A One Year Old Meal Plan- Sample Toddler Menus

There is a reason meal plans and schedules are so popular, they are extremely helpful.  Creating a predictable schedule for your one to three year olds is not only essential for their sleep and play, but also for their eating habits.  We’ve talked about a lot of food ideas for one year olds and toddlers, but haven’t covered an actual daily timeline! A one year old meal plan can set up your toddler to develop a healthy rhythm with eating. 

My four year old is a snack monster, he’ll graze all day and not eat any meals.  He knows when his snack times are and that helps alleviate some of the food and meal battles. And if he’s not snacking right up until dinner, he is more likely to eat his meal (go figure! 🙂 ) I’ve included a few different daily meal plans, because things fluctuate depending on your child and the day. I have three boys, my youngest is 18 months. They have all had their preferences and different tastes, starting when they were babies. 

Related Post: All your questions about feeding toddlers- Master List of ALL the Food Ideas for One Year Old Babies

What & When Should my 1 Year Old Eat

A 1 year old meal plan should have a general framework:

  • Switch to whole milk at 12 months- recommended to switch to 2% or skim etc. after 2 years old. 16-24 ounces a day 
  • About 5 mini meals a day or 3 meals and 2 snacks- giving the same foods for snack in a smaller amount helps to create a predictable pattern and not make snacks more important or desirable than meals.
  • Eat about every 2-3 hours (Time between meals and snacks)
  • Serving sizes: One year olds don’t eat a whole lot.  This will differ from baby to baby, but a general guideline is to keep servings at about 1/2 cup or even 1/4 cup for sides.  For example, a 1/2 cup of oatmeal with half that amount of strawberries on the side. 
  • Feeding Them- Parent led or finger foods can be self fed, early as 9-10 months old. Start to preload a spoon with food so they practice lifting it to their mouth. Gradually, between 14-18 months they will get better.  But it’s a skill they will continually work on through their 2nd year. 

Related Posts: Healthy Baby Finger Food Recipes-Meal Prep and 10 Simple Finger Foods for a One Year Old

Foods to Incorporate

Related Post: Quick & Nutritious Breakfast Ideas for a One Year Old

Meals should strive to have a balance of foods from these categories- at least 3 per meal. Dinner is where I get the most adventurous and offer what the rest of the family is having. Breakfast and lunch- I put together especially for the kids. Check out these toddler lunches for school or daycare for lots of lunches that include foods from each food group.

  • Fruit- bananas, strawberries, blueberries, “cuties” (clementines), peaches, apples, watermelon, etc. 
  • Veggies- avocado, green beans, carrots, peas, sweet potato, squash (easy to cook or low sodium/no sugar added cans)
  • Dairy- cheese, plain whole milk or greek yogurt, milk
  • Protein- eggs, turkey slices, chicken, meats, beans and legumes, fish
  • Carbs- whole wheat toast (or whatever bread you buy), oatmeal, sweet and regular potatoes, rice, pasta, corn tortillas, whole wheat pancakes
  • Healthy fats- avocado, nuts and seeds, egg yolks and nut butters (if not allergic)

This post contains affiliate links, please refer to my disclosure policy for more information. 

Breakfast

Quick & Nutritious Breakfast Ideas for a One Year Old

Quick and nutritious ideas to perfect breakfast for one year old toddlers. What to feed new toddlers is one of the hardest challenges. Read on for healthy meal ideas and menus for one year olds.

Quick and nutritious ideas to perfect breakfast for one year old toddlers. What to feed new toddlers is one of the hardest challenges. Read on for healthy meal ideas and menus for one year olds.

Lunch

10 Simple Finger Foods for a One Year Old

Simple finger food meals for a one year old when you don't have time to cook. One year old meal ideas that are fast and easy. Food ideas and meal plan!

Simple finger food meals for a one year old when you don't have time to cook. One year old meal ideas that are fast and easy. Food ideas and meal plan!

Dinner

Master List of ALL the Food Ideas

Tips

  • Pickiness happens. It happens in waves and phases. Keep trying to offer new foods and foods they didn’t like in the past; they may surprise you by changing their mind.  (My four year old just randomly decided he loves asparagus! I have put one on his plate for years and he always turned his nose up and finally he ate it up and asked for more. You really never know, I always continue to serve them a little but not push them to eat it. )
  • Don’t get discouraged and try to make them eat all their food.  It will get frustrating at times to make something they don’t eat, but it’s all part of growing up and them seeing what they like and don’t like.  My oldest didn’t eat meat for at least 6 months- I kept trying and one day he ate it again.  To substitute for protein we did a lot of eggs, beans and greek yogurt. Read more tips for picky eating phases here!  
  • Fruit is always a win with my boys, vegetables on the other hand- not so much. Sneaking them into egg muffins, scrambled eggs, muffins or green smoothies helps ease my mind that they are getting at least some green produce in their system.
  • Get some fun divider plates or placemat plates.  My two year old is using the placemat most since it doesn’t fit on our high chair.  Check to see if yours will fit before buying!
  • Reusable placemats for restaurant dining is amazing! No dirty tables anymore! Disposable placemats are also fantastic.
  • I have my boys hold a spoon while I feed them non finger foods.  Helps them practice holding it and how it works before they can eat independently. Look for opportunities to practice their pincer grip and holding silverware.

Sample 1 Year Old Meal Plan

7am | Wake Up- Sippy cup of milk

7:30am | Breakfast

9:30am | Snack

12pm | Lunch

1pm | Afternoon Nap

3pm | Wake up and Snack

(Offer veggie or fruit “appetizer” if they are hungry again before dinner)

6pm | Dinner

OR

6am | Wake Up- Sippy cup of milk

6:30am | Breakfast

8:30am | Snack 

11am | Lunch

12pm | Afternoon Nap

2pm | Wake up and Snack

5pm | Dinner

YOUNG ONE YEAR OLD MEAL PLAN- TWO NAPS

7am | Wake Up- Sippy cup of milk

7:30am | Breakfast

9am | Morning Nap (This nap fades out between 15-18 months)

10am | Snack after taking morning nap

12pm | Lunch

1pm | Afternoon Nap

3pm | Wake up and Snack

5:30-6pm | Dinner

Shrimp Penne Pasta with a Creamy Tomato Herb Sauce

Jump to Recipe

Seafood and shrimp are probably not the first things you think of when planning a meal that toddlers and kids will like. But pasta is. And this shrimp penne pasta recipe blends the two so perfectly that it is solely responsible for my kids’ love for shrimp.  shrimp penne pasta skillet

Related Post: 20 Quick and Toddler Friendly Instant Pot Dinners

When I make shrimp in another recipe, my boys turn their noses up at it (because it’s new). I quickly remind them, “Remember shrimp is in that pasta dish you love with the creamy tomatoes?!” They exclaim, “oh yeah!” and give it a try. Winning.

This shrimp penne pasta recipe is not only easy, but it has all the comfort and deliciousness you need for a well loved family meal.  It’s been on rotation in my house for years and I finally decided it needed to be shared with you all. Because I know how tough it can be to find recipes. Especially one that your kids will like, and you will love as well. 

Don’t let the ease of it fool you, it packs lots of robust flavor in a short amount of cooking time. The sauce alone is mouthwatering! Most importantly, this shrimp penne pasta can be easily thrown together on a weeknight after work. 

