Healthy Packed Lunch Ideas For Toddlers

1

Do you have a toddler and are looking for some healthy packed lunch ideas for toddlers? My son loves sandwiches, so of course that’s one of the things I pack for him. But just because it fits in his lunch box, doesn’t mean it’s a healthy idea. In fact, even if you make healthy lunches, your child may not always eat them. It’s hard to get toddlers to eat what they need to stay healthy.

Healthy Packed Lunch Ideas For Toddlers

Knowing what to pack in children’s lunchboxes can be tricky, especially if they’re fussy eaters. However, if you choose fresh and colourful ingredients, chances are that what you make will be more wholesome and appetising.

You don’t have to spend too much time prepping either. From crunchy taco salad to pitta pockets, our recipes are easy to make and stuffed full of freshness and flavour. So, ditch the soggy sarnies and try something different.

1. Chicken taco salad

Sweet potato crisps on chicken salad in lunchbox

It’s healthy, it’s four of your five-a-day and it’s topped with crunchy crushed taco shells. Our chicken taco salad is perfect if you want to get some variety into your child’s lunchbox. A smattering of creamy avocado chunks and barbecued chicken upgrades this salad to a next level feast.

2. Pitta pockets

Pitta pocket with cucumber and cherry tomatoes

Looking for something to replace sandwiches? Our easy pitta pockets are the answer. Try pairing them with finger food like our crushed pea & mint dip with carrot sticks, or some snackable spiced almonds. These fuss-free pittas can be thrown together in minutes and are an easy low-fat option.

3. Peanut hummus with fruit & veg sticks

Peanut houmous in pot with vegetable and fruit sticks

Get dipping with our peanut hummus with fruit & veg sticks. This healthy, nutty dip has silky smooth tahini and a pinch of smoked paprika to make your chickpeas pop with flavour. Stir in some whole chickpeas once your hummus is blended for texture. With no cooking involved, this is an ideal midweek lunch for when you’re short on time. Fancy trying a different flavour? Discover more easy healthy hummus recipes, ideal for popping into lunchboxes.

4. Mini spinach & cottage cheese frittatas

Spinach and cheese frittatas in greaseproof paper

Our cheesy mini spinach frittatas are easy for little hands to hold, healthy and packed full of all-important greens. It takes just seven ingredients and a muffin tin to bake these marvellous marbled treats. Not a fan of spinach? Try making a batch of mini butternut squash frittatas at the weekend, ready for midweek snacking.

5. Stuffed Moroccan pitta

Pitta bread with falafel and houmous in hands with napkin

Hearty chickpea falafels, creamy hummus and crunchy red pepper stuffed into pitta pockets makes a simple veggie lunch the kids will want more of. Use shop-bought hummus and falafels if you need a quick fix. If you want to make your own, try our easy falafel recipe with a quick hummus.

6. Chicken, carrot & avocado rolls

Chicken and avocado tortilla wrap in lunchbox with orange

Lunch is all wrapped up with our simple, quick chicken tortilla rolls. Raid the fridge and put together the perfect mix of cheese, chicken and avocado for a midday hunger killer. For a packed lunch, wrap them in cling film and twist them shut to avoid spillage in school bags.

7. Tuna rice salad

Tuna salad with peppers and sweetcorn in dish

Ensure the kids are eating well with rainbow rice salads, designed with easy meal prep in mind – make the rice base in a batch and divide up for the whole family. Our healthy tuna-topped version provides a protein boost and for more grown-up tastebuds, there’s a feta and beetroot variation.

8. Turkey & pepper pittas

Turkey & avocado pitta pockets with soured cream

These snacky turkey pittas served with a dollop of soured cream and soft pieces of avocado make a dreamy lunch. Older kids may be up for a sprinkle of chilli flakes, too, along with peppers for satisfying crunch. If putting in a lunchbox, pack the soured cream in an extra pot so the pittas don’t get soggy.

