Dinner Recipes For Picky Toddlers

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Broccoli & Cheese Quesadilla Toddler Dinner


One of the easiest ways to sneak veggies into a toddlers diet is in a quesadilla. Its closed, and theres cheese involved, so with any luck they wont peel it back and go hunting. Finely chop broccoli tips and place inside the quesadilla with cheese. Melt stove top or in the oven, and serve beside black beans & sliced cucumbers, with guacamole or sour cream for dipping.

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Italian Sausage Breakfast Casserole

Theres nothing better than waking up on a weekend morning to the smell of a breakfast casserole.

You can make this casserole the night before and have it ready to pop into the oven when you wake up. By the time youre finished with your morning coffee, breakfast is ready for the table.

The Italian sausage is something different for breakfast and it creates a memorable occasion out of a simple morning.

You can use frozen diced hash browns for this recipe. Be sure to thaw them before adding them to your mixture.

When you want a casserole that is both savory and sweet, you can turn to this butternut squash and apple casserole.

This casserole is made with mashed butternut squash, brown sugar, apples, and pecans.

A perfect casserole to celebrate fall, this casserole has all of the best things about autumn.

This butternut squash casserole has a secret ingredient: corn flakes cereal. The corn flakes help to make the crunchy crust that is absolutely delicious.

You can use walnuts in this casserole if you prefer those to pecans.

Ham Egg And Cheese Breakfast Pizza

Kickstart breakfast in a fun way with pizza! This recipe is packed with protein and veggies . If you have time in the mornings, your picky eater will love making their own pizza. Bonus: this easy recipe can also be used to switch up dinner as well!

For a fun twist on a dessert favorite, banana split oatmeal is a warm and fiber-packed breakfast that has a little extra flavor for your picky eater. Add some strawberries for some sweetness, and you will have yourself a winner.

Read Also: Ground Turkey And Potato Recipes

Crispy Smashed Potatoes With Miso Butter

Focusing on simple food is another common pattern for kids,so why not try this recipe from floatingkitchen.net?While these are best considered a side dish, rather than a dinner in their ownright, they could easily be served next to a protein-based recipe .

The featured potatoes might seem like a relatively simplerecipe, but dont let that put you off. The dish is much more interesting thanpotatoes that have simply been boiled. The recipe helps ensure you get the potatoesexactly right with a crisp outside and soft fluffy potato in the middle.

Quick & Easy Instant Pot Macaroni And Cheese

Toddler meals for Picky Eaters

As a child, macaroni and cheese was always a favorite of mine. If youre like most people and purchased or received an Instant Pot as a gift this year then youll be happy to know you can make your kiddos favorite meal, mac and cheese in it too! This recipe comes together in just 15 minutes perfect for busy nights.

http://www.forkly.com/recipes/quick-easy-instant-pot-macaroni-and-cheese/ PHOTOS AND RECIPE HERE: FORKLY

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One Pot Mac & Cheese With Hidden Veg

As the title suggests, the health advantages of this recipeare related to the hidden vegetable. Ciara from myfussyeater.com wisely points out that fussy eaters often dont get enough vegetables. Recipeslike this can be the perfect way to provide extra nutrition. After all,macaroni and cheese is a popular recipe for kids. Why not take full advantageof it?

How To Build A Toddler Meal

A good method for building a well-balanced meal for 1-3-year-old toddlers is to include foods from a variety of food groups each day. You dont have to have all food groups represented at every meal but make sure you offer a protein at all meals and snacks to help keep little bellies full.

A typical toddler plate should be made up of:

  • half fruits and veggies
  • a quarter protein
  • serving of dairy

When serving dairy products, give whole milk products until age 2. Focus on whole fruits instead of fruit juice and aim to make half of grains whole grains for more fiber and other nutrients.

Offer foods multiple times, even if your toddler acts like he does not like it, because it can take up to 15 times of being presented with a food for a child to develop a taste for it. Try offering foods cooked in a variety of ways so your toddler can explore different tastes and textures. Even better, serve your child what you are eating and eat meals together so you can model healthy eating behaviors for them.

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Asian Glazed Orange Chicken

If you wanted another international-themed recipe, thenyoure in luck. This dish from foodiecrush.com will meet your needs. As the name suggests, the dish relies on Asian flavors. This includes an engaging combinationof sweet and spicy. Just as importantly, the meal looks good. Theres nothingthat will discourage kids from eating it.

Homemade Seasoned French Fries


Instead of going to a fast-food restaurant where their fries have ingredients youd need a science degree to understand, you can easily make your own from home.

Best of all, these fries taste ten times better than those often limp and flavorless potato sticks you get at many fast food joints.

Add some natural ketchup or easy homemade cheese dipping sauce, and youve got fries your kids will brag about to their friends!

Recommended Reading: Homemade Hot Cocoa Mix Recipe

Make Their Plate Colorful

I also suggest parents to serve the rainbow. Serve your child a colorful appealing plate that encompasses all of the food groups. We often used divided plates at the home but that doesnt mean that you cant serve a mixed meal on them.