Shrimp Penne Pasta

Delicious shrimp cooked in a creamy tomato sauce with aromatic herbs makes this recipe a popular dinner meal for the whole family.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Course: Main Course
Keyword: creamy shrimp pasta, shrimp dinner, shrimp pasta, shrimp penne
Servings: 8 6-8 servings

Ingredients

  • 1 lb Shrimp (raw, peeled)
  • 1 lb Penne Pasta
  • 1/4 cup Olive Oil
  • 3 cloves Garlic (minced)
  • 1 can Petite Diced Tomatoes (15 ounces)
  • 1 cube Chicken Bouillon (can be replaced with vegetable or omitted completely)
  • 3 tsp Basil
  • 3 tsp Oregano
  • 2 tsp Sea Salt
  • 2 tsp Pepper
  • 3/4 cup Heavy Whipping Cream
  • 1/2 cup White Cooking Wine
  • 2 tbsp Lemon Juice
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan Cheese (plus extra for sprinkling on top)
  • 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes (optional)

Instructions

  • Bring a large pot of salted water to boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook per package instructions. About 8-10 minutes for al dente.
  • In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the garlic, shrimp, 1 teaspoon of salt and 1 teaspoon of pepper. Cook stirring frequently until the shrimp turn pink. About 2 minutes per side. Using a slotted spoon or tongs- remove shrimp and set aside.
  • Add the can of tomatoes, chicken bouillon cube, basil, oregano and red pepper flakes (if using). I do not use the red pepper flakes anymore because I have young kids that don't like spicy, but it adds a nice kick. Cook for 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Make sure the bouillon cube completely dissolves.
  • Add the white wine, heavy cream, and lemon juice. Bring the mixture to a boil and then reduce to medium-low. Simmer for 8-10 minutes until the sauce thickens.
  • Add 1/4 cup of the parmesan cheese, the cooked shrimp, cooked pasta and remaining salt and pepper (if needed). Toss together until all ingredients are coated. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  • Serve and sprinkle with parmesan cheese on top.

Baby Led Weaning Sweet Potato Wedges Recipe

Sweet potato is one of the best first foods for baby! It’s stocked full of nutrients, super tasty and easy to cook in a variety of ways.  I’ve already included it in my baby food puree recipes, but with my third baby I decided to try some baby led weaning. The first foods I gave him are almost exactly as I did with purees. Started with avocado slices, then banana pieces followed by sweet potato and apples.  Baby led weaning sweet potato wedges is the first recipe I tailored specifically for him. It’s super easy and can be modified to a puree or served to your whole family.  baby enjoying sweet potato

What is Baby Led Weaning?

If you already know what baby led weaning is and are just interested in the recipe, feel free to skip this section!  I want to give a little context to the basics of blw (baby led weaning) and my stance on feeding babies.  Most importantly, feed your baby however you like. 🙂  There is no absolute right way to go about this and like most things, can depend on your baby and your family’s needs. 

Baby led weaning is essentially skipping purees all together and going straight to finger foods. “Weaning” is a little misleading, should be baby self feeding but the term was coined in the UK where it started. Babies have to be sitting up so essentially at least 6 months, able to grasp objects and have outgrown tongue thrust of pushing food out of their mouth. 

There are some moms that are 100% baby led weaning and never looked twice at a puree. That is obviously not my stance as I started with purees for both my other boys, and I’ve also done some purees with Rhys (my third) as well.  Originally I was going to skip purees this time, why not experiment since I had a whole other baby! 🙂 But he was not sitting up at 6 months, or 7 and did not have a general interest in feeding himself. So in addition to one meal that was a finger food he could self feed, I also did a couple meals of purees. Now that he’s 8 months and sitting up perfectly, he has a better handle on self feeding. 

How do I Know if I Should try BLW?

One of the biggest advocates for blw is that you don’t have to cook extra food, your baby gets exactly what you are already making and it’s easier for the whole family.  Since I prep my baby food a month at a time, it’s never been a huge chore for me.  Just one afternoon and I’m done for the next 30 days.  Easy peasy, as my 5 year old loves to say.

The other arguments for blw were enough for me to give it a try. First off, feeding babies purees originated when it was recommended that babies start getting food at 4 months. This age is too young for most babies to be sitting up and be ready for table food. That recommendation is slowly starting to go away, as more and more doctors and dietitians are saying there is no benefit for starting that early.  If you think about it, what were babies eating before the invention of blenders and mashed up food? They ate what their family ate.

Additionally, advocates for blw explain that babies can self pace and learn essential skills of feeding themselves.  I’ve always started this by 10 months, but with blw you can start earlier.  The food is cut into bigger pieces since your baby has not developed their pincer grasp at this point.  And since they are just getting used to eating food, biting off a big piece is safer than putting a small piece in their mouth that they can immediately swallow. 

Tips to Follow if using BLW 

  • Baby is sitting up at a 90 degree angle.  This position is important for them to chew, swallow and digest the food properly. So if you were advised to start feeding food to your baby at 4 months by their pediatrician, do not start with blw. 
  • Always monitor your baby while they eat. Do not leave them unattended while trying new foods. 
  • Don’t put the food in their mouth for them. If they are not eating, you can cut off a small piece and pre load it on a spoon. 

Baby Led Weaning Sweet Potato Wedges

One of the best things about this recipe, and sweet potatoes in general.  They can be modified very easily! You can mash them into a puree for your baby if they are not interested in the wedges.  Or you can sprinkle a little salt and feed them to your older children and spouse.  A variety of spices work well that helps introduce flavor variety, which is a great thing to do for babies! Just nothing spicy and no honey- after that, options are endless. 

Sweet Potato Wedge Recipe

Step 1: Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.  Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil or parchment paper.  

Step 2: Wash your two sweet potatoes. Grab a cutting board and knife.  Cut the sweet potato in half lengthwise.  Cut those halves again.  Then again until you have 1 inch wedges. cut sweet potatoes

Step 3: You can do this step in a bowl or right on your baking sheet.  Lay out your wedges and drizzle with olive oil.  Sprinkle cinnamon and nutmeg all over. Toss to evenly coat. 

Other spice options: Only cinnamon, add a smidge of pepper, smoked paprika and cinnamon, cumin and cinnamon or an italian herb assortment (oregano, basil, rosemary).  *You can add a little salt after cooking for family members over the age of 1, but added salt is best avoided for baby as much as possible. 

The cinnamon and nutmeg remind me of Fall and Thanksgiving, they always come out delicious.  But feel free to play around with your favorite spice or herb combination. 

Step 4: Make sure you spread out the sweet potatoes evenly on the baking sheet- don’t overcrowd.

Step 5: Roast for 25 minutes. 

Step 6: Let cool for 5 minutes before serving.baby food first foods

Storage: Baby led weaning sweet potato wedges can be eaten right away, but also keep well for a later date. Store in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-5 days or in the freezer for 1-2 months. 

Rhys is a fan. 🙂 

 

Enjoy! Would love to hear your thoughts or modifications below!

Baby Led Weaning Sweet Potato Wedges

Yummy sweet potato wedges for baby led weaning or a perfect toddler snack.
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time25 mins
Course: Appetizer, Main Course, Side Dish
Keyword: baby led weaning, sweet potato, sweet potato fries

Equipment

  • Baking Sheet and Oven

Ingredients

  • 2 Sweet Potatoes
  • 1 tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1.5 tsp Cinnamon
  • 1 tsp Nutmeg

Instructions

  • Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.  Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil or parchment paper.  
  • Wash your two sweet potatoes. Grab a cutting board and knife.  Cut the sweet potato in half lengthwise.  Cut those halves again.  Then again until you have 1 inch wedges. 
  • You can do this step in a bowl or right on your baking sheet.  Lay out your wedges and drizzle with olive oil.  Sprinkle cinnamon and nutmeg all over. Toss to evenly coat. *Read Notes for other options.
  • Make sure you spread out the sweet potatoes evenly on the baking sheet- don't overcrowd.
  • Roast for 25 minutes. 
  • Let cool for 5 minutes before serving.

