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 & Sesame (provided there’s no allergy) Bagel: For the pickier eaters, try plain 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 bananas to keep it fresh. Or, simply allow a frozen Uncrustable that will thaw in your bag to do the work for you.
- 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.
- Yogurt Dip & Graham Crackers with chopped fruit: Freeze this healthy treat and pull it out before you leave. Serve with strawberries, apples, or even bananas.
- No-Bake Energy Bites: Made with peanut butter, chocolate, old-fashioned oats, and chia seeds, your toddler will get tons of nutrition in one tasty nibble.
Ideas That Sneak in Healthy Foods
- Cucumber & Cream Cheese Crustless Sandwiches: 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.
- Garbanzo Beans & Halved Cherry Tomatoes: Squeeze some lemon and sprinkle some
salt on this easy finger food.
- 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
- Hummus & Pretzel Chips: Throw in a few slices of bell pepper for a vitamin C boost.
Last-Ditch Toddler Lunch 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.
- Clif or Any Kind of Protein Bar