Friendly Lunches

10 Quick, Toddler Friendly Lunches

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Check out these quick, easy, healthful, toddler-friendly lunch ideas. Remember that kids are really forming their tastes during this time period, so the more that you’re able to get them to eat well now, the easier it will be for them to have great healthy eating habits later!

All of these meals offer just one or two servings, so feel free to double if you’re feeding more than one or if you want to make some yummy make ahead meals.
First off, here are some fun things to help you make these meals easy and entertaining for your toddler.

(all images credited to Amazon.com)

And here are our mouthwatering, wonderfully yummy recipes for your toddler!

1. Nut Butter & Banana Grilled Sandwiches

Makes 1 serving

  • 2 tablespoons nut butter
  • 1/2 banana
  • 1 tablespoon raisins
  • 2 slices whole grain bread

Warm a non-stick or cast iron pan over medium heat. Spread one tablespoon of the nut butter on a slice of bread and place the dry side down in the pan. Slice the banana into thin slices (as thin as you can!) onto the bread and lie flat. Sprinkle with raisins. Spread the remaining nut butter on the other slice of bread and place it on top. Then flip when the bread is warm and toast.
Allow to cool slightly and slice into four triangles for easy eating. Serve with a pickle or some baked chips! This one travels really well.

2. Veggie Pasta Salad

Makes 2-3 servings

  • ½ pound whole wheat pasta in a fun shape
  • 1 cup chopped fresh broccoli
  • ½ cup carrot matchsticks
  • ½ cup zucchini, chopped into matchsticks
  • ½ cup white onion, sliced thin
  • ¼ cup sliced black olives
  • ¼ cup parmesan cheese
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • salt and pepper

Boil the pasta per instructions on the box, drain and rinse in cold water. Saute the vegetables in a non-stick skillet with a bit of water until very soft. Toss the warm veggies and cold pasta, then mix in the remaining ingredients. Keeps well in the fridge.

3. Tofu Sticks

Makes 1 serving

  • 1 package firm tofu
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • two egg whites
  • 1 cup breadcrumbs
  • 1 teaspoon garlic salt
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • black pepper
  • (optional) dipping sauce

Cut the tofu into strips 16 strips – turn it on its side and cut it, then back flat and cut into 8 pieces from the top to make strips. Mix the breadcrumbs, garlic salt, paprika and pepper in a shallow dish. whisk the egg whites and douse the tofu in the egg whites, then coat in the breadcrumbs. Place the tofu on a baking sheet and bake at 350 for 15-20 minutes until crispy.  Serve with sliced apple and dipping sauce like marinara or light ranch.

4. Pinwheels

Makes 1 serving

  • Cheese Slices
  • Flat lettuce leaves
  • Slice vegetables – tomato, cucumber, carrot matchsticks, etc.
  • No preservative deli slices – turkey or chicken

Lay the meat slices on a plate, top with cheese, lettuce and veggies. Roll into tubes and slice into pinwheels. You might secure with a toddler safe toothpick if it needs it!

5. Toddler Quesadilla

Makes 1 serving

  • 1 whole grain tortilla
  • ¼ cup low-fat Mexican cheese
  • ¼ cup chopped veggies of your choice: mushrooms, tomatoes, spinach
  • guacamole

Heat a nonstick or cast-iron skillet over medium heat. Lay the tortilla flat on a counter or cutting board. Spread the veggies across and sprinkle with cheese. Fold the half over and slide onto the hot pan. Cook until brown on both sides. Allow to cool well before cutting into quarters and serving with guacamole for dipping. Great for pack ahead lunches

6. Pocket Sandwiches

Makes 1 serving

  • 1 whole grain pita pocket
  • ¼ cup hummus
  • veggies like tomato, cucumber, lightly steamed green beans

Cut the pita in half to reveal the pocket. Spread the hummus inside, then stuff with the veggies. Kids love eating these pocket sandwiches!

7. Berry Pineapple Toddler Parfait

Makes 1 serving

  • ½ cup low fat yogurt
  • ½ cup frozen blueberries
  • ¼ cup crushed pineapple, drained
  • 2 tablespoons flaked coconut

Prep for this is so easy! In a clear plastic cup layer the pineapple in the bottom, followed by half of the blueberries, then half of the yogurt, the other half of the blueberries and then final half of the yogurt. Sprinkle with coconut and serve! The blueberries thaw quickly but add a great cooling surprise to the dish.

8. Egg Salad Muffin

Makes 1 serving

  • 1 whole grain English muffin
  • 2 hard boiled eggs, cooled and mashed
  • ½ teaspoon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon plain yogurt or low-fat mayo
  • salt and pepper

Toast the English muffin. Mix together the remaining ingredients and spread over the muffin. Serve with sliced strawberries.

9. Soba Noodle Salad

Makes 2 servings

  • half pound buckwheat soba noodles
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon sesame seeds
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh ginger
  • black pepper

Boil the soba noodles in salted water for 8 minutes, then transfer to a bowl of ice water and stir gently until completely cold. Drain.

Add the remaining ingredients and mix thoroughly. Keeps well in the fridge.

10. Mexican Brown Rice

Makes 2-3 servings

  • 1 cup long grain brown rice
  • ½ teaspoon ground turmeric
  • ½ cup onion, finely diced
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 8 ounces lean ground beef OR 1 can pinto beans, drained and rinsed
  • ½ cup frozen peas

Cook the beef in a skillet until browned, then drain the fat (if using). Meanwhile, combine the rice, onion, turmeric and salt with 2 cups of water in a covered saucepan. Simmer for 40-50 minutes until rice is tender. Stir in peas and beef or beans and let sit for ten minutes to cook peas and mix flavors. Great to make ahead!

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