Notes

Other spice options:
  • Only cinnamon, add a smidge of pepper
  • Smoked paprika and cinnamon
  • Cumin and cinnamon
  • Italian herb assortment (oregano, basil, rosemary). 
    • *You can add a little salt after cooking for family members over the age of 1, but added salt is best avoided for babies as much as possible. 
Storage: Store in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-5 days or in the freezer for 1-2 months. 

 

How to Make Instant Pot Applesauce

This Instant Pot Applesauce is so easy to make! You can cook it up in minutes! Since there is no added sugar, it’s a perfect snack for anyone in your family- including babies and toddlers. Freezer friendly and easy to throw into yummy muffins as well. 

recipe instant pot applesauce no sugarIt’s mid October and beautiful in Chicago.  After living in Texas for years, it’s great to actually get a Fall- even though we won’t talk about what happens after. :-/  The fall activities are some of our favorites- pumpkin patches, getting ready for Halloween and seeing the leaves change colors. 

One of our favorites, that we’ve made a yearly tradition,  is to go apple picking.  It’s always a great time and the boys enjoy everything- from picking apples to corn mazes and petting farms.  This year we went with a couple other families. All the kids are running around picking apples and I’m engrossed in a conversation with the other moms.  Then, my 5 year old pops up from around a tree and shows me a bag FILLED with apples.  “Mommy, look! I’m seeing how many I can pick and fit in here!” 

Oh man, there were so many.  We didn’t want to burst his little heart so we bought all of them, and the huge bag his brother filled up.  If that wasn’t enough, guess who dropped by with tons more apples the very same day?! Their grandma.  Lol.  All good problems of course, but I knew we would have some spoiled apples if we didn’t do something with the majority of them.  That is how this Instant Pot Applesauce was born, and it was sooo easy to make. An instant classic with everyone from the baby to the parents. 

This post contains affiliate links, please refer to my disclosure policy for more information. 

Why use an Instant Pot for Applesauce?

applesauce recipeI’ve made applesauce a variety of ways. It’s been a favorite for all 3 of my boys, from babies to the present.  On the stovetop, in a steamer etc. – it’s always been included in my baby food puree meal preps. The Instant Pot applesauce version was just as good, if not better, and a lot easier.  I didn’t have to wait for water to boil and I could blend them right in the pot.  

There are some spices in this recipe, but no added sugar.  You can easily omit the spices if your family does not like them, but it adds a nice depth to the flavor.  Also, if you prefer to  sweeten with sugar, taste it first and add as needed.  I personally have never done that with applesauce I make, the added sugar in store bought varieties is a big reason why I like to make my own.  

The key to making applesauce great without extra add ins, is to use a variety of apples.  Mix some sweet Red Delicious, Gala and Honeycrisp with a few Granny Smith or Jonagolds for a more tart taste. Any variety would work well. We used 3-4 kinds that we had picked, but I love mixing Gala and Granny Smiths together.  Whichever are your favorites!

variety of apples for cooking

How to Prep the Apples

Don’t know why I haven’t invested in one of these! But if you have a johnny apple peeler, this step will be super easy. It will core, peel and cut your apples.  

Since I have an apple cutter, I peeled them first and then used it to core and slice all of them.  Which was pretty simple still. 

Cooking the Apples in the Instant Pot 

instant pot apples before cooking cinammonToss the apples into the water and lemon juice.  Top with your spices and set to high pressure for 5 minutes.  Let it release naturally for 10 minutes, before finishing with a quick release.  Smash with a potato masher or immersion blender.  That’s it! 

Storing Your Applesauce

storing instant pot applesauceThe applesauce will keep 7-10 days in the refrigerator or up to 2-3 months in the freezer.  I made a lot! So I put some in small containers, some in bigger and a bunch in reusable pouches that work well with all my children.  Some of them went in the fridge and I froze the rest to use in later weeks. I did use some of the applesauce in a muffin recipe and they were sooo good! I will share that recipe soon. reusuable pouches applesauce baby food

Instant Pot Applesauce

Simple assortment of apples and spices make the perfect applesauce, eat it as an afternoon snack or use as a base for muffins or cakes.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time15 mins
Course: Side Dish, Snack

Ingredients

  • 1-2 lbs apples Use any variety that is your favorite- or a mix!
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp ginger
  • 1 tblsp lemon juice preserves color

Instructions

  • Peel and core apples- using a johnny apple peeler makes this step super easy!
  • Add water and lemon to Instant Pot. (Apples release water so you do not need the usual amount of 1 cup. 1/2 is plenty.
  • Add apples and spices. Toss to mix.
  • Cook on HIGH pressure for 5 minutes. Release naturally for 10 minutes, then switch to quick release.
  • Mash the apples with a potato masher or blend with an immersion blender for a smoother consistency.
  • Serve warm or allow to cool.
  • Store in the fridge for 7-10 days or freeze for 2-3 months.

Notes

This applesauce is naturally sweet, but you can sweeten with sugar if you like.  Spices can also be omitted or added based on your family's preferences. 

 

Master List of ALL the Food Ideas for 1 Year Old Babies

Feeding your one year old toddler is one of those parenting milestones that can leave us puzzled and confused. From the quantity, when to feed, what to cook or how to cut the food- it’s a big change for us- and them of course : ). If you ask 100 parents, half will call their 1 year old a baby and the other half toddler.  That perfectly exemplifies this year- a year of transitioning from being a baby to a full fledged toddler.  So what meals do you give a child that is both- a baby/toddler combo?? Let’s talk about all the important notes and gather a master list of food ideas for 1 year old toddlers. (Printable menu can be downloaded at the end of the post!)

HOW TO FEED THEM

Every parent’s transition to table foods looks a little differently. Some go directly to baby led weaning where your baby eats table food from the beginning, starting with smaller soft foods and transitioning more and more.  Others start with traditional pureed baby food at 4-6 months and then integrate finger foods around 10-12 months. I’ve practiced the latter- cooking my own baby food and introducing finger foods after. I am considering BLW for my third baby who is now 5 months.  I’ll update you on that one later!

Something that can be pretty standard is that most babies and toddlers start eating table food with their fingers, as they have not developed the ability to feed themselves with a spoon or fork. I started finger foods at 10 months- here are some ideas for recipes & meal prep you can do and simple finger foods that mostly don’t have to be cooked.

Related Posts: Healthy Baby Finger Food Recipes-Meal Prep and 10 Simple Finger Foods for a One Year Old

At the same time, you can start to preload a spoon so they start to practice lifting it to their mouth. Gradually, between 14-18 months they will get better.  But it’s a skill they will continually work on through their 2nd year. 

Yogurt is one of my favorite one year old foods as it’s nutritious and you can mix in different fruits to change the flavor. Pre loading the spoon or even just having them play with it starts the important journey of using utensils. It’s not a clean journey by any means- feeding kids in general isn’t.  Hope I didn’t ruin your day with that! My 4 and 1/2 year old is pretty clean now, lol, it takes time.  

WHEN AND HOW MUCH

Up until their first birthday, solids and table food have been supplements to breast milk or formula- where they were getting the majority of their nutrients.  Now they start to transition to cow’s milk- or many moms continue nursing, but they start to get more of their nutrients from table food. It becomes more important to give them a variety of food groups and nutrients. 

Their schedule will generally consist of 3 meals and 2 snacks.  I usually offer 1/2-1 milk per meal and water for snacks. If you have a milk lover that is not showing much interest for food, consider adding the milk after they have eaten some of their food.  That helped tremendously with my first son Miles. 

