This post may contain affiliate links. Please see our disclosure policy for more details.

Here are some easy toddler meals to make getting a healthy, balanced meal on the table doable! One meal for the entire family with slight modifications, as necessary.

A six image collage of easy and healthy toddler meal ideas.
Want to save this recipe?
Just enter your email and get it sent to your inbox! Plus you’ll get new recipes from us every week!

Tips for Serving Toddler Meals

  • Aim to include a protein, a complex carbohydrate (like whole grains), fruits and/or vegetables to expose your child to a variety of foods (with different flavors, textures) and nutrition.
  • Always make sure there is a “safe” food, something that your child enjoys eating. That way, even if your child is not happy with the meal or feels very strongly against trying new foods, there is something on the plate they will eat. They’re still getting some sort of nutrition AND exposure to foods they haven’t quite opened up to, YET.
  • Along the same lines, what you don’t want to do is offer a different meal from the rest of the family, which can quickly spiral into you becoming a short order cook and promote picky eating.
  • As always, modify the size and texture of food according to your child’s appetite, chewing abilities, food preferences, and allergies.

What to do when my toddler won’t eat dinner

Favorite Toddler Meal Idea #1 – Meatballs and Cakes

Mini salmoon bakes with mango yogurt sauce, pasta, cauliflower.
Pictured: Mini baked salmon patties + mango yogurt + purple cauliflower + pasta

These are great make-ahead options for busy weeknights! Double or triple the recipe next time you cook up a batch and freeze the extra. Serve alongside whole grains (e.g. bread, rice, pasta) and whatever fruits/vegetables you have on hand.

You can serve whole or cut into smaller pieces to make them easier to eat.

You may also be interested in this Master List of Finger Foods.

Baked golden nuggets on parchment paper.
4.98 from 39 votes

Healthy chicken nuggets with veggies

These healthy chicken nuggets with veggies are easy to make and are a delicious addition to lunch or dinner
View Recipe
baked salmon patties on parchment paper with mango yogurt sauce in a white bowl.
4.97 from 28 votes

Mini Baked Canned Salmon Patties

These mini baked salmon patties with canned salmon are packed with vegetables and full of flavor! Perfect for baby led weaning!
View Recipe
5 from 28 votes

Baked Quinoa and Mushroom Beef Meatballs

baked meatballs made with ground beef, mushroom, and quinoa. It's the ultimate comfort food that can be enjoyed as is or with pasta, vegetables, salads
View Recipe
Six meatballs on a wooden board with toddler grabbing one.
5 from 36 votes

Healthy Baby Meatballs

These baby meatballs are made with just 5 simple ingredients and are egg free and dairy free. Tender and flavorful, these are perfect for baby led weaning, toddlers, and the whole family.
View Recipe
overhead shot of cooked turkey meatballs on a blue plate with a side of tahini and lemon slice
5 from 16 votes

Kid-friendly Turkey Beet Meatballs

These oven-baked turkey beet meatballs are quick and easy to prepare, healthy, and most importantly baby and toddler approved!
View Recipe
a close up shot of cooked shrimp tofu cakes on parchment paper
4.97 from 59 votes

Easy baked shrimp cakes

Super juicy and tender, these baked Asian shrimp cakes are baby and kid-friendly! Of course, the adults can enjoy them too.
View Recipe

Easy Toddler Dinner #2 – One Pot Meals

Hamburger helper for mom and toddler.

These are my absolute go-tos when I’m feeling especially exhausted from the day. Just add all the ingredients into a pot! You’ll also be amazed by how flavorful they become over time.

Cooking everything together gives the ingredients and flavors an opportunity to meld, producing something incredibly satisfying! You will see ;).

They also mean less dishes!! Your child may struggle with mixed foods like these, especially if they weren’t exposed to them as a baby, but keep trying and offering! It’s never too late.

Start with a small portion so your child doesn’t feel overwhelmed or scared and make sure you serve it alongside food they do enjoy.

Research shows that repeated exposures to food increases their familiarity which leads to acceptance.

So get out your trusty dutch oven or pot and let’s get cooking! 