If Im doing a casserole, Ill still serve that on the divided plate and then add in fruit and veggies in a separate compartment for more color, balance and options.

Quick & Easy Instant Pot Deconstructed Lasagna

While I love to cook, I just dont have the time that goes into a meal like homemade lasagna, even though I adore this dish. Enter, the Instant Pot. It takes a small fraction of the time and tastes exactly the same as traditional lasagna, making it a favorite in my books!

http://www.forkly.com/recipes/instant-pot-deconstructed-lasagna/ PHOTOS AND RECIPE HERE: Forkly

Also Check: Freshpet Vital Balanced Nutrition Chicken Recipe

Homemade Macaroni And Cheese

We can all agree macaroni and cheese is a favorite meal for most kids. While feeding kids from a box is easy, this recipe is nutritious and put together with simple ingredients. Use this as the main meal or as a side with protein and veggies. We also recommend mixing the protein and veggies into the mac if you can get your picky eater to entertain the idea.

Chicken nuggets are another kid favorite! Making your chicken nuggets may seem like another thing on your to-do list you do not have time for, but this easy recipe can be made ahead of time and without a deep fryer.

Most Popular Meals For Pickyeaters

20 dinners your picky eater will actually eat (and love ...
  • Instant Pot Chicken Noodle Soup: Delicious and comforting, this chicken noodle soup is loaded with flavorful chicken and soft noodles. 30 minutes are all you need for a family-friendly meal.
  • Teriyaki Chicken Bowls: Sweet, savory, and packed with flavor. Youll have no complaints from your picky eaters! Oh, and did I mention it cooks in only 15 minutes.
  • Creamy Mac n Cheese: Its creamy, its cheesy, and its perfectly seasoned. This Southern-style mac and cheese is one of my kids favorite dishes. Serve with ketchup for some extra delicious flavor.
  • Grilled Cheese Sandwiches and Tomato Soup: Its my go-to meal as its cheesy and comforting. Perfect for pickier palates!
  • Benihana Fried Rice: Full of veggies and flavors your kids will like, this fried rice is fast, easy, and delicious. A winner all around!

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Toddler Daily Nutritional Guidelines

According to the 2020-2025 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, nutrients of concern for underconsumption in a childs second year are vitamin D, calcium, fiber, and potassium, so make sure your toddler gets a variety of foods with these nutrients daily.

Below are recommended daily intakes for toddlers of different ages. Still, its important to look at what your child eats throughout the whole week instead of focusing on each day since toddlers eating habits can be erratic and unpredictable. As long as you keep offering a variety of foods from all of the food groups, your childs nutrition should balance out each week.

Daily Recommended Intake for Toddlers 12-23 months

  • 700-1,000 calories a day split between 3 meals and 2 snacks
  • Half of the daily calories should be from healthy fats
  • 2/3 1 cup of vegetables daily
  • ½ 1 cup of fruit daily
  • 1 ¾ 3 ounces of grains daily
  • 1 2/3 2 cups of dairy daily
  • 2 ounces of protein daily

Daily Recommended Intake for Toddlers 2-4 years

  • 1,000-1,400 calories a day for girls and 1,000-1,600 calories for boys split between 3 meals and 1-2 snacks
  • Healthy fats should be reduced to about 30% of total daily calories
  • 1-2 cups of vegetables daily
  • 1- 1 ½ cups of fruit daily
  • 3 5 ounces of grains daily
  • 2 2 ½ cups of dairy daily
  • 2 5 ounces of protein daily

Why Is Protein So Important For Kids

Protein is important for kids for so many reasons its an important part of every body cell and helps to build and maintain tissues such as muscles, bones, organs, skin, hair and nails. It also plays in important role in body processes such as maintaining fluid balance, blood clotting, immune system function, hormone and enzyme creation and more! If you think about it, our kids are constantly growing, so not only do they need protein to maintain general health but also for growth and development!

Also Check: Hidden Valley Ranch Beef Recipes

Skinny Chicken Alfredo Lasagna

Marie, from notenoughcinnamon.com,provides this interesting alternative to regular lasagna. It uses alfredo sauce.This mightnt be the flavor that youdnormally expect, but it works well within the dish.

That being said, its important to keep an open mind. Someof the ingredients in this recipe mightnt be what you expect from a kid-friendlydish. Despite this, the meal does taste amazing and kids are still going tolove it.

Vegan Garlic Alfredo Pasta

Dinner Ideas for Picky Eaters | What’s for Dinner?

Simple pasta recipes like this one are exceptional choicesfor lunch or for dinner. The recipe comes from jessicainthekitchen.com.It could easily be eaten as a dish on its own or paired with a meat-based side.In either case, the meal is bound to be popular.

Because this is a vegan pasta dish, it uses some less commoningredients to create the sauce. Dont let this stop you from trying the recipeout. The end result does taste amazing. While it may not be quite the same as anon-vegan version, the differences simply make the recipe more interesting. Youcan be sure that kids will love the dish, especially if they dont know that itis vegan-friendly.

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Savoury Pancakes With Veggified Bolognese

Everybody loves pancakes! The pancake itself is not bad for you, it is the lashings of jam, sugar, ice cream or chocolate sauce that are added to it that are. So really, pancakes can be a great option for a meal with fussy toddlers.