Serving sizes: One year olds don’t eat a whole lot.  This will differ from baby to baby, but a general guideline is to keep servings at about 1/2 cup or even 1/4 cup for sides.  For example, a 1/2 cup of oatmeal with half that amount of strawberries on the side. 

FOOD IDEAS FOR 1 YEAR OLD

Access Your Free Printable of Meal Ideas for 1 Year Olds!

Use this list as a reference so you never run out of ideas!

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Related Post: Quick & Nutritious Breakfast Ideas for a One Year Old

I don’t know about you, but in the hustle and bustle of everyday, I can forget the simplest things.  Which is why I like referencing a list of meal ideas for 1 year old toddlers. It encourages me to maintain variety in their meals and see which foods I have in each category.

This is a great year to introduce anything, from different flavors to textures. They are developing their palates and haven’t established a specific taste for anything yet.  My mom asked me once- your kids will have sandwiches on whole wheat bread? Not white? And I responded, well they only have wheat bread at home so it’s what they are used to.  Now do we go to Jimmy Johns and split one of their delicious sandwiches with white bread- Yes.  Not striving for perfection, just helping them establish a taste for whole grains so they continue to like it in the future. 

Meals should strive to have a balance of foods from these categories- at least 3 per meal. Dinner is where I get the most adventurous and offer what the rest of the family is having. Breakfast and lunch- I put together especially for the kids. Check out these toddler lunches for school or daycare for lots of lunches that include foods from each food group.

    • Fruit- bananas, strawberries, blueberries, “cuties” (clementines), peaches, etc.
    • Veggies- avocado, green beans, carrots, peas, sweet potato, squash (easy to cook or low sodium/no sugar added cans)
    • Dairy- cheese, plain whole milk or greek yogurt, milk
    • Protein- eggs, turkey slices, chicken breast, ground beef, beans (with rice), fish
    • Carbs- whole wheat toast (or whatever bread you buy), oatmeal, potatoes, rice, pasta, corn tortillas, whole wheat pancakes, graham crackers, whole grain goldfish

TIPS & HANDY TOOLS 

This post contains affiliate links, please read my disclosure policy for more info.

  • Monitor your baby as they eat. Gagging a little is natural, but you want to ensure that food is cut in small pieces and cooked to a softer texture. 
  • Fun divider plates or placemat plates.  
  • Reusable placemats for restaurant dining or disposable placemats are both fantastic.
  • Starter spoon to practicing pincer grip and holding silverware.
  • This grape cutter is amazing- my 3 year old loves to use it himself.  Also an apple cutter comes in handy. 
  • Bentgo lunchbox for travel or daycare. 
  • There will be phases of pickiness- don’t give up on specific foods.  But also don’t get discouraged and try to make them eat it.  It will get frustrating at times to make something they don’t eat, but it’s all part of growing up and seeing what they like and don’t like.  My oldest didn’t eat meat for at least 6 months- I kept trying and one day he ate it again.  To substitute for protein we did a lot of eggs, beans and greek yogurt. Read more tips for picky eating phases here!
  • If you use canned or prepackaged fruits and vegetables- buy ones without added sugar or salt. Setting up their palate to not prefer extra sweet or salty things!
  • Incorporate whole grains when you can- brown rice, whole wheat bread, and whole wheat pancakes.

MEAL IDEAS FOR 1 YEAR OLD

These are some toddler dinner ideas. Pretty much what I make for my entire family, with what I would plate for my one year old. A little note- I have a heavy hand sometimes because I have an older son as well to serve.  Not eating everything is common at this stage, so you could start out with smaller portions. 

deconstructed taco one year old meal

Deconstructed tacos- ground beef, cheese, lettuce and tomato. Skip the shells for young one year olds. You can also substitute meat for turkey. Side of corn and avocado. 

pasta shells grapes food ideas for 1 year old

Pasta shells in red sauce topped with some parmesan cheese, cut green grapes with a side of yogurt and honey. 

menu for 1 year old chicken rice quinoa

Grilled chicken with broccoli and rice quinoa mix. 

asian chicken and noodles toddler dinner

Asian chicken and noodles with a side of cooked green beans. 

italian beef toddler lunch idea

Italian beef cooked in crockpot, french bread, and a cucumber-tomato salad. 

spanish rice and chicken toddler meal idea

Spanish rice with baked chicken and avocado.

salmon food for 1 year old

Salmon, pan sautéed noodles, and green beans. 

shrimp gnocchi mango meal for toddlers

Shrimp, cauliflower gnocchi with broccoli and mango bites. (Ok- I really wanted to try this Trader Joe’s cauliflower gnocchi that everyone raves about. I liked it, but my family did not. 🙁 ) Will try again one day- maybe season differently. 

SAMPLE MENU

Use this sample menu as a reference for feeding your little one. Includes all the meal ideas for breakfast, lunch and dinner. I don’t include snacks, because I would generally offer the leftovers from the meals for snack.  Or a small portion of the things you are already feeding them. 

meal ideas for 1 year old menu

 

If you are still looking for more ideas, find all of the posts related to feeding babies and toddlers here: Baby and Toddler Food Ideas

5 Steps to Take the Stress out of Lunch! (Weekly Make Ahead Lunches)

“This post is sponsored by Everywhere Agency on behalf of Sistema®; however, all opinions are my own.”

With the start of a new year, getting back to planning ahead is one of our big goals. I’m all about doing a meal prep for the week or even the month on Sunday. Mornings are so hectic and there is also a lot in our nighttime activities, so why not get school lunches out of the way as well? It’s really simple. All you need is a little time and organization to have your whole family’s lunches done for the week. When you are done, there is an extra sense of relief that is amazing!

Right now I am 8 months pregnant and with the craziness of the holidays- we got a little off track. Which then led me to feel more frazzled. My meal planning fell off and it greatly contributed to my stress. The mornings were lots of rushing and running around- okay, we always run around a bit but there was extra running. My family wasn’t eating as healthy and we were spending more money on food— that we didn’t really have to spend (reminder from my budget master husband). That is all I needed to remember why meal planning worked so well.

Related: 12 On the Go Toddler Lunch Ideas for Daycare or School

Those phases of life happen to all of us, for various reasons. I don’t even have to say this is great for “busy moms”. Seriously, we are ALL busy moms. Anybody can use a system to make their lives a bit easier.

Pack a week's worth of lunch in one afternoon! Make your mornings easier, simpler and more enjoyable by following these 5 easy steps to make ahead lunch.

I’m pretty excited about how this meal prep went. So I’ll break it down into steps and also end with an amazing printable of  ideas for what to feed your kids on the go- especially when filling Bento boxes. 

Step 1: Gather Materials

Pull out all the containers or bags you use to store lunches. We recently found this line of Sistema containers at Meijer and they are perfect for make ahead lunches. The price is so good that I was able to buy various types and quantity of containers. Then pack them all up for the week without worrying about having enough or washing mid week.

The Sistema containers check all my boxes in what I require also! They can go in the microwave, dishwasher, fridge or freezer. And they are BPA and Phthalate free. With all the different varieties, they make a perfect system for lunch meal planning.

*Sistema will be running a 20% off food storage promo at Meijer from 2/24-3/2/19 and 3/24-3/30/19. So mark your calendars!

You know best what your family likes. That will help dictate what to have on hand. I got 3 Sistema Bento boxes because my boys are obsessed with them. If they have various food items, it’s almost like they think they are just snacking instead of eating a meal. Who knows, but it works! We rounded out with a few sandwich containers, snack catchers, a soup mug and a salad mix.

Step 2: Plan a Loose Menu

Start by making a list of 5-10 lunches that you can rotate weekly or bi-weekly. You don’t have to have animal shaped sandwiches or seasonally themed displays. Kids like simplicity so stick with the basics, especially at first. I have various items from each category that I know myself and the boys like. For example, about 3-4 fruits, 3 vegetables, some snacks, grains and dairy. This helps me make sure I’m making well rounded meals. Rotating through similar items makes it easier to shop for also. 