9. Green bean & penne salad

Green bean pasta with salad in lunchbox with fork

This speedy pasta salad with a healthy tomato and basil dressing counts as three of your five-a-day and is sure to perk up any lunchbox. It’s a colourful recipe that blows beige sandwiches out of the water. Top up with rocket and basil for extra greens.

10. Chicken & tzatziki wraps

Chicken and salad on wraps on board with herbs and chicken skewers

Give the kids a taste of summer hot off the griddle pan with our chicken & tzatziki wraps. Wrap up your chicken and pepper chunks with a healthy spread of tzatziki and a handful of baby spinach for a filling, picnic-style lunch.

12 HEALTHY TODDLER LUNCH IDEAS

These 12 lunches for toddlers are tried-and-true meals that I serve Ellie and Parker on a weekly basis.

Left: Chopped pieces of roasted chicken, black beans, and shredded cheddar cheese; chopped blackberries; warmed peas with a drizzle of olive oil and a pinch of cumin. For dessert, a Beech-Nut Coldpuree pouch of pear & apricot puree.

Right: Carrot puree + cream cheese sushi sandwich rolls; just apple puree (or applesauce of choice) with a smiley face; chopped cucumber

To make Sushi Sandwich Rolls: place a piece of bread (I used whole wheat) onto a cutting board. Flatten the bread with your hand or a rolling pin as flat as you can get it without tearing holes into the bread. Cut off the crusts and trim bread into a rectangle. Spread roughly 1 teaspoon whipped cream cheese onto the bread and then layer 1 teaspoon of just banana, carrot & cranberry puree (or your favorite jam) on top. Place the bread on the cutting board and starting with the short end, tightly roll the bread up into a sushi roll. Cut into equal pieces and serve.

Left: Hidden veggies grilled cheese; macaroni rings with meat sauce (or soup of choice); blueberries (cut in half for younger toddlers).

To make Hidden Veggies Grilled Cheese – take 2 pieces of whole wheat bread and spread butter on one side of each piece (the outside) and then spread roughly 1 teaspoon of just spinach, zucchini and peas on the other side (the inside) of each piece of bread. Layer 1-2 pieces of sliced cheddar cheese on top of the bread with the puree on it and lay the other piece of bread with the puree side towards the cheese. Grill sandwich in a medium skillet on medium heat for 3 minutes, flip and heat for 3 more minutes or until cheese is melted and crust is brown. Let cool slightly, cut into slices and serve. The green puree almost completely disappears into the bread, so kids will never know it was there.

Right: Chopped turkey meatballs with citrusy sweet potato dip; chopped steamed broccoli with sea salt; chopped strawberries; and a banana, cherry & beet smoothie.

To make the Citrusy Sweet Potato Dip – stir together 1 tablespoon of plain Greek yogurt (or mayonnaise) and 2 teaspoons of sweet potato, orange &  pineapple puree until well incorporated

To make Banana, Cherry & Beet Smoothie – add the contents of 1 banana, cherry & beet coldpuree pouch, 1/2 banana, 1/2 cup of ice, 1/4 cup of almond milk (or milk of choice) and 1 teaspoon of honey (optional) into a blender and blend for 1 minute or until smooth. Makes 1 toddler smoothie.

Left: Sliced pita, carrots, cucumbers and red peppers with carrot hummus and raisins.

To make Carrot Hummus – in a small bowl, mix together 1/4 cup plain hummus and 2 tablespoons just carrot puree until will incorporated. Here is my favorite homemade carrot hummus recipe.

Right: Surprise peanut butter banana quesadilla, chopped purple grapes and sliced sweet peppers.

To make Surprise Peanut Butter Banana Quesadilla – spread 2 teaspoons of natural peanut butter (almond butter or seed butter also works) onto half of a medium flour tortilla. Slice half of banana and place the slices evenly on top of the peanut butter. Drizzle 1 tablespoon of just apple & blackberry puree (or favorite jam) over the bananas and peanut butter. Fold the tortilla in half and cook in a medium skillet over medium heat for 3 minutes, flip and cook for 3 more minutes or until brown on both sides.