Wrap the pancakes around some delicious homemade Bolognese with plenty of veggies grated inside and you have an easy fussy eater proof meal which everyone will adore. Mind the mess though!

See pancake recipes here

Muffin Tin Cheeseburger Cups

These mini burgers are made in a muffin tin and because of that, you can whip up a large batch quickly! They would be great for any family dinner, potluck or birthday party and they certainly get the stamp of approval from the kiddos!

http://www.forkly.com/recipes/muffin-tin-cheeseburger-cups/ PHOTOS AND RECIPE HERE: FORKLY

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Nachos And Burritos Healthy Style

Again, nachos and Mexican food are often seen as being fattening. But again, you can make it healthy. Choose low fat sour creams or use natural yoghurt, enjoy fresh avocado and beautiful iron filled protein packed kidney beans. Add a little cheese, tomatoes and even some good quality mince and you have a nachos burrito.

Like always, it is the setting in which you eat the meal that it also part of the fussy eating experience. Let the kids and toddlers be involved in the preparation and also let them pick the ingredients they put onto their wrap. Ensure there are healthy options available and there shouldnt be a problem in what they choose.

Fresh Tomato Mozzarella Pesto Pasta Recipe

Dinner Ideas for Kids

Heres another pasta recipe to consider. It comes from jeanetteshealthyliving.com and is a great example of eating that is both simple and healthy. Iparticularly like the fresh appearance and flavors.The inclusion of basil and fresh tomatoes works exceptionally well.

This would be the perfect dinner recipe if you wantedsomething light. You might also rely on it in the summer months althoughhonestly, the dish would be good all year round.

Read Also: Quick And Healthy Dinner Recipes

Chicken & Zucchini Casserole

Ive made this recipe countless times, and its always a hit with my kids. I do recommend the StoveTop brand of stuffing because its packed full of flavor, making any additional seasoning unnecessary. You could also add other soft veggies to the mix if youd like such as squash, corn or mushrooms.

Chicken Zucchini Casserole Recipe & Instructions

Ham Egg & Cheese Breakfast Pizza

Pizza for breakfast, you say? The eggs make the base, just a touch of cheese, and a little bit of ham make scrambled eggs so much more fun to eat! Bonus: add chopped veggies for added nutrition and then you can say they ate veggies for breakfast. Grab the recipe. Nutritional goal: Extra protein, introduce the texture of eggs in a kid-friendly way.

Baking the oatmeal changes the overall texture and my kids say it tastes like blueberry pie. Add a splash of milk and its now a-la-mode. Grab the recipe. Nutritional goal: hearty meal, fiber + protein balanced breakfast, and added fruit.

Its not a meal, per se, but it does work as a breakfast add-on! Seriously though, how great is it to get your fruits and veggies in one delicious drink that the kids will love? Grab the recipe.Nutritional Goal: additional veggies/greens in the classic smoothie.

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Easy Risotto Toddler Dinner

The logic is this: If they like mac-n-cheese, whos to say they wont dig risotto? The flavor and consistency are similar, but this Italian rice dish is elevated enough that Mom and Dad will enjoy it, too. Also, its a one-pot dinner, and who doesnt love that?! There are tons of risotto recipes out there, some more time-consuming than others. If this is your first attempt, stick with a simple recipe like the ones on this beginners list. Your toddler might especially like the chicken variety. Buon appetito!

Easy Dinner Ideas For Kids

5 OF THE BEST Quick & Easy Dinners For PICKY EATERS

Weve rounded up our 21 best, easy dinner ideas for kids. From kid-friendly soup to pasta to healthy recipes this list will make your picky eaters happy.

What should I make for the family tonight that the kids will actually eat? Are there some HEALTHY and EASY options? For kids , weve put together this list of the 21 best dinner recipes that are kid-friendly some are quick recipes, some are healthy recipes, some are more indulgent regardless theyre proven to be popular among picky eaters. No matter if your kids are 4 years old or 10 years old, youll find something that will satisfy their taste buds.

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Best Toddler Plates Utensils And Cups

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If you liked what you saw in the pics here, and want to get the plates and such that I use for toddlers, Im sharing them below. After three kids, Ive trial and error-ed, a lot of them! You can also find a super list over at must-haves for mealtimes:

  • My favorite toddler plate because its super durable and has three sections, which is so helpful for toddlers. Its also deep enough that you can put soup or rice in one of the sections. You can get the toddler plate here.
  • My favorite toddler straw cup because it is easy to clean, period. Straw cups are so good for toddlers, but they can be a pain, this one isnt. Plus its really affordable. Find the best toddler cup here.
  • My favorite toddler fork because it actually stabs the food but isnt sharp enough to hurt them. It also has a nice thick handle that makes it easy to get food. Get the best toddler fork here.
  • My favorite toddler spoon because it is bent at an angle that helps them actually get the food into their mouth and has a nice deep bowl. And, bonus, it also comes with a spork! All of my kids have used these same forks and spoons. Get the toddler spoon set here.

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