top of page
  • Writer's pictureLeah Vizgan

Easy to make Homemade Meals that Toddlers like

Updated: Jun 13, 2019

My kid doesn't eat anything I make. She only wants chips.... - Said every parent except the few who say their kids eat what they eat... hahahaha yeah right.

Some days my toddler will eat great.... and others just junk food. Some days she will just go through the days not eating and cranky which doesn't make my life any easier. I will give her several things at a time and she will pick at it. If she likes it, she may eat it. If she doesn't, she will survive on air. What's a mom to do?


It's as if they want to crush your soul, when you cook specifically for your kids and then they throw or spit it on the floor and say yucky. They love doing this for some reason.

Anyways... after asking hundreds of parents for their recommendations of feeding their toddlers, here are some quick, homemade meal ideas: (For Full recipe, see below bullet list)


Breakfast:

  • Cereal

  • Oatmeal

  • Oatmeal Bar

  • Pancakes

  • Smoothies. So easy to put everything in the blender.

  • Yogurt. With their choice of toppings: granola, strawberries, blueberries, etc..

  • Toast with butter and jam. You can always do peanut butter and put banana or strawberries or both.

  • French Toast

  • Waffles

  • Egg made like a banana pancake

  • Toast with peanut butter with whole milk

  • Healthy Waffles

  • Oatmeal Bowl

Snacks:

  • Hummus with pita chips or pita bread

  • Unsweetened Banana chips, Carrot chips, Sweet potato chips...etc.

  • Plates of "small things"

  • Dipping sauces: hummus, Labneh or Greek yogurt, Guacamole with chicken or cheese (whole milk mozzarella), lentil chips and a vegetable

  • "Roll Ups" (Deli Meat & Veggie slices or Cheese & Fruit slices)

  • Popsicles! I buy the purée pouches that have veggies and fruit mixed together. I mix it with yogurt and freeze in popsicle molds.

Lunch:

  • Tomato Soup with grilled cheese sandwhich

  • Vegetable Soup with Cous Cous

  • Mac and cheese with broccoli, cauliflower and small carrots

  • Homemade Tomato Sauce

  • Quesadilla's

  • Peanut butter and jelly (on bread or torillla)

  • Roasted Potatoes

  • Sweet potato fries

  • Beans in tomato sauce

  • Tuna mac and cheese

  • Beans “refried style”

  • Rice and black beans (smashed together)

  • "Mini Pizza"

  • Homemade Velveeta on Broccoli or Cheeseburger Mac

  • Homemade Mac & Cheese

Dinner

  • Cous Cous with Beans in Tomato Sauce

  • Chicken, mushroom, pesto pasta

  • Shepard's Pie

  • Tomato pasta

  • Chicken Curry

  • Sweet potato ravioli with Alfredo sauce

  • Bean and tomato sauce with wraps or rice

  • Large Roast Chicken

  • Ground beef and peas with Heinz readymade mushroom gravy over egg noodles

  • Salmon or chicken with rice and steamed whole fresh green beans

  • White chicken chili from slow cooker

  • Teriyaki chicken over rice

  • Stir fry over linguine noodles


Full Recipes Below:


Breakfast:


Banana pancakes (Russian Version):

1 ripe banana

1/3 cups oats

2 tbsp flour

1 bag baking powder

1 bag vanilla sugar/ 2 tbsp sugar

1 cup yogurt

2 eggs

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 tbsp vegetable oil


Mix well all the dry ingredients.

Mash the banana to a creamy texture and add it to the dry ingredients mixture.

Add all the rest of the ingredients in the written above order and mix well after every ingredient you add.

Wait 20-40 minutes till the oat is ready.

Heat your favourite pancakes pan, low the temperature to the lowest and add as little butter/vegetable oil as possible, let the oil heat up and have fun:)


Banana pancakes (Best Version - My kids favorite):

2 ripe banana, mashed

1 egg

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 teaspoon Cinnamon

1 cup almond milk

1 cup all-purpose flour

1 tablespoon white sugar or vanilla sugar

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

Mash the banana to a creamy texture and add egg, mix. then add oil, vanilla, cinnamon and milk and mix well.

Mix Dry ingredients in separate bowl and then combine with wet ingredients and Mix well.

