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Meal Prepping For Toddlers

November 03, 2021 3 min read

Toddlers are so much fun, but toddler meal times can be a whole different story.  Toddlers love one thing today and can hate it tomorrow, so I’m here to help you out with some ways to get toddler meals done quickly and simply and without any drama!  It’s all about meal prepping and getting things ready in advance.

 

Meal Prepping 101

Choose freezer friendly, dinner things that freeze well and can work as part of a bigger meal. Toddlers are finding their taste buds and they often have changeable tastes from day to day.  A favourite today is awful the next week and sometimes everything is just inedible!

Use your freezer. Make a batch of something, be it chicken nuggets, sausage rolls, mini pizzas, fritters and freeze! If your toddler doesn’t love something this time, serve it with a sauce next time, or with different sides.  Having a stockpile in the freezer means you can come back to the new thing at a later stage and try it again, in a new way!

 

toddler meal ideas

 

Tips For A Successful Toddler Meal

  • Freeze some favourites- these apple and sweet potato fritters work well and the sweetness means they are a kid favourite.
  • Plate something new with something they love, so try a new veggie alongside something like cucumber sticks that is a favourite already (or whatever your toddler loves!)
  • Make it fun! Toddlers love playing with their food.  Using a plate like the star plate means they can have a dipping sauce over to the side ready for dipping nuggets like these veggie nuggets.
  • Serve veggies in different ways. There are so many ways to serve a carrot for example- steam it, roast it, grate it (and sprinkle sultanas through for a treasure hunt), mash it, use it in fritters, serve raw, serve as noodles with the help of a spiraliser, cut into ribbons with a peeler.  Just because your toddler doesn’t like it one way, doesn’t mean they won’t love it another way.
  • Reduce the pressure. Toddlers won’t necessarily eat everything, but they will also get easily overwhelmed by large amounts of food on a plate.  Keep things separate and just pop one thing in per section on a plate.  If they eat it, you can add more.
  • Think about mixed textures. Pasta with sauce seems normal to adults but give the control back to the kids by putting pasta in one section, sauce in another and grated cheese in another.  Then they can work out how much of each they need on each piece of pasta.

 

Freezer Tips For Meal Prep

Freeze flat on oven trays, then when solid transfer to containers.  Put the date on them and label them well.  From experience just labels that stay on, we ended up with massaman spaghetti one night, as the label was lost and I was sure it was pasta sauce!

For eating cold, defrost completely in the fridge before serving.  For reheating, defrost and reheat in your oven, air fryer or microwave depending on the meal.

 

Repurposing Leftovers

There is nothing worse than having made a big batch of something that your toddler just won’t eat.  If you find yourself in that boat, then you need to think outside the square and make something new with it so that it doesn’t go to waste!

Rissoles can be turned into burgers, fritters can be chopped up and served in pasta sauce, pasta sauces they don’t love can be used in a lasagne or pasta bake- with other ingredients.

 

Enjoy Meal Times

It seems hard when kids are toddlers to embrace the mess and the fuss of dinner, but allowing your child to play with their food and enjoy meal times sets you up for successful eating in future.  There is plenty of time to learn how to use a fork and spoon!

 

 

 

Kylie blogs at Kidgredients.  She is a mum to two kids, Miss 11 and Master 9 and loves to feed them delicious homemade meals. She used to be a primary school teacher and loves teaching kids the skills needed for making fun and yummy meals.  Her blog is full of easy to make family meals and lunchbox items.