Whole wheat bun stuffed with sloppy joes.
5 from 26 votes

Healthy Turkey Sloppy Joes

Made with lean beef, vegetables, and a super easy homemade sauce with pumpkin, this quick and easy meal can be on your table in 30 minutes! 
View Recipe
A close up shot of scooped broccoli pasta.
5 from 34 votes

Creamy Broccoli Pasta

In need of an easy weeknight dinner? 15 minutes is all it takes to make this healthy one pot creamy broccoli pasta
View Recipe
A close up shot of cooked curry with a wooden spoon.
5 from 11 votes

Butternut Squash Curry with chickpeas

Bursting with flavor, this creamy butternut squash curry with chickpeas is the ultimate comfort food. It's seriously the perfect one pot weeknight meal.
View Recipe
Overhead shot of scooped lasagna.
5 from 20 votes

Skillet Cabbage Lasagna

This easy cabbage lasagna serves as delicious and unique alternative to traditional noodle-based lasagna, and the best part is that it can be prepared entirely in a skillet.
View Recipe
cooked sweet and sour meatballs with vegetables and farro in a white bowl
5 from 8 votes

Healthy Sweet and Sour Meatball Stir-Fry

A healthy, Asian family-friendly meal that you can get on the table in 30 minutes or less! This easy one-pot sweet and sour meatball stir-fry is baby and kid-friendly!
View Recipe
A close up look at the Mexican lentils in a skillet
4.99 from 51 votes

One Pot Mexican Lentils

Here's a super easy, comforting, and nutritious One pot Mexican lentils recipe for the whole family! Made with pantry staples like lentils, black beans, frozen corn, and sweet potatoes, this hearty vegetarian meal is sure to become your next go-to busy weeknight meal.
View Recipe
A close up shot of plated risotto with parsley, pecans, and parmesan.
5 from 6 votes

Pumpkin Risotto

Cozy up with a bowl of this warm and creamy pumpkin risotto. While it may seem "fancy," It requires minimal stirring so you can get this fall comfort meal onto the dinner table even on the busiest of weeknights.
View Recipe
overhead shot of poached cod with creamy orzo in a deep skillet garnished with green onion
4.98 from 47 votes

Poached cod with creamy orzo

Poached cod with creamy orzo is an easy, 30 minute one pot recipe! It’s a delicious fish and pasta dish for babies, kids, and adults.
View Recipe
cooked peanut stew in a Dutch oven with a large spoon
4.98 from 44 votes

Vegan African Peanut Stew

This vegan African peanut stew is rich and flavorful and uses staple pantry ingredients. Made in one pot, requires minimal prep work, loaded with nutrition – It's an easy family meal! 
View Recipe
a close up shot of the cooked curried chicken couscous scooped with a large spoon
5 from 16 votes

Curried Couscous (with chicken)

This easy, 30 minute curried couscous is the perfect busy weeknight meal made with simple pantry ingredients.
View Recipe

If hungry for more, check out my One Pot Meals cookbook!

Quick Toddler Dinner Idea #3 – Snack Dinner

We do this a lot on Friday nights, and it is totally a form of self care for me.

There is no need to cook anything and you can get a well-balanced meal on the table in 5 minutes!

You can place a bunch of favorite snacks onto your child’s plate or on a big platter (like a wooden board, food tray, baking sheet pan) for the whole family to share.

The Ultimate Snack Tray Ideas

Easy Toddler Meals #4 – Pasta Recipes

Pasta with pesto, kidney beans, and mango.
Zucchini pesto pasta + kidney beans + mangoes

Here are some healthy and flavorful recipes to try! I’ve also included some sauces that pair well with pasta.

If your child only likes plain pasta, then serve the sauce on the side. But do continue to offer this small portion (if they don’t even want it on their plate, serve on a separate one and keep it nearby so they can still see it) for exposure!

a small portion of pasta with blended sauce in a white bowl on the left and pasta with chunky sauce on the right with a toddler's hands grabbing the bowl
5 from 99 votes

Iron-rich baby pasta

A baby pasta recipe that is loaded with iron and vegetables!
View Recipe
a close up shot of sweet potato sauce tossed with pasta and spinach
5 from 17 votes

Creamy Sweet Potato Sauce

This baby and kid-friendly sweet potato sauce is EASY to whip up and can be enjoyed with pasta, grains, or as a dip for crackers and vegetables. It's great alternative to tomato-based sauces.
View Recipe
Cooked pasta in a large dutch oven with fresh parsley and a large orange spatula
5 from 98 votes

Homemade Hamburger Helper

This homemade hamburger helper is the perfect meal that the whole family can enjoy. Made with ground beef, veggies, and pantry staples, it is oh so hearty, comforting, and guaranteed to be on your table in 30 minutes or less!
View Recipe
A close up shot of cooked sauce tossed with pasta.
5 from 14 votes

Butternut Squash Pasta Sauce

This fresh butternut squash pasta sauce recipe is so easy to make and with simple ingredients. It is creamy, flavorful, and the perfect fall comfort food.
View Recipe
Green pasta plated for mom, toddler, and baby.
4.97 from 65 votes

Green pasta sauce

All you need are a handful of ingredients, one pot, and a blender to make this 20 minute green pasta sauce. It will get your child eating spinach and lots of it too! 
View Recipe
An overhead shot of carrot pasta in a bowl with basil.
5 from 9 votes

