Life doesn’t slow down just because kids need to eat; these toddler lunch ideas can keep up
If you’re trying to meal-plan for your toddler whose social life (or siblings’ sports schedules) translates to lunch in the fast lane, you have a few things going for you. Toddlers don’t eat that much—even on a good day—so you have room to pack a couple of choices. Plus, they tend to be distracted (translation: less picky). The next time you need to pack a quick bite, try one of our favorite healthy (and just plain enticing) toddler lunch ideas.
Savory Toddler Lunch Ideas
- Quesadilla: Portable, handheld, and generally liked by all, the quesadilla is the king of the
toddler lunch on the road.
- Toddler Portion of Leftovers (plus wipes): Forget about being clean. Just get them fed.
- Hard Boiled Egg & Everything Bagel: For the pickier eaters, try sea salt, instead.
- Whole Avocados: Just remember to bring a bread knife to cut it in half, then hand the
unseeded side to your toddler with a kiddie spoon.
- Kid-cuterie: Guess what you get when you unpack a Ziploc bag with a protein, a dairy,
fruit, and vegetable onto a paper plate? That’s right. A kid-cuterie. Throw in a small
container of hummus or ranch and you’ve got two tickets to paradise.
- Roly-Poly: Cream cheese and turkey rolled into a tortilla.
- Deconstructed Sandwiches on a Stick: For your older toddlers, skewer rolls of deli meat,
mini tomatoes, chunks of bagels or whole-grain bread, and cubes of cheese.
- Peanut Butter & Anything: For toddlers who’ve cleared the peanut allergy test, this gold-
standard of child rearing nutrition won’t fall apart and packs a protein-filled punch.
Instead of jelly, try adding mini marshmallows or sliced banana to keep it fresh.
- Apple Sticks Wrapped in Deli Turkey
- Nutella & Strawberry Roly-Poly
- Peanut Butter & Banana Roly-Poly: Don’t slice the banana! Spread peanut butter on the
tortilla and wrap that thing up whole.
Lunch Ideas That Sneak in Healthy Foods
- Cucumber & Cream Cheese Crustless Sammies: Your mother had them at her baby
shower, and you can bet your toddler will love the cream cheese paired with the salty
crunch of the cuke. Plus, they don’t stain.
- Garbanzo Beans & Halved Cherry Tomatoes: Squeeze some lemon and sprinkle some
salt on this easy finger-good.
- Thawed Frozen Veggies & a Cheese Stick
- Frozen Pre-Made Smoothies: Freeze these in advance and they’ll thaw out just in time for
lunch on the go.
- Shelled Edamame & Pasta: Add a splash of soy and sesame oil for the adventurous
Not-So-Good (but Better Than a Meltdown) Ideas
- Grilled Cheese Sandwiches: Prep these crowd-pleasers the night before and keep them in
the fridge for portable possibilities.
- Frozen Yogurt Tube
- Dry Cereal & Banana: Because sometimes, it’s the answer.
- Baked Hot Dogs: Wrap your hotdogs up in crescent rolls and cook till golden, and you
won’t worry about losing your bun in your bag.