Heat your favourite pancakes pan, set to medium/low temperature and use spray butter/oil, let the oil heat up and have fun:)




Smoothies:

Sneak in veggies by adding Frozen chunks of avocado, cauliflower, butternut squash and spinach. These don't change the flavor much in my opinion. Beets make a distinct flavor but my kids love it. Some days, our smoothies are over half veggies. Other half can be yogurt, fruit juice, milk, chia seeds.


Oatmeal Bar:

Oatmeal, bananas, peanut butter, cranberries, nuts, apple sauce and honey...and choc chips on the top!


Egg made like a banana pancake:

Mash up a banana, whisk egg, milk, cinnamon and vanilla in. Pour two or three pancakes in a pan with some coconut oil, cook/flip on medium low. I usually throw some peanut butter on top once it’s done.


Healthy waffles:

1 banana, 2 eggs, and 3 tablespoons of baby cereal. Mix in the food processor until blended. (You can add vanilla, cinnamon, or cocoa powder etc.) Pour into an oiled waffle iron. Viola :)


Oatmeal Bowls:

Look up "buddha bowls".

Warm foods are more nourishing and good for development. And every single oatmeal bowl can be different but still super healthy and filling.


Snacks:


Plates of "small things":

Offer about 2 things u know your kid will eat (ex: cheese and berries) and then offer 1-2 things max that they don't usually eat or haven't been given to try yet.

You can use an ice cube tray. Add:

  • Diced cheese

  • crackers

  • berries

  • small tortillas

  • toast squares with cheese

  • mini pizzas

  • meat slices

  • cucumber

  • avocado slices

  • a few chunks of salami

  • baby carrots

  • hot dog chunks

  • mandarins orange slices

  • pickles, olives

  • boiled egg

  • fruit, etc...

  • and some things you know they don't like at all.

They can snack as they please but if they eat the dessert item first, like the cookies and then want more, I tell them yes of course as soon as they finish the rest of the stuff! My toddler will occasionally try a new item, she might just chew it up and spit it back out, she might ignore all the healthy stuff and only eat junk.


Dipping Sauces:

Kids Love to Dip. Using different dipping sauces can give great success with getting your toddler to eat. It makes eating fun. Anything they can dip in sauce is usually a hit.

For example, use guacamole or sour cream for quesadillas or sweet chili sauce, tahini, hummus, bbq sauce, ketchup and mustard for meats and veggies. Also applesauce can become a dip.

Try veg tempura and give them their own sauce bowl. Pitas, baked potato wedges, chicken etc.. work well. If you can get them, frozen gyoza or pierogis are great for a quick meal as well (bonus hidden veggies).


“Roll ups”:

At this age, one inside of something else is something they like to explore (think about how they put toys in boxes and jars, etc).

You can try cheese and sliced fruit or deli meat & sliced vegetables - just roll it up.

Watch as they gobble it up.


Popsicles!

I buy the purée pouches that have veggies and fruit mixed together.

I mix it with yogurt and freeze in popsicle molds.

My toddlers will eat anything in popsicle form. Like, I have even added broccoli, and they don’t care! 😂 It’s where they get most of their veggies from. Any time they go on strike against some vegetable I start adding it to their popsicles. It’s really easy and they actually love it. Summer weather is here for us, so we’ll be spending all day outside playing with the kiddie pool and sprinkler, eating popsicles.


Lunch:




Vegetable Soup:

Base:

2 carrots, grated

1 chopped small onion

3 Cloves of garlic, chopped

A bit of celery roots cut to small rings


Soup:

2 carrots, cut to small pieces

4 diced small potatoes (if you have big ones, use 2 or 3)

You can add some sweet potatoes, some pumpkin and cabbage, whatever you want

I love to add some Chick peas or beans just to make it richer

- Spices: paprika, turmeric, dried or fresh parsley, salt and pepper


Base:

Fry the onion with 2 tbs of oil, and add the garlic. Add the carrots and celery and let them lose some of their volume.

Then make it a Soup:

Add all the other vegetables to the base

Add water to cover all the veggies.

Add the spices, just a tsp of each, and boil it and cook it till the potatoes are soft.

Taste it and add more spices if needed.


Make Cous Cous separately, you can put the soup over the cous cous if you like. Enjoy!!



