older babies too!)Shortcut Butternut Squash RisottoYou can cook the rice ahead of time and do Step 1 ahead. Or make the whole dish ahead and warm to serve when needed
9. Quinoa Patties
Stir together a simple batter of quinoa, egg, cheese, breadcrumbs, and either broccoli or cauliflower to make these patties. Then you can freeze them for a quick future meal. Thaw overnight in the fridge or pop into a toaster oven or a 375 degree oven and bake for about 6-8 minutes, or until warmed through.Easy Quinoa Patties (Favorite Quinoa Cakes)These quick Quinoa Patties are a delicious way to serve quinoa to kids—and adults! Plan to make the quinoa ahead of time so these come together in minutes.
10. Creamy (Nut-Free) Hummus and Crackers
Blending up hummus up to 5 days ahead and storing in an airtight container in the fridge means that you’ll always have an easy dinner component on hand. We like this version since it’s super creamy from the inclusion of yogurt, has loads of vegetarian protein, and is really yummy when served with crackers and fresh veggies like shredded carrots or cucumber sticks—or simply spread on toast.Creamy Hummus Without TahiniYou can use regular plain yogurt, though I like the consistency that Greek yogurt yields a bit better.
toddler dinners they’re guaranteed to gobble up
Tuna patties are a great budget dinner option that the whole family can enjoy. With a crunchy exterior, these patties are made of tuna, potato and diced vegetables and are delicious served with a green salad.
Crunchy chicken nuggets
Coat chunks of tender chicken in crushed cornflakes for a truly crunchy nugget and a kid-friendly dinner idea that they’ll love! Serve with plenty of fresh veggies.
These noodle fritters are just a teensy bit more-ish and if your kids aren’t particularly keen on vegetables, this very easy recipe could be your ticket to get them to try something they wouldn’t normally eat.
Ham and pineapple pizza muffins
Pizzas made on muffins are a lifesaver for busy mums! These ham and pineapple pizza muffins are delicious and can even be popped cold into lunch boxes.
These savoury vegetable pikelets are full of hidden veggies that the kids won’t see. They are perfect for toddlers and can also be popped into lunch boxes
These chicken meatballs are really popular with kids and adults alike. Serve them on skewers, rolled in flat bread, pop them into lunch boxes or just eat them straight from the pan.
Zucchini and potato fritters
This easy recipe makes 12 large fritters. Freeze any leftover fritters by wrapping them individually so you can reheat them as you need them later.
Healthy macaroni cheese
This healthy macaroni and cheese has had a make-over that reduces the fat content but not the taste. You can get this creamy pasta on the table in under 20 minutes
These corn pikelets are great for toddlers, for breakfast or just anytime you need a nutritious snack. You can triple the batch and freeze some for later.
Healthy chicken nuggets
Need I say it? Kids LOVE chicken nuggets. Here is how you get them on your table in the most healthy way.
Simple to prepare, balanced meals that your toddler can easily handle, with flavours they’ll love.
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