I’m not going to lie, I wouldn’t say I was that adventurous when it comes to serving up food to my toddler. I don’t have the time, patience nor money for quinoa, mackerel or whatever else i’m seeing on the super mum Instagram accounts these days. These dishes i’m sure are packed with nutrients and are super tasty but it all sounds like a lot of effort for an unenthusiastic 2 year old. I say, keep its simple, cheap and quick and you are far more likely to succeed. You can tailor every single one of my lunch ideas below to suit your child or make a healthier option (though most of them are healthy anyway!) So here is my list that has already been tested on my 18 month old with a very high success rate, so enjoy!
1 – Scrambled Egg on Toast
It’s quick, it’s cheap and it’s easy. All you need is an egg (or 2 depending on how much your toddler eats) and some butter. Crack the egg into a microwavable dish, add a knob of butter and mix. Cook in the microwave or on the hob for approximately a minute and voila! You have scrambled eggs that you can serve on a slice of toast.
2 – Omelette
Omelettes are great as you can add most things to them, so whatever you have hanging around in your fridge: ham, cheese, bacon, sausages, onions, tomatoes, whatever you have, you can add it all and create a mini masterpiece. All you need other than than that is an egg or 2 and a knob of butter. Tailor it around to whatever your child is into at the moment!
3 – Fun Shaped Sandwiches
Why not make sandwiches more fun by using biscuit cutters to make them into little shapes. Whatever cutter you can find, you can turn your sandwich into that shape to entice your child to be more enthusiastic about their lunch. I know it’s all psychological but it does often work!
4 – Jacket Potato and Beans
The classic hot lunch that we can all enjoy and it’s cheap and easy to make. All you need is a baked potato, some butter and a tin of beans. A nice hot lunch to enjoy as the weather gets colder, you can swap a normal potato to a sweet potato to make it healthier too! My daughter loves sweet potato because of its sweetness and as its the healthier option, it’s a win win situation!
5 – Pasta and Pesto
A jar of pesto costs around 90p and you can buy a bag of pasta for around 30p so this meal is cheap as well as tasty. The jar will last you a few servings too depending on portion size, I love pesto so it’s something that me and my daughter can enjoy together. You can buy wholemeal pasta to make this dish healthier if you prefer. You can also get different shaped pasta to make it more fun if they are reluctant to trying it!
6 – Banana Pancakes
Although this sounds more like a snack or something that you would have for breakfast, it’s still a great source of protein and your getting one of your five a day in too. All you need is 2 eggs, a ripe banana and you can add a drop of vanilla essence for extra sweetness if you prefer. Just mash the banana and mix with the 2 eggs and tip the lot into your frying pan in a little bit of oil. You will get roughly 3 pancakes out of this mix so double up if you would prefer more!
7 – Crisp Bread and Soft Cheese
Simple, easy and healthy too, all you need is some crisp bread and a tub of soft cheese. You can buy supermarkets own for around 60p too which is a bonus!
8 – Pitta, Hummus and Veg
Hmmm.. I love this combo of food. You can make this lunch colourful by cutting up peppers, carrots, celery, tomatoes, cucumber and pitta bread and putting it with some hummus in the middle. It’s so tasty and has a mediterranean feel to it which makes it a little bit more exciting. You can buy all these ingredients at a reasonable price in supermarkets and it’s a great way to experiment with different foods that your child may like.
9 – Brocolli Cheese
Like cauliflower cheese but with broccoli instead, though you can use cauliflower if you prefer of course! All you need is a head of broccoli, milk, cheese, butter and flour. I do 250ml of milk, 2 tbsp of flour, 25g of butter and 50g of cheese. Mix the flour, butter and milk in a saucepan and whisk until you have no more lumps and the mix begins to thicken. Simmer for a couple more minutes and then remove from the hob, mix in most of the cheese and then pour it over your cooked broccoli with the rest of the cheese sprinkled on top. Put in the oven for 20 minutes at 220C.
10 – Soup
You can experiment with LOADS of variations when it comes to soup, if you decide to make your own then you can lay off the blending a bit so that the soup is thicker and easier for your toddler to eat, or you can just buy a tin if it’s easier. It’s up to you! For recipes for soups just google “soup recipes” and you will bombarded with loads, so take your pick! You could decide to just use whatever is in your fridge and tailor your recipe to that so you don’t have to venture out to the supermarket.
Keeping it simple, cheap and quick is always best, especially when it could be potentially chucked on the floor by a toddler that wanted a pj mask shaped sandwich and not a spiderman one. Most of these recipes can be tailored to whatever you have in your kitchen cupboards so why not experiment and see what flavours they might be into at the moment!
I’m always on the lookout for getting my daughter to try new foods and would love to know what you feed your toddlers! Please let me know in the comments below 🙂