Mac & cheese with broccoli, cauliflower and carrots:

Melt butter in a wok pan

adding about 3 tbsp of flour (sometimes I skip the flour)

3 cups milk

and all the spices you like

I recommend adding garlic too.

Stirring occasionally till boiled

then add mac and mix well

add any cheese you like and as much as you want and that's it



Roasted Potatoes:

Cut potatoes into slices (Also good with Sweet Potatoes)

put on tray covered with wax paper

Add diced garlic or garlic powder, paprika, salt pepper and oregano

Grill 450 degrees F (250 degrees C) for 40 minutes or until soft

Let cool and serve


Sweet potato fries:

One sweet potato cut into 1/2” wide sticks

Drizzle with coconut oil and salt

Bake 35 minutes at 350F, turning once


(I make a pot and use this sauce during the week to add to pasta, make "pizza" tortilla's or chicken quesadilla's)

Homemade Tomato Sauce:


2 cans of plain tomato sauce (cubes or mashed) -OR- 10 tomato's peeled and mashed

2 tablespoons of tomato paste

1 teaspoon Black Pepper

1/2 teaspoon of salt

2 teaspoons of red paprakia or if you like spicey Add 1 teaspoon Hot paprika

1 teaspoon oregano

1 teaspoon sugar

1/2 cup water

Bring to a boil then simmer on med low for 30 minutes to 1 hour, if it looks too dry add a little bit of water.

The longer you cook it the tastier it will be. When it arrives to a thickness and taste you love, your done.

Add Basil if you like.




Quesadilla's:

Cut some chicken off of a rotisserie chicken, dump it on a tortilla with a spoonful of mild pico and a handful of cheese, Cook for a couple of minutes on the stove and warm up refried beans. To keep it authentic, serve with raw veggies and copious ranch for dipping.


Beans “refried style”:

Boil beans with salt and a piece of onion, make sure there’s always enough water. They cook in about 2 hours. My kids love them “refried style” which is just mashed beans so they look like purée. Top with cheese.


"Mini Pizza":

Which is just sliced english muffin with pizza sauce, shredded cheese, and some kind of cut up topping.


Homemade Velveeta:

Make your own “Velveeta” cheese with milk powder, cheddar, and gelatin.

Use it on broccoli or make cheeseburger Mac (ground beef, canned tomatoes, onions, whole grain pasta, bit of mustard powder).


INGREDIENTS:

¼ ounce packet unflavored gelatin

6 tablespoons dry milk powder

1 cup boiling water

16 ounces mild cheddar cheese (shredded)


DIRECTIONS:

Line a small loaf pan with plastic wrap, covering all sides and leaving excess to hang over the sides. Place the unflavored gelatin and dry milk powder in a blender or food processor (I used my blender). Pour the boiling water over top and immediately pulse to combine. Add the cheddar cheese and puree the mixture until smooth.Immediately pour and scrape the cheese mixture into the prepared loaf pan, smoothing it into an even layer with a spatula. Fold the excess plastic wrap over the cheese, pressing it against the surface of the cheese, ensuring that it is completely covered. Refrigerate for at least 12 hours, until set. The cheese will keep in the refrigerator, tightly wrapped in plastic wrap, for up to 1 month.


Homemade Mac & Cheese:

Boil pasta.

As water is bowling, mix a quarter cup of nutritional yeast with a couple spoonfuls of olive oil and a couple spoonfuls of the boiling water. Mix well, consistency should be like Elmer's glue, so add more water if it's a bit too thick or add more nooch if it seems super runny.

When pasta is done, drain and then add "sauce". Stir well. Top with more nutritional yeast if you're like us and can't get enough of it. Add garlic salt and black pepper, if you're into either of those. Enjoy!

You can also add in sautèd veggies at the end, stuff like onions and bell peppers diced into small enough pieces so it looks like confetti in the pasta. Sometimes I add in chunks of avocado and mix it so well the avocado basically becomes part of the sauce.

You can also substitute for other oils, but I prefer olive oil for the fat content and taste. Anything would work, though. And I'm not stingy with the oil, since that's the good fat part that our kids need.


