Keeping little ones happy at the family dinner table doesnt have to mean cooking them separate dishes. Here are five great, healthy meal ideas for toddlers:
Great Healthy Meal Ideas for Toddlers
Toddlers are notoriously fussy eaters, and many parents struggle to think of a range of varied but healthy meal ideas their choosy tots will try and enjoy. But keeping little ones happy at the family dinner table doesnt have to mean cooking them separate dishes. Here are five great, healthy meal ideas for toddlers that the whole family can enjoy:
Fruity Chicken Curry and Rice Does your little one have a sweet tooth? Why not try adding sweet fruit (such as mango and peaches) to mild chicken curries to appeal to their sweet taste buds? Chop the fruit into chunks around the same size as your chicken pieces and throw them into your curry during the last five minutes of cooking. Offer your child a chunk of sweet fruit first, and they will be more likely to try, and eat, the rest of the meal!
You may be concerned about giving your toddler such messy meals but if you arm yourself with a baby bib to protect their clothes and a packet of wet wipes, post-meal clean up should be relatively painless.
Beans on Toast It might not be the fanciest of foods, but beans are a great source of protein, fibre, and B vitamins. Beans can reduce your risk of developing heart disease and are ideal for lowering cholesterol. If you have a toddler that loves to eat toast for every meal (most of them do!) then introducing a spoonful of beans to their plate (ideal for toast dunking) is a great way to broaden their palate and begin diversifying their meal options.
Hidden Vegetable Pizza Do you have a toddler that refuses vegetables? Youre not alone! Whilst its important to keep offering them a variety of different vegetables (even if they wont eat them) hidden vegetable pizza is a great way to keep their veggie intake up in the meantime.
Chop a selection of vegetables into medium-sized chunks (almost any vegetables will work but red peppers, carrots, and courgettes are all great choices) then drizzle them with olive oil before throwing them in the oven and cooking until soft. Toss the cooked veggies in the blender with tin of tomatoes and then use this as the tomato base when making your own pizzas. Your kids will never know theyre there!
Any leftovers can be saved and frozen for making pizza again, or even used as a tasty pasta sauce.
Picky Fingers Toddlers should be introduced to cold foods as well as hot meals, and picky fingers are a great way to encourage them to nibble on a variety of different foods. Prepare fingers of different foods (such as carrot batons, pepper slices, cucumber sticks and slices of pitta bread) and pop them into a fun and colourful cup or plastic beaker.
A small bowl of dip (hummus, salsa, or even something simple like tomato ketchup) should encourage them to explore the contents of the cup and dip and try the new foods.
Chicken and Vegetable Nuggets Very few toddlers will say no to a chicken nugget, but store-bought nuggets tend to be high in saturated fats and shouldnt be eaten as more than an occasional treat. Instead, why not try making your own nuggets and sneak some of those famous hidden vegetables into the recipe?
Chop your chicken into small chunks and then toss in a bowl with your chosen vegetable. We love great carrot and apple in our nuggets, but as with most hidden vegetable recipes almost anything goes: peas and sweetcorn are easy to add and also taste delicious with succulent chicken breast. Shape into small balls, dip into a beaten egg and then cover in bread crumbs before frying at a high heat. No toddler will be able to resist!