Make sure to check out the printable at the end of the post that has a full list of ideas to include in lunches, separated by category.  It can be hung up in your pantry or kitchen for an easy resource or inspiration.

Step 3: Involve the Kids

Pack a week's worth of lunch in one afternoon! Make your mornings easier, simpler and more enjoyable by following these 5 easy steps to make ahead lunch.

This will look differently based on how old your kids are. I have definitely noticed that my boys are more interested in their food and lunches if they have had a voice in what gets included or helped cook some of the items.

My 4 & 1/2 year old Miles helps to mix ingredients for recipes and pick out the items to put in his lunch. I steer him with questions like, “Which fruit do you want? Which vegetable?” so he can’t just make a lunch of strawberries and goldfish. My 2 & 1/2 year old Ellis helps mix ingredients (with assistance 🙂 ) and can help pick a couple items. He tends to lose attention quickly so I don’t have him help as long as Miles. Also, he ate all of the blueberries from one of the lunches when I wasn’t looking. So yeah, he needs a bit more monitoring.

As Miles gets older, I’ll have him take over chopping some of the fruit and vegetables, assembling his sandwich and eventually in charge of his lunch in general. Ellis will follow right behind.

Pack a week's worth of lunch in one afternoon! Make your mornings easier, simpler and more enjoyable by following these 5 easy steps to make ahead lunch.

Those are ways I integrate them based on age and personality. Like most things, you decide what the best ways are for your kids to help. And it may not look the same for all of them!

Step 4: Get Organized & Prep all the Food

Pack a week's worth of lunch in one afternoon! Make your mornings easier, simpler and more enjoyable by following these 5 easy steps to make ahead lunch

After you have all your containers organized, take out the food items you’ll incorporate in the week’s lunches. This week we added muffins that we made that day and a veggie soup because it has been soo cold. You can definitely just do cold items and not cook, but these were our special adds this time.

This step is where the majority of the work happens. Chop up all your fruit and veggies. Assemble sandwiches, pinwheels, bagels, and anything else you are including that week.

Pack a week's worth of lunch in one afternoon! Make your mornings easier, simpler and more enjoyable by following these 5 easy steps to make ahead lunch.
Making muffins 🙂

These banana zucchini muffins are super delicious. Followed this recipe but left out the sugar and added a little extra banana and applesauce. They are still sweet and a great compliment to a sandwich or salad.

Step 5: Assemble Containers

This is the easiest part! You have all your stuff prepped and just need to assemble your different lunches. Here are some of ours for the week:

Pack a week's worth of lunch in one afternoon! Make your mornings easier, simpler and more enjoyable by following these 5 easy steps to make ahead lunch.

Miles assembled a couple and helped put some toppings on his yogurt.

Pack a week's worth of lunch in one afternoon! Make your mornings easier, simpler and more enjoyable by following these 5 easy steps to make ahead lunch.

Can’t have a lunch prep without a homemade lunchable. A variety of this is always rotated in our house. I’ll change up the types of crackers, cheese or any of the items to keep it interesting. In the Sistema Multi Split to Go

Pack a week's worth of lunch in one afternoon! Make your mornings easier, simpler and more enjoyable by following these 5 easy steps to make ahead lunch.

This Sistema salad container is everything! I love that I can separate certain items- especially croutons or other things that could get soggy. There is a place for dressing and cute silverware so it really encompasses everything I need.

** This was for me when we go straight to gymnastics or soccer at lunch time pick up.  No, my boys don’t care for green olives but this pregnant mama does. 😉

Pack a week's worth of lunch in one afternoon! Make your mornings easier, simpler and more enjoyable by following these 5 easy steps to make ahead lunch.

Some of our sandwiches for the week. These sandwich containers are a perfect size for just packing a sandwich or something small, so I got a few of them.

We’ll pair them with fruit, some snacks and one of the muffins we made. Since my boys are young, they often share a sandwich.

Pack a week's worth of lunch in one afternoon! Make your mornings easier, simpler and more enjoyable by following these 5 easy steps to make ahead lunch.

Sistema large Bento box with half a sandwich, muffin, clementine, trail mix, apples and peanut butter. My boys would sometimes share a box like this.

*You can sprinkle lemon or pineapple juice on cut apples so they don’t brown.

Pack a week's worth of lunch in one afternoon! Make your mornings easier, simpler and more enjoyable by following these 5 easy steps to make ahead lunch.

Square Bento box with a turkey cheese pinwheel, tomatoes, apples, grapes and yogurt with honey (in green container) and granola.

Pack a week's worth of lunch in one afternoon! Make your mornings easier, simpler and more enjoyable by following these 5 easy steps to make ahead lunch.

Square Bento box with bagel, carrots, granola bar, goldfish and strawberries (underneath granola bar).

Pack a week's worth of lunch in one afternoon! Make your mornings easier, simpler and more enjoyable by following these 5 easy steps to make ahead lunch.

Voila! All set!

Pack a week's worth of lunch in one afternoon! Make your mornings easier, simpler and more enjoyable by following these 5 easy steps to make ahead lunch.
Having lunch before gymnastics.

I also have cuties, muffins, and other sides sitting next to the containers or pantry for easy access in the morning.  Enjoy this prep- your mornings will thank you. 

Download this reference sheet of over 60 easy lunch ideas! Just fill out the form below to access the free resource library.easy lunch ideas for school or daycare, toddler lunches, preschool lunch, bento box lunch, meal planning lunches, make ahead lunch

12 On the Go Toddler Lunch Ideas for Daycare or Preschool

Packing lunches for daycare, preschool or anywhere on the go present a whole new challenge for feeding toddlers. We figure out how to create healthy, yummy meals at home but packing lunches to go can be confusing at first. It doesn’t have to be though!  These 12 toddler lunch ideas for daycare or preschool will give you some ideas for packing easy lunches for your little ones.

Related: 5 Steps to Take the Stress out of Lunch! (Weekly Make Ahead Lunches)

When Miles started camp this summer, he got really excited about his new lunch box and picking out some of the items he was going to have. I would give him simple choices- like bananas or strawberries, carrots or cucumbers, etc. They don’t have to be elaborate meals. Just get a few foods in each food group at your weekly grocery trip and rotate them around for the week.

**Make sure you scroll to the end of the post and download your own list of easy lunch ideas! Has over 50 items you can reference to create even more yummy lunches. 

General Tips

  • Aim for a Balanced Meal- Each lunch doesn’t have to be perfect, but it helps in figuring out what to include if you think about having something from each food group and making it as colorful as possible.  They won’t always include everything and that is okay, but aim for a protein, grains, dairy, vegetable and fruit to round out the lunch.
  • Include your Child- Have them help with lunch preparation. It can be in the simplest  way as making a few easy choices or actually helping make items like sandwiches. Don’t include lots of things they have never seen, but once in a while I like to add something new along their favorite. And I don’t give up after the first day!
  • Be Patient and Relaxed- Don’t take it personal if it doesn’t all go well. But lunch won’t always come back completely eaten. They may not even touch their vegetables- but that doesn’t mean they won’t tomorrow! Repeated exposure to certain foods usually helps a child be more comfortable and give it a try. It is a long term process, little by little they start to eat different foods. The quantity isn’t a perfect science either- their hunger will also change daily based on how active they were or how large their breakfast was.

This post contains affiliate links for your convenience, meaning I will make a small commission at no additional cost to you!

