We all know that a healthy, balanced diet is best for toddlers because their bodies need good nutrition in order to grow and develop properly. A child who enjoys healthy foods will benefit in adult life too from a stronger mind and body. Children who are brought up eating too many unhealthy foods will probably grow up to face an adult life plagued by physical and mental health problems. Nutrition is King when it comes to kids but many toddlers are reluctant to try new foods or get into the habit of fussy eating. One great way to encourage your child to take an adventurous approach to eating is baby led weaning and we’ve already published a blog post
explaining what this is followed a couple of months later with a review of this practice.
However, offering your toddler plenty of new dishes to try can seem daunting but it needn’t be too much of a challenge. Here are five toddler meal ideas that are healthy and nutritious and easy to make (it’s all about making stuff easy when you’re spending most of your time running round after a toddler):
Baked Eggs –the easiest way to cook these is in a silicone muffin tin and there’s are now readily available in most major supermarkets (a metal “jam tart” tin will do just as well but is not as easy to clean). You’ll need a heaped teaspoonful of some sort of filling first – this can be some chopped spinach and ricotta, a slice of tomato, some chopped red pepper and grated cheddar, a little leftover Bolognese sauce from the night before, chopped ham and tomato, etc. Basically, you need to spoon into each muffin a little veg/cheese/leftover sauce – whatever you have to hand. Then it’s just a matter of cracking an egg over the filling to fill the muffin indentation and baking in the oven. You can bake the eggs until they are runny or hard – that’s a matter of personal preference (for both you and baby). When they’re done, turn out onto a plate and serve with a slice of buttered granary bread or seeded loaf.
Apple and Cheese – slices of apple combined with cubes of Cheddar cheese complement each other brilliantly. Peel and core the apple and offer thin slices with cubes of cheddar cheese. Follow this with some sultanas or cranberries for a really healthy midday lunch. This is an easy lunch to take with you if you’re out and about and much healthier than anything you’re likely to buy in a café or snack bar. Cheese on Toast Supreme– Grate some cheese of your choice into a bowl and add some chopped herbs. Beat one egg in a bowl and then add egg to the cheese and herbs and mix it roughly. Toast some slices of granary or wholemeal bread then spread some of this mixture onto each slice. Pop each slice under a preheated grill until nicely browned and puffed up then serve with some slices of cucumber and slices of red pepper. This is a much tastier way of serving cheese on toast.
Cottage Cheese with Fruit– Cottage cheese is always tastier when it has a little something added and fruit is a great way of jazzing it up. Choose from sultanas, chopped apple, chopped dried apricot, pineapple – in fact you can mix and match with your child’s favorite fruit flavour of the month. Serve with some sliced cucumber and a slice of buttered granary bread for a healthy meal your child will enjoy.
Rolled Ham – Buy some good quality sliced ham and then spread each slice with soft cheese like Philadelphia and roll up. Serve with a helping of raw sugar snap peas and some healthy eating crackers of your choice.