21 Healthy Toddler-Friendly Foods

21 Healthy Toddler-Friendly Foods



Introducing healthy foods to your toddler can be an exciting time. There are a couple of tips to keep in mind when preparing your toddler's meals.

Keep trying with new foods and new textures. It can take up to forty times before a toddler will accept a food option. Don't give up on first or second try. Make sure that food is cut up into small pieces. Beans need to be cut in half. Grapes are cut in half length-wise and meats need to be moiste, soft and tender to chew. Before offering a food to your toddler, try a bite of it yourself to see how hard it is to chew. If it's too difficult, it's probably not a good choice.  

This list of 21 foods is broken down into three sections for you: starches, fruits/veggies and proteins. 


1.  Oatmeal

Try making stovetop oatmeal using whole rolled oats and coconut milk instead of water. This will add a natural sweetness and healthy fats to this breakfast option. 

2.   Sweet Potatoes

High in fibre and beta-carotene, this naturally sweet root vegetable can be roasted whole and cut into cubes or cut into sticks (fries if you will!) roasted in some olive oil for a great finger food option. 

3.  Spaghetti Squash

Mix with your favourite pasta sauce (that you can load up with even more veggies) and let them feed themselves. If you`d like it to have a softer texture, put it in the slow cooker on low for 6 hours. (Yes! You can cook more than meat in your slow cooker!!)

4.  Homemade Mini-Muffins

Mini muffins were made for toddler hands. Check out this recipe for gluten-free sweet potato mini muffins!

5.  Whole Grain Pasta

Brown rice, whole wheat and quinoa pastas are great options and come in lots of fun shapes.

6.  Pancakes

`Dollar sized`pancakes are great breakfast and snack options. Try making little pancake sandwiches with nut butter spread in between! If you`re looking for a simple, protein packed pancake option, check out this recipe for Banana Protein Pancakes made with just two ingredients!

7.  Brown Rice

Rice can get a bit messy with a self-feeding toddler but is a great addition to any meal. 

Fruits + Veggies

8.  Roasted Cauliflower

Roast cauliflower florets, tossed in some olive oil at 325F for 45 minutes for a great finger food veggie option at dinnertime!

9.  Avocado

A great first finger food to introduce as it can be easily mushed between the gums of your toddler. Plus anything leftover gives you an excuse to make guacamole! 

10.  Watermelon

This refreshing fruit can be either cut into cubes. Older toddlers can be given watermelon slices to much down on on a hot summer day. A great backyard treat.

11.   Raspberries

You can't go wrong with this option.  My kids love to place a raspberry on each of their little fingers, sing `Five Little Monkeys`and munch away at each berry after they gleefully sing 'one fell off and bumped his head". 

12. Spiralized Zucchini

Zucchini noodles can be a fun side dish to any dinner. 

13.   Pureed Soups

One our quickest meals that we do in our house is a pureed soup, which simply consists of cooking up a roughly chopped stir-friend onion, chicken or veggie broth, one chopped potato, a large handful of baby spinach and either asparagus or broccoli. Once you've simmered this mix for 15-20 minutes, whiz it up in a high powered blender and voila - soup! Or as the French call it, velouté.  Or as we call it in our house... green soup. (creative, I know)

14.  Mango

This is a great option as you can easily use the frozen variety (that`s already peeled and cubed... bonus!).  A slightly thawed mango cube can also be great for teething toddlers as well!


15.  Eggs

This quick and easy protein can be served up scrambled or hard-boiled. An omelette can also be made to include other veggies like spinach. 

16.  Plain pulled pork

Using a slow cooker, this is a great option for little ones to try pork. If your toddler likes to eat like the grown-ups, then wrap a soft corn tortilla around it, add some avocado and you've got Taco Tuesdays down pat. 

17.  Shreds of pot roast or short rib

Slow cooker short rib is a favourite in our house.  Who knew toddlers like short rib?? Tender and moist beef from a chuck roast or short ribs can be a great option to serve over rice with a side of roasted cauliflower. Yum!

18.  Chia pudding

Chia is a great way to add fibre and protein into a toddler's diet. We love this recipe from Simply Quinoa!  Or check out our version of Coconut Milk Chia Pudding!

19.  Hummus

Including legumes is a great way to include plant-based proteins into your todder's diet. If you're making your own, you don't need to stick with just chick peas. Try subbing them out for white navy beans or black beans for a little twist on a classic. 

20.    Homemade Meatballs

Using ground turkey thigh meat produces a high-protein and flavourul option that is perfect for little toddler hands. 

21.  Full-fat plain yogurt

Look for the 9% full-fat yogurt that is naturally thick (no extra thickeners required). Add in your own fruit, honey and cinnamon for a healthy dessert or snack. 


Well, there you have it. Lots of options for you to try at home with your toddler.  Remember.. monkey see, monkey do. If your kids see you enjoy a wide variety of healthy foods, then they will see this as normal and will soon follow suit!

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