Best Toddler Lunch Boxes

You do not have to get a special lunchbox. I personally have loved these and my son Miles in particular gets really excited about taking them for lunch. You can use tupperware or any container, but I have loved these for a few reasons. The compartments just make it so easy to include different food groups. It only requires one container instead of multiple. And they don’t leak! Easy for them to eat out of and easy for us to clean- win, win.

YUMBOX Original Bento Lunch Box– I’ve loved these- the design is really cute and functional. The bottom of the container is labeled with the different food groups to help you organize your meals. They are also lightweight and easy to wash.

Bentgo Kids Lunch Box– My other favorite. They are more suited for sandwiches than the Yumbox, so I usually grab one of these if I am putting something bigger in their lunch. It is a little heavier, but it fits in our Pottery Barn lunch bag a lot easier than the other.

12 Toddler Lunch Ideas for Daycare or Preschool

Related: Quick & Nutritious Breakfast Ideas for a One Year Old and 2 Year Old Refuses to Eat? Try these Super Helpful Tips

Toddler lunch ideas for daycare or preschool that can help you put together easy and healthy lunches on the go for your little ones. 1) Cream cheese, bell pepper and olive pinwheels, carrots with hummus, salami and raspberries.

Toddler lunch ideas for daycare or preschool that can help you put together easy and healthy lunches on the go for your little ones. 2) Tuna salad with crackers, tomatoes, olives, green apples and HappyTot yogurt.

Toddler lunch ideas for daycare or preschool that can help you put together easy and healthy lunches on the go for your little ones. 3) English muffin pizza, popcorn, snap peas, pineapple with Annie’s chocolate bunnies.

Toddler lunch ideas for daycare or preschool that can help you put together easy and healthy lunches on the go for your little ones. 4) Turkey, salami and Babybel cheese with crackers, carrots with ranch, blueberries and greek yogurt with honey.

Toddler lunch ideas for daycare or preschool that can help you put together easy and healthy lunches on the go for your little ones. 5) Hard boiled egg, pretzels, red bell peppers, hummus, grapes, greek yogurt with honey and blueberries.

Toddler lunch ideas for daycare or preschool that can help you put together easy and healthy lunches on the go for your little ones. 6) Cheese quesadilla, avocado, salsa, red bell peppers and blueberries.

Toddler lunch ideas for daycare or preschool that can help you put together easy and healthy lunches on the go for your little ones. 7) Banana, peanut butter pinwheels, cheese cubes, cucumbers, Happykid granola bar, strawberries and trail mix.

Toddler lunch ideas for daycare or preschool that can help you put together easy and healthy lunches on the go for your little ones. 8) Pasta salad, cubed chicken breast, carrots, bananas, GoGo applesauce and Annie’s chocolate bunnies.

Toddler lunch ideas for daycare or preschool that can help you put together easy and healthy lunches on the go for your little ones. 9) Chicken, cheese and tomatoes tacos, avocado, salsa, Annie’s cheese cracker bunnies and RXBar.

Toddler lunch ideas for daycare or preschool that can help you put together easy and healthy lunches on the go for your little ones. 10) Turkey and cheese sandwich, tomatoes with ranch, clementines and almond/cranberry trail mix.

Toddler lunch ideas for daycare or preschool that can help you put together easy and healthy lunches on the go for your little ones. 11) Avocado sandwich, red apple, cucumbers, trail mix and graham crackers.

Toddler lunch ideas for daycare or preschool that can help you put together easy and healthy lunches on the go for your little ones. 12) Whole grain waffles with maple syrup, hard boiled egg, Gouda cheese strips, kiwi and yogurt with granola and strawberries.

Please let me know in the comments below about your challenges with feeding toddlers or if you have other great lunch ideas that I should know about!

2 year old refuses to eat? Try these Super Helpful Tips

The problem with feeding kids is that it’s constantly changing. Right when you figure how to feed your baby, they grow into one year olds needing completely new foods. They develop a favorite food, to then completely dislike it a few months later.  Then there are the phases when they refuse to eat complete food groups… or forget food groups- eat anything! If your 2 year old refuses to eat, or you have a picky eater at any age- try these tips today.

This post is sponsored by Happy Family Brands but the content and opinions expressed here are my own.

If your 2 year old refuses to eat or you have a picky eater in your household, these simple but helpful tips can help you battle those mealtime struggles.Our Current Phase

Prepping ahead is how I best manage food in our house. If you have been reading this blog for a while, that probably doesn’t surprise you. 🙂 I like doing a month’s worth of baby food and also a large breakfast meal prep to make sure we have healthy whole food options ready on a daily basis.

But life happens! I’m pregnant with our third son and the sickness throughout the first few months has been UNREAL. Like everyday lingering nausea over here. It completely threw me off in so many ways. I went into survival mode and extra prepping was just not happening as frequently.

This led me into a habit of just grabbing whatever was around- especially for those hectic mornings or afternoon snack time when the boys are always exclaiming they are “starving!”.

And man! Do kids pick up on your changes or what? I had to do a reset and think about all the things that worked for our eating schedule that needed to be brought back.

Ask for Help

You are not alone if you’ve ever struggled to feed your baby or toddler. Like I mentioned above, unfortunately the phase you are in may not be the last one your child goes through.  Like anything with motherhood, support is so important! Ask other moms and your community, as well as go to the experts for advice.

I was so excited when I found out about this new resource from Happy Family Organics. It’s called Happy Mama Mentor and you can hop on to ask any feeding related questions to a group of experts. I’ve already loved the food this brand makes, it’s our go to yogurt pouch since they have no added sugar. And overall, their ingredients are exactly the things you want your babies and toddlers to be eating.

Quick and nutritious ideas to perfect breakfast for one year old toddlers. What to feed new toddlers is one of the hardest challenges. Read on for healthy meal ideas and menus for one year olds.I think this new service is phenomenal and wish it was thought of sooner. They have a team of experts of lactation specialists and registered dietitians- all certified in infant and maternal nutrition and parents themselves! You can chat with them and ask almost any question regarding nursing, feeding babies, toddlers or older kids. So for any phase you may be in- someone can give some fast support and expert advice.  The resource is available from 8am–8pm (EST) Mon-Fri &  8am–4pm (EST) Sat-Sun.

Check it out here! 

The other day I spoke to someone as I was looking for more ideas for healthy snack items. We are often on the go and I need to be able to give my boys something outside at a park or in the car. (Our commute home from Miles’ school is kind of long.) Since they love to snack, it’d be great if they had at least some nutritional value.

Quick and nutritious ideas to perfect breakfast for one year old toddlers. What to feed new toddlers is one of the hardest challenges. Read on for healthy meal ideas and menus for one year olds.Within minutes of asking for suggestions, Rachel sent me a huge list of options. Then she emailed me our chat so I can reference our conversation later. One of the most surprising elements is that she listed items I usually save for meals. These don’t have to just be for meals! An egg muffin or avocado toast are also great snack ideas.

Offer Variety- Including Disliked/Denied Food

If your 2 year old refuses to eat or you have a picky eater in your household, these simple but helpful tips can help you battle those mealtime struggles.Miles- my 4 year old- has gone through several, several phases of food. He didn’t eat meat for almost 6 months when he was 2. He used to dislike avocado but loves it now. Ellis, who is 2, never has really liked corn- but the last couple of months he has decided he loves it and asks for more.

You really don’t know how long a phase will last, or when your toddler will decide they like a food again.  So it helps to keep offering it to them.  It’s definitely not the biggest portion of food on their plate- but I always gave Ellis a little bit of corn if it was part of dinner.  Did the same with meat for Miles- just a small portion and eventually he started eating some kinds and later more.

Meals and snacks should include a variety of food groups and be as nutritious as possible. Like I mentioned above, I needed some more suggestions for how to make our snacks healthier.