Left:  Cream cheese fruit crackers,, warmed corn with a pinch of paprika and chopped avocado with a squeeze of lime juice

To make Cream Cheese Fruit Crackers – spread whipped cream cheese on top of your toddler’s favorite crackers. Dollop a teaspoon of banana, blueberry & avocado coldpuree pouch (or your favorite jam) on top and serve. You can keep the rest of the pouch for a healthy snack later on in the day.

Right:  Butternut squash mac and cheese + peas, apple ring with cinnamon and orange sections. I used this veggie cutter to cut the flower into the apple.

To make Butternut Squash Mac & Cheese + Peas – prepare the noodles from a normal size box of mac & cheese (this is our favorite brand). Follow the instructions for making the cheese sauce except only use half of the package of cheese powder and instead add in 2 heaping tablespoons of just butternut squash puree. I sprinkle the leftover cheese powder onto homemade popcorn for a fun mom snack:). Stir in the noodles and 1/3 cup fresh or frozen peas and serve. Wanna make it homemade? Here is my very popular recipe for homemade Butternut Squash ‘Mac & Cheese’.

Left:  Mango rice + edamame, roasted beets with nutmeg and pretzels.

To make Mango Rice with Edamame – In a small skillet over medium/low heat, whisk together 2 tablespoons just mango puree, 1 teaspoon soy sauce, 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil and a pinch of garlic powder. Add in 2 cups of cooked rice and 1/2 cup shelled edamame and stir until everything is incorporated. Feel free to add in some leftover chopped eggs into this recipe for a more authentic fried rice dish. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and serve. Fast Tip – I always keep a bag of frozen pre-cooked rice in my freezer for fast meals like this one.

Right:  Cubed cheddar cheese, hard boiled egg with pepper, green bean and turkey roll-ups, pumpkin yogurt and chopped raspberries.

To make Pumpkin Yogurt – spoon some Greek yogurt into a small bowl or section of the plate. Place a cookie cutter (any shape works here) into the yogurt and gently press down. Spoon in just pumpkin puree and push around the puree until the entire cookie cutter shape is covered. Gently remove the cutter. Any puree or jam will also work in this recipe (recipe for easiest homemade jam can be found here).

Left:  Healthy lunchable cheese and crackers, just pear puree with a pinch of nutmeg and chopped honeydew melon. I used this veggie cutter to cut out the cheese and meat.

Right:  Chopped falafel and feta, chopped pineapple and sliced snap pea. And a banana, carrot & cranberry coldpuree pouch for dessert.

HEALTHY TODDLER LUNCHES

HEALTHY SANDWICH LUNCH IDEAS

While not all little kids can handle the mixed texture of a traditional sandwich quite yet, you can still serve the elements in a way that they can enjoy—whether by cutting the sandwich into cubes, sticks, or serving the components side-by-side.

  • PB&J or Sunbutter and Jelly, with an easy vegetable and fruit.
  • Mashed Roasted Sweet Potato on Bread and cut into sticks with turkey lunchmeat and pear.
  • Tuna or Salmon Salad with Bread Sticks for dipping, with cheese cubes and a clementine.
  • Carrot Hummus spread onto Bread and cut into cubes served with diced strawberries and roasted broccoli.
  • Apple Butter and Cream Cheese (or a slice of cheddar cheese) between whole grain bread, cubed as needed. With diced cucumber and raisins.
  • Hummus with Pita with sliced cucumbers and grape tomatoes, and milk.
  • Grilled Cheese on Whole Grain Bread, maybe with a little snipped baby spinach or kale in the cheese. With a favorite fruit and drink alongside.
  • Grilled Cheese with Mashed Roasted Sweet Potato—simply spread it on one side of the bread before cooking—with edamame beans and sliced peaches.
  • Favorite Lunch Meat with Whole Grain Bread, cut into small cubes or served with the components alongside each other.
  • Soft Whole Grain Roll with Egg Salad. Cut into cubes and serve with fruit, chickpeas, and milk.

TIP: When buying deli meat, look for low sodium varieties.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Like
Close
TheSuperHealthyFood © Copyright 2022. All rights reserved.
Close