Dinner:


Cous Cous with Beans in Tomato Sauce:

Just add a bit of paprika, pepper, and some water to make it a bit thinner and it's delicious




Chicken, mushroom, pesto pasta:

sauté chicken, then add in chopped onions, garlic and mushrooms with lots of olive oil and some salt and pepper. Once cooked, I add in Italian pesto sauce (just from a jar), then add in cooked pasta and voila! Seriously really quick and the kids favorite.




Shepard's Pie:

I sauté hamburger meat with chopped onions, garlic and chopped mushrooms, salt and pepper. Once cooked, I mix meat and mushroom stock cubes in a bit of boiled water then add this to the meat mixture. Separately, I chop and cook carrots and peas and add those to the meat. Separately, I peel and boil potatoes, make into mash once cooked. Then once the meat mixture is cooked, I put in a cooking dish and then layer the potato mash on top and cook in the oven until golden brown.

You can also add any veggies you like like spinach, broccoli etc...


Tomato pasta:

I cut up cherry tomatoes and garlic, sauté those in olive oil with a bit of salt and pepper, then add one can of chopped tomatoes and fresh basil, add some Italian spices and let it cook for a while, then just add cooked pasta and a little extra olive oil on top and voila! Happy baby!🍝





Chicken Curry:

1‪ onion

2-3‪ Cloves of garlic

1 Pack of Mushrooms

About a tbs of red curry paste

1‪ sweet potato

2‪-3‪ carrots

4‪ bell peppers, any any color u like

1‪ pack of green peas

5‪00-7‪00 gr of chicken cut into cubes

2‪ packs of coconut milk or cream, I love the 1‪5-1‪7% fat


Sweet paprika, salt and pepper, I also add chili

And spicy paprika, if you like spicey/hot...


Chop the vegetables in a size you like best.


Fry the chicken, but not all the way, with a little bit of oil.


Fry the onion and add the garlic when the onions are a bit caramelized, add the Mushrooms and let them lose some of their volume.

Then add the curry paste and stir them until the mushrooms are covered.

Then move it all to a big pot, put the chicken and the veggies inside, add the coconut milk and water to cover all.

Let it cook for 4‪0 minute.


U can make rice and serve it together


Sweet Potato Ravioli with Alfredo Sauce:

Cook Ravioli, stir frequently.

Alfredo sauce: in wok, cook sliced onion, garlic and mushrooms until golden brown

Add butter and cream and warm over medium low heat.

Next, whisk in garlic and seasonings (salt, pepper, nutmeg).

Add parmesan cheese and stir just until the cheese has melted and your sauce is smooth

Let stand until thickens.

Pour over Ravioli and serve. -> This is my daughter's all time favorite and my go-to meal when she doesn't eat anything, she always eats sweet potato ravioli.


Bean and tomato sauce with wraps or rice:

Put an onion, finely sliced carrots and peppers to fry.

Add a tin of tomatoes and a tablespooon of tomato puree.

Cook for 5 minutes then add a tin of black or kidney beans.

When it is nearly done throw in some frozen sweetcorn.

You can serve with rice or i put it in a wrap and secure it with tin foil so the toddler doesn't undo the wrapping.

You can add avocado and plain yogurt/sour cream with it too.

Plus you can add hot sauce or chillies for yourself.


Large Roast Chicken:

Sometimes I cook a large roast chicken on Monday, that will feed us for 3/4 days.

We have it with homemade fries (slice them up, rough them up in oil, throw them in the oven for 40 minutes at 180C) and salad.

Mushroom and courgettes cooked with cream and served with rice.

Pesto with gnocci (both bought from the store) with peas and chicken.

On day four I make a noddle soup with the left over chicken carcass and whatever veg I have in the fridge.


White chicken chili from slow cooker:

We top with cheese and sour cream and eat along with tortilla chips. https://www.geniuskitchen.com/amp/recipe/crock-pot-white-chicken-chili-114789


Rice Bowls:

Look up "buddha bowls".

Warm foods are more nourishing and good for development. And every single rice bowl can be different but still super healthy and filling.


Teriyaki chicken over rice

Pineapple juice, brown sugar, soy sauce, water and chicken breast in the Instant Pot is a favorite.


Stir fry:

which is easy to do with whatever you have on hand, over linguine noodles







151 views0 comments

Comments


bottom of page