Consistent timing also supports good food habits, space them out every 2-3 hours. There was a time when our afternoon snack was too close to dinner and was a big reason my boys weren’t eating as much of their food at dinner time.

Meal Ideas: Simple Finger Food Meals for One Year Olds & Nutritious Breakfast Ideas

Don’t Pressure them to Eat

If your 2 year old refuses to eat or you have a picky eater in your household, these simple but helpful tips can help you battle those mealtime struggles.Most of us have stories of sitting at the table until our plates were clean. Or at least I do. My sisters and I still sitting at the table after my parents left- trying to sneak food back into the pot or give it to the dog because we didn’t want anymore.

All of the research about picky eating and healthy habits point out that it’s not an effective method. Go figure. 🙂

Instead, offer everything you prepared for dinner, larger portions of foods they like and smaller portions of food they don’t particularly care for. We tell our kids they have to at least try their food but they don’t necessarily have to finish it. We also sit together during dinner as a family. *As much as possible. Ellis hates to sit still, so as long as we can nail him down.

Ellis isn’t as picky as Miles was. He has his own set of fun mealtimes attributes.  He gets upset at little things, like if his plate is the wrong color, he’ll toss his food on the floor. It’s beyond frustrating. But if the food goes on the floor- it’s trash and he has nothing else to eat for that meal. We try our best to respond calmly and not yell, that has had the best outcomes.

Same with picky eaters- if they don’t eat the meal prepared, then they need to wait for the next meal to eat.

This takes some time to get used to. None of us want to have kids that are hungry- but if they are healthy and growing as they should, they will eat when ready. And if they get used to acting out or not eating and then being rewarded with a new meal- the behavior continues.

Food is Fun!

If your 2 year old refuses to eat or you have a picky eater in your household, these simple but helpful tips can help you battle those mealtime struggles.Mealtimes should be an enjoyable part of the day. Even though these teaching moments for us parents can make them a bit more stressful. There was a while when I was taking their actions too personal- but it’s really not about us, or our cooking. Just try to enjoy the ride, let your kids have choices in what they eat and even play with their food to experience what it is.

Remember that phases come and go. And if you feel especially frustrated, take advantage of the free professional advice on the Happy Family Organics site.

And of course- I’d love to hear from you as well. Please share below how you have overcome mealtime struggles in your household or how you plan to overcome what you are currently battling.

Quick & Nutritious Breakfast Ideas for a One Year Old

Quick and nutritious ideas to perfect breakfast for one year old toddlers. What to feed new toddlers is one of the hardest challenges. Read on for healthy meal ideas and menus for one year olds.

Quick and nutritious ideas to perfect breakfast for one year old toddlers. What to feed new toddlers is one of the hardest challenges. Read on for healthy meal ideas and menus for one year olds.

This post is sponsored by Happy Family Brands but the content and opinions expressed here are my own.

Breakfast can be the hardest meal to actually cook and make nutritious.  Regardless if it’s supposed to be the most important. I don’t know about you, but when my toddlers are hungry and tired- they are an even bigger handful! Breakfast for one year old toddlers is essential. They have tons of energy, are growing quickly and learning so much throughout the day.

Especially my little one. He’s already spirited so it’s important that his first meal of the day is filling, nutritious and gives him a great foundation for the day.

The problem is that I am still half asleep and my coffee hasn’t set in yet at breakfast time.  On top of that, we are usually running late for school because this girl is not a morning person. Not the best setting for a great meal.  I’ve been working on this by incorporating a breakfast meal prep on the weekend, to have some already made nutritious meals. In addition, we’ve been trying some new foods to keep the variety interesting.

Breakfast foods are also good at any time of day! So you can use these for lunch and dinner as well.

Related Post: Master List of ALL the Food Ideas for 1 Year Old Babies

Access Your Free Printable of Meal Ideas for 1 Year Olds!

Use this list as a reference so you never run out of ideas!

Subscribe (free!) to my newsletter with 23K+ moms and get tips for mom life, projects, and meal preps PLUS get instant access to my resource library with ALL of my other free files and printables (including this list)! Once subscribed, I will send you a newsletter with all the details.

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Quick and nutritious ideas to perfect breakfast for one year old toddlers. What to feed new toddlers is one of the hardest challenges. Read on for healthy meal ideas and menus for one year olds.I’ve partnered with Happy Tot yogurt to bring you this post and I was so excited when I found this yogurt to add in our rotation! You know I made my own baby food and I’ve been careful (or anxious) about introducing too much sugar in our sons’ diets.  In the beginning, I researched formula brands to make sure we were buying a brand with no added sugar and have avoided introducing sugary cereals. The sad part is that it also included avoiding yogurts which are a great breakfast for one year old toddlers. Many brands out there may be healthy, but have tons of added sugar.

I have mostly bought plain yogurt because of this. It could be up to 29 grams!! I’d buy plain and add my own cut up fruit and a little honey. There isn’t always time for all that.  Enter Happy Tot yogurt– it has NO ADDED SUGAR. My little mom heart nearly burst! And they come in pouches so we can take one in the car or anywhere we are heading. *That whole running late thing. 😉

Quick and nutritious ideas to perfect breakfast for one year old toddlers. What to feed new toddlers is one of the hardest challenges. Read on for healthy meal ideas and menus for one year olds.My boys love these! It’s a win win for all of us. The loved the taste and eating out of pouches in general :-).  And I don’t have to worry about sugar since there is none added or other ingredients since they are non-GMO, organic and made with probiotics.

The only negative is that I didn’t find these when my boys were younger because they also have a baby yogurt variety.

Needless to say, we have incorporated them into our meals. Many people have appreciated finger foods for one year olds and I wanted to take it a step further. Moving beyond finger foods to include some awesome meals that are still easy, but more versatile. These are some of our favorite breakfast meals for a one year old and I hope it gives you some ideas that you can make right away.

Related Post: 12 Toddler Lunch Ideas for Daycare or Preschool

Foods to Incorporate

As with every meal, our main goal is to aim for multiple food groups in  breakfast dishes. Helps toddlers get all their nutrients and stay full longer.

  • Fruit- apples, bananas, strawberries, blueberries, oranges or “cuties” (clementines)
  • Veggies- bell peppers, avocado, spinach, zucchini, sweet potato, mushrooms
  • Dairy- whole milk yogurt, milk, cheese
  • Protein- eggs, turkey slices, bacon, nut butters, greek yogurt, cheese
  • Carbs- whole wheat toast (or whatever bread you buy), oatmeal, potatoes, corn tortillas, whole wheat pancakes

Tips

  • Finger foods  are convenient in the beginning and we still do lots of “snack” meals.  Ellis is 21 months now and is very skilled with his silverware. It can get frustrating and messy, but having them practice early helps develop their pincer grisp and thus ability to feed themselves.
  • Pickiness happens. But they go in waves. Keep trying to offer new foods and foods they didn’t like in the past; they may surprise you by changing their mind.  Of course, it goes the other way too.  I’ve had to remind myself to not take it personal when one of my boys doesn’t eat something I put a lot of work into making.
  • Fruit is always a win with my boys, vegetables on the other hand- not so much. Sneaking them into egg muffins, scrambled eggs, muffins or green smoothies helps ease my mind that they are getting at least some green produce in their system.

Breakfast Meals

Quick and nutritious ideas to perfect breakfast for one year old toddlers. What to feed new toddlers is one of the hardest challenges. Read on for healthy meal ideas and menus for one year olds.Scrambled eggs, strawberries, and cheese. Scramble in some vegetables (what we usually do) and add a side of whole wheat toast to cover all your food groups!

