Ever spent a mealtime trying (but failing) to get your toddler to eat a plate of food you’ve spent time and energy preparing? You’re certainly not alone! Picky eating phases are common, yet it’s understandable if you’re worrying that your child is not getting enough nutrition. If you’re looking for solutions, we’re here to help with healthy recipes for picky toddlers to enjoy. From a simple lunch idea for picky toddlers to a flavour-packed dinner with adult appeal, we’ve got speedy recipes to make even the most hard-to-please little ones hungry for more.
Each recipe provides two generous toddler portions
Bright berry porridge
This tasty healthy porridge packs a real flavour punch and will give your toddler something warm and filling to start the day, making it a winner during chillier months. You don’t have to be limited by fresh seasonal produce. Pick up a bag of mixed soft berries from the freezer section of your grocery store, as they work really well for this dish.
Why it’s a winner
This meal for picky toddlers is a totally flexible porridge, so you can decide what fruit to include. Plus, your toddler can get involved in topping their bowl with extra fresh fruit. To add some Omega 3 goodness to the bowl, which can help support children’s brain developmenti, why not add a little ground flaxseed, chia or hemp, too?
Whole Porridge Oats (1 cup)
Your toddler’s usual milk (or water)
½ cup of fresh or frozen fruit (Raspberries, peaches, strawberries and blueberries work well)
Flax, chia and hulled hemp seeds (optional).
Cook the porridge oats in milk or water, according to the instructions on the pack. Stir in the berries until thawed, and then serve.
For picky toddlers who are put off by pieces of fruit, heat the berries in a saucepan separately along with a couple of tablespoons of pure fruit juice. When warm and thawed, blend together until smooth, and then spoon on top of the porridge.
This Italian-inspired soup is quick to make, tasty to eat and bursting with goodness. It’s a great way to include colour and a variety or textures and flavours in one bowl. Minestrone soup is also a great way to add proteins and other essential nutrients into your toddler’s diet.
Why it’s a winner
Soups are a great meal to prepare for picky eaters since they’re hydrating and is another way to consume veggies. Plus, you can find a range of different shaped little pasta in your grocery store – from letters of the alphabet to space rockets – that can add the magical, playful element to your little one’s mealtimes.
1 tbsp (Approx. 7mL) olive or rapeseed (canola) oil
½ an onion, finely chopped
1 carrot, peeled and diced
½ celery stick, diced
1 potato, peeled and diced
1 cup of unsalted white kidney beans, drained
1.5 litres low-sodium chicken or vegetable stock
A handful of frozen peas
A handful of small pasta
Heat the oil and gently cook the onion until it looks translucent. Throw in the rest of vegetables until they begin to soften. Add the stock, turn the heat down to low and put a lid on the pan. Simmer for 10 minutes, then add the pasta to the pan and cook per package instructions. For the last couple of minutes of cooking time, throw in the peas until heated through.
For an extra little flavour, grate a little parmesanii on top. If your child has shown a previous dislike to a veggie listed above, leave it out of the main soup, and offer it as a ‘side’ in a separate bowl so they can try it if they’re tempted.
This Asian cuisine-inspired recipe is best made with chilled rice. It’s bursting with goodness and you can adapt the veggies and proteins you use to suit your toddler’s taste. If you opt for brown rice, the dish becomes rich in fibre and a great source of ironiii. A wise idea is to cook some extra rice so you can store it in the freezer and use anytime you feel like whipping this dish up in less than 10 minutes.
2 teaspoons of cooking oil
1 cup of rice (red, white or brown) cooked in low-sodium stock cube, then cooled
1 crushed clove of garlic
2 scallions, finely sliced
½ block of firm tofu, or 100g of beef/shrimp
A handful of frozen, shelled edamame beans
A yellow pepper finely sliced or diced
A squeeze of lime
Heat the oil. Add the garlic, fry for a minute or so, then tip in the rest of the veggies and fry for 5 more minutes, stirring regularly. Add your tofu/meat/shrimp until cooked, and finally add the cooked rice. Stir until completely hot throughout.
Why it works
This is all about flavour exploration for the whole family, as fried rice works well for all age groups. Plus, it’s the perfect recipe for picky eaters as you can choose what protein to include. Once your toddler becomes familiar with a new flavour, you can try adding a different ingredient or swapping one thing out for another.
For elevating this plain rice to suit more adult tastebuds, add a dash of lime, soy sauce and top with cilantro, crushed peanuts and chili flakes.
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You can also find more great ways to feed your picky toddler by downloading the Enfagrow A+ recipe book