One of the worst parts about having a toddler is…feeding them! Have you ever made a meal and they won’t even try it!? Or they take one bite and say “eww”!? It’s beyond frustrating and makes mealtimes some of the worst parts of your day. Now that summer is coming lots of kiddos are going to be home for that dreaded lunch time too! You’re going to need some new ideas, STAT!
Here are my favorite easy toddler lunch ideas. Most of these are just the main course so they’ll need some sides to go with them. Those are usually easy, though–slice up some fruit, grab an applesauce, or warm up some microwave veggies (have you ever seen these!? They’re the easiest things in the world!) and your meal is all set!
Let me know in the comments what your kiddos love to eat for lunch–we’re always looking for new ideas! And tell me your best story about their refusal to eat…because, after all, misery loves company!
1. Crescent Roll Sandwiches
We got the idea for these from my sister in law and they are some of our favorites to make! They’re so easy that once your kiddo is old enough they can even help you! You just need a tin of crescent rolls (we use the Annie’s brand) and whatever you want to put inside. We have made cheddar cheese & turkey, pizza (mozzarella & pepperoni) and mozzarella & turkey. You just have to unroll the crescent rolls, put the ingredients inside, roll it back up and cook it in the oven for the amount of time it says on the tin.
Ryan loves many different variations of quesadillas. Sometimes we do just cheese, and other times we throw in turkey, chicken or taco meat. It’s also a good way to sneak some veggies in by adding peppers, onions, mushrooms, or any other veggie you have in the fridge. I also love using Street Taco tortillas because they are the perfect size for a toddler!
3. Hot Dogs
This is pretty self-explanatory but paired with some yummy veggies or Broccoli Tots they are the perfect meal for a toddler. Just make sure you cut them into bit size pieces–they are a very common choking hazard in young children!
This is another super simple lunch that can include most of the major food groups. I prefer to make omelettes because it’s so easy to throw in some meat, a veggie and cheese (I try to use leftovers from the night before so that it’s even easier). It cooks in less than 5 minutes and I make it with 3 eggs so that he can eat half today and have the other half for lunch tomorrow!
5. PB&J Pancakes
Pancakes is always a fun meal! Again your kiddo can help once they’re old enough and it usually makes lots of leftovers. To make it even more fun the next day I use the pancakes as “bread” and throw some peanut butter and jelly on it. It sounds weird, but trust me, just try it! To make the pancakes a little healthier I use Kodiak Cakes because they have more protein than regular pancakes.
6. French Toast
As you can probably tell by now, we love breakfast for lunch! French toast is the perfect lunch for a toddler because it has protein from the eggs and dairy from the milk you add to it. It can also be cut into strips so that they can easily feed themselves. With a quick veggie and/or fruit on the side it’s delicious and nutritious! And just like with pancakes, I sometimes put peanut butter and jelly on it and Ryan can’t get enough!
7. Cauliflower Crust Pizza
I love this because it tastes just like regular pizza but it also gives him a serving of veggies without even trying. Not only is the crust made with cauliflower but I also choose one that has veggies on top! It’s also perfect because I can make one pizza and we both have lunch for a few days! We love this one that comes frozen in a 2-pack from Costco.
Again, no explanation necessary. If they liked dinner, feed it to them again for lunch the next day! It doesn’t get much easier than that!
9. Deconstructed Sandwich
This is one of my go-to’s if I don’t have much time and/or I haven’t been grocery shopping in a while. It’s all of the stuff you would put into a sandwich, but without the bread! So a little lunch meat and cheese and I usually give some crackers on the side for a little crunch!
10. Grilled Cheese & Soup
Who doesn’t love this combo!? Grilled cheese is super easy to make (did you know if you put mayo on the bread instead of butter it gets crispier!?) and soup just adds a nice side to either eat or dip the sandwich into! Ryan hasn’t tried the traditional tomato soup but he loves chicken noodle, broccoli/ cheddar, and minestrone!