Quick and nutritious ideas to perfect breakfast for one year old toddlers. What to feed new toddlers is one of the hardest challenges. Read on for healthy meal ideas and menus for one year olds.Banana and peanut butter roll ups with a side of Happy Tot Yogurt.  Nice alternative to toast and kids love how easy they are to eat.

Quick and nutritious ideas to perfect breakfast for one year old toddlers. What to feed new toddlers is one of the hardest challenges. Read on for healthy meal ideas and menus for one year olds.This is the Texan in me.  Breakfast tacos are so so yummy. You can include scrambled eggs, bell peppers, tomatoes, avocado, beans and salsa. Served with banana and a Happy Tot yogurt.

Quick and nutritious ideas to perfect breakfast for one year old toddlers. What to feed new toddlers is one of the hardest challenges. Read on for healthy meal ideas and menus for one year olds.Oatmeal is a favorite around here. We also love these oatmeal muffins and eat them often. Served with cheddar cheese and blueberries.

Quick and nutritious ideas to perfect breakfast for one year old toddlers. What to feed new toddlers is one of the hardest challenges. Read on for healthy meal ideas and menus for one year olds.Green smoothie- has your fruit (banana and frozen strawberries), veggie (spinach), dairy (Happy Tot yogurt) and protein (peanut butter). Add some ground flaxseeds for extra nutrients.

Quick and nutritious ideas to perfect breakfast for one year old toddlers. What to feed new toddlers is one of the hardest challenges. Read on for healthy meal ideas and menus for one year olds.Peanut (or any nut) butter on whole wheat toast, avocados and a cutie.  *My son is about 21 months and he can eat the cuties like this now, but I used to cut them in half for at least 12-18 months.

Quick and nutritious ideas to perfect breakfast for one year old toddlers. What to feed new toddlers is one of the hardest challenges. Read on for healthy meal ideas and menus for one year olds.Egg muffin made with cheese, bacon and spinach and a side of Happy Tot yogurt.  *These muffins are from my breakfast meal prep. Just grabbed one from the freezer and microwaved for 45 seconds.

Other ideas:

  • Yogurt parfait- greek yogurt, fruit, granola, flaxseed and a little honey.
  • Banana and sweet potato muffins– these are super yummy and healthy. I used super ripe bananas and left out the sugar. Sweet enough still! Serve with a side of turkey sausage and yogurt.
  • Whole grain bagel with cream cheese, fruit and hard boiled egg.
  • Oatmeal muffin, has oats and fruit. Serve with a hard boiled egg.
  • Whole wheat pancakes with applesauce.
  • French toast sticks with maple syrup, fruit and bacon.
  • Smoothies– lots of varieties you can make.
  • Egg quesadilla, omelet or frittata- lots of ways to get creative with eggs since they are such a great protein source and an easy place to hide veggies.

Quick and nutritious ideas to perfect breakfast for one year old toddlers. What to feed new toddlers is one of the hardest challenges. Read on for healthy meal ideas and menus for one year olds.

Cooking with Toddlers: Yummy Oatmeal Breakfast Muffins

My 3 year old Miles had a potluck breakfast at his school and he suggested we bring some oatmeal muffins. They were part of my breakfast meal prep and are still a favorite way to start the day around here. Since the recipe is super simple, it was a perfect activity for us to do together. We are always looking for an easy recipe for cooking with toddlers and this one fits the bill.Wholesome oatmeal with delicious toppings makes the perfect breakfast on the go. They can be made ahead, are freezer friendly and most importantly- make an easy recipe for cooking with toddlers.

The fact that it could be something we enjoy doing together just added to an already long list of why we love these oatmeal muffins so much. They save us time in the mornings, are nutritious and still provide variety by mixing in different toppings. I was inspired by this recipe, but I have since made my own variety.

When I did the breakfast meal prep, I was making 60 muffins  and I wanted to move quickly. So I did it myself during nap. My new goal is to find as many recipes for cooking with toddlers since it’s such a great learning and entertaining activity for them.

If you are just getting started with cooking activities for toddlers, check out how to set up your kitchen and some of the essential tools to have on hand. Also, how do you pick the perfect toddler learning tower for your family?

The hardest part for toddlers in this recipe is cracking the egg. We had to dig out a couple shells. The more practice, the better they will be.  Also, carefully scooping into the cupcake liners.  The right size cup or spoon helps this activity.  Other than that, it’s mostly measuring, pouring and stirring.

We made two batches, hence the two bowls and two muffin pans. Apple Cinnamon and Cranberry Orange.

Wholesome oatmeal with delicious toppings makes the perfect breakfast on the go. They can be made ahead, are freezer friendly and most importantly- make an easy recipe for cooking with toddlers.

Wholesome oatmeal with delicious toppings makes the perfect breakfast on the go. They can be made ahead, are freezer friendly and most importantly- make an easy recipe for cooking with toddlers.

Wholesome oatmeal with delicious toppings makes the perfect breakfast on the go. They can be made ahead, are freezer friendly and most importantly- make an easy recipe for cooking with toddlers.

Wholesome oatmeal with delicious toppings makes the perfect breakfast on the go. They can be made ahead, are freezer friendly and most importantly- make an easy recipe for cooking with toddlers.

Wholesome oatmeal with delicious toppings makes the perfect breakfast on the go. They can be made ahead, are freezer friendly and most importantly- make an easy recipe for cooking with toddlers.

Breakfast meal prep for an easy and healthy month of morning. Make ahead breakfast 3 types of oatmeal muffins and 2 kinds of egg muffins in this meal plan. They are kid friendly and delicious! Stress free weekday mornings are in your future. Breakfast on the go or at home.

Breakfast meal prep for an easy and healthy month of morning. Make ahead breakfast 3 types of oatmeal muffins and 2 kinds of egg muffins in this meal plan. They are kid friendly and delicious! Stress free weekday mornings are in your future. Breakfast on the go or at home.
Print Recipe
5 from 1 vote

Oatmeal Breakfast Muffins

Wholesome oats topped with healthy and delicious fruit make these the perfect breakfast muffins for busy mornings on the go. 
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time25 mins
Total Time40 mins
Course: Breakfast
Servings: 12

Ingredients

  • 3 cups Old Fashioned Oats
  • 1 Egg
  • 1 1/2 tsp Ground Cinnamon
  • 1 tsp Baking Powder
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 2 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 2 cups Milk We use 2%. You can substitute with any kind you use.
  • 2 tbsp Brown Sugar Or coconut sugar, stevia etc.) *These are not very sweet, which is what we preferred. But if you like your muffins on a sweeter side, you can double this sugar amount.
  • 1/3 cup Pure Maple Syrup Or honey, agave syrup or brown rice syrup

Topping Option 1

  • 1 cup Diced Green Apple
  • 1 tsp Ground Cinnamon

Topping Option 2

  • 1 cup Dried Cranberries
  • 2 tsp Orange Zest
  • 2 tsp Orange Juice

Topping Option 3

  • 2 Bananas, mashed
  • 1/2 cup Blueberries, fresh or frozen

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  • Add all ingredients to a bowl, including the toppings option you want to make.  To make multiple batches with different toppings, add as many bowls as appropriate. 
  • Put a cupcake liner in each of your muffin cups or use cooking spray. 
  • Use a 1/2 measuring cup or cupcake scoop to fill each cup. 
    *You can fill to the top. These will not rise like regular muffins.
  • Cook for 25-30 minutes. They are done when the oatmeal tops are getting golden crisp.

Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal Breakfast Muffins. Wholesome oatmeal with delicious toppings makes the perfect breakfast on the go. They can be made ahead, are freezer friendly and most importantly- make an easy recipe for cooking with toddlers.