Carrot Pasta

Brighten up your pasta dishes with this vibrant carrot pasta sauce. Packed with nutrients and bursting with sweet and savory flavors, it's a delicious alternative to traditional pasta sauces
View Recipe
cooked creamy mushroom pasta in a large skillet with an orange spatula
5 from 25 votes

Vegan Creamy Mushroom Pasta

Here's a super creamy mushroom pasta made with coconut milk instead of heavy cream! This healthy baby and toddler pasta sauce is made with simple ingredients and will be ready in 30 minutes or less.
View Recipe
A close up shot of miso pasta with a pair of chopsticks.
5 from 13 votes

Easy Miso Pasta

In need of a quick, no-fuss, delicious meal? This miso pasta is made with just a handful of ingredients and can be on your table in 20 minutes or less!
View Recipe
An overhead shot of ricotta pasta in a bowl with cherry tomatoes.
5 from 14 votes

Lemon Ricotta Pasta with Spinach

So simple, creamy, and bursting with flavor, this 20-minute lemon garlic ricotta pasta is an effortless weeknight dinner.
View Recipe
A close up shot of cooked bolognese with a wooden spoon.
5 from 29 votes

Easy Bolognese with Vegetables

This kid-friendly veggie-loaded meat sauce with ground beef and medley of vegetables is hearty, filling, and nutritious! 
View Recipe
A close up shot of cooked macaroni.
5 from 2 votes

Creamy Macaroni Carbonara

In 30 minutes, you can enjoy this silky, creamy macaroni carbonara! It is lighter than the traditional version with a secret ingredient that you're going to love.
View Recipe
A close up shot of baked shells with fresh basil.
5 from 10 votes

Easy Stuffed Shells with Meat

These stuffed shells with ground beef and vegetables are a hearty make ahead dinner or freezer meal for the whole family to enjoy!
View Recipe
A close up shot of cooked pasta twirled around a fork.
5 from 10 votes

Thai Red Curry Pasta

20 minutes and a handful of pantry items are all you need to whip up this super easy vegetarian Thai red curry pasta with vegetables.
View Recipe
A close up shot of pesto in a white bowl.
5 from 8 votes

Zucchini pesto pasta

Upgrade pasta with this simple and healthy zucchini pesto. It is light and creamy and can be ready in 15 minutes!
View Recipe

Comfort Toddler Dinner Idea #5 – Casseroles

Quinoa casserole in a bowl with toddler adding cheese.

We can all use some comfort at the end of the day with meals like these! Full of hearty grains, proteins, vegetables, and cheese, they are filling and satisfying.

Chicken Spinach Pizza Couscous Casserole
5 from 6 votes

Pizza Casserole with Couscous

this pizza casserole is not only quick and easy to make but also nutritious, with ingredients like chicken, whole wheat couscous, and spinach!
View Recipe
a close up shot of cooked lasagna in the baking pan with fresh basil.
5 from 6 votes

Vegetarian Sweet Potato Lasagna with Quinoa

This vegetarian sweet potato lasagna with quinoa requires no boiling of noodles and assembly couldn't be easier!
View Recipe
A close up shot of scooped baked casserole.
5 from 3 votes

Philly Cheese Steak Casserole

Here's the ultimate Philly cheesesteak casserole made with ground beef and a medley of vegetables. This easy and comforting meal is perfect for busy weeknights, and there are endless ways to enjoy with the whole family.
View Recipe
An overhead shot of baked enchilada casserole with a slice taken out.
5 from 15 votes

Beef Enchilada Casserole

This beef enchilada casserole is layers of corn tortilla, cooked ground beef and veggies, and enchilada sauce baked to ooey-gooey golden perfection!
View Recipe
a close up shot of chicken quinoa spinach casserole.
4.99 from 77 votes

Chicken Spinach Quinoa Casserole

A baby and kid-friendly comfort meal you don't want to miss! This chicken spinach quinoa casserole with black beans is super easy to make and loaded with iron and protein.
View Recipe
a close up shot of a cut up slice of moussaka
5 from 9 votes

Tex-Mex Moussaka

Layered with flavor-packed meat and veggie sauce, corn tortilla, and Greek yogurt sauce, this casserole is sure to become your go-to, quick and easy meal!
View Recipe

Healthy Toddler Meals #6 – Soups

Cauliflower soup with a side of toasted bread, vegetables, and lemon slice.

These are especially great when your child isn’t feeling well and dehydrated.

A close up shot of pureed carrot lentil soup with yogurt fresh parsley and crusty bread slice.
4.96 from 25 votes

Carrot and Lentil Soup

This carrot and lentil soup tastes like you spent hours in the kitchen but only takes 30 minutes to make! It's hearty, nutritious, and super flavorful.
View Recipe
thick and creamy cauliflower chickpea soup in a blue soup bowl with one piece of roasted cauliflower and chopped cilