By the time they reach 12 months, baby needs about 1,000 calories, 700 mg of calcium, 600 IU of vitamin D, and 7 mg of iron each day to support proper growth, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics.
Coming up with breakfast, lunch and supper ideas every day of the year can sometimes be overwhelming. Once in a while, you might even feel like you're starting to run dry of recipes, and you just keep repeating your recipe repertoire. Here are some mealtime ideas to tweak your menu and freshen things up, and help your toddler grow.
There are so many breakfast ideas for toddlers. The two-year-old I know well loves to eat yogurt for breakfast every single day of the week, and would even eat it for supper too if she was offered that privilege. But variety is always better, so here are a whole bunch of yummy choices your little one can enjoy while sitting in her high chair!
- Cereal and milk
Snacks are so important. Bananas, peaches, mango chunks, grapes that are peeled and halved and other fruits are great, and crackers or corn puffs are other options. And let's not forget the veggies! We're talking cut up peppers or cucumbers, and there's also baby corn, which my toddler loves.
For lunchtime, there are so many easy options too. You can do a sandwich cut into small pieces, a grilled cheese sandwich cut up, pizza cut into small pieces, and pasta - so many types! Pasta can be a little messier, so you may want to keep that for at home only, so that you can keep an eye on your little one while he eats. And don’t forget that baby bib! We also have a full selection of mini utensils which are adorable and perfect for little fingers.
Supper’s usually more difficult than lunch or breakfast. Here are a few ideas that are more to the simple side so as not to tie up too much of mom’s precious time, but still wholesome, healthy and filling!
Meatballs + spaghetti + zoodles
This is an easy and healthy supper that toddlers love! Make sure to quarter the spaghetti sticks before you cook them, so that it’s easier to eat. You can substitute rice instead of spaghetti if you’d prefer, and you can also bake zucchini fries in the oven and serve on the side instead of zoodles.
Roasted broccoli + yellow rice + Ground chicken patties
Ground chicken patties are so easy to make. Just mix in an egg and some breadcrumbs, and you’re good to go. If you’ll be serving to older kids too, you can add some salt to taste, but that’s really all you need to fry up some delicious patties. So wholesome, and so simple!
Chicken Lo Mein
Don’t we all love all-in-one suppers? All you need to do for this one is cook up some rice or cut-up spaghetti in a pot with boiling water, and then drain and then dump the spaghetti in the oven with cut up chicken cutlets (cut up into the size your little one can eat), a cut up pepper, some slices of baby corn, and you can throw in some canned mushrooms too.
Pour some oil into the pan, then add some soy sauce or coconut aminos to taste, and shake in some black pepper, salt and garlic powder. Mix well. Cover the pan and dump it in the oven on 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Take it out of the oven, mix it once, recover and then put it back in the oven for another 10-15 minutes. This is a fabulous supper for the little kids, and a delicious side dish for the older people at home!
Veggie Soup + Baked Cutlets + Sweet Potato Mash
What happens to be delicious is to make a chicken barley soup with veggies, but I didn't include that as a supper idea because I'll be honest: the recipe I have takes time to make! But you can cook up an easy veggie soup, bake some cutlets with breadcrumbs (that'll keep them soft for your little one - you don't want a thick breading that's hard for little mouths to chew on), and make sweet potato mash, which can even be eaten by babies who haven't reached toddlerhood yet.
Plenty of toddlers love soup, so if you got the time, you can totally put it on the menu for like every night. Perfect for chilly winter days. Yum!
Toddlers can be picky, and sometimes figuring out what your toddler wants to eat in his high chair is complicated stuff. But you'll figure it out - because part of being a mom means rolling with the punches. Happy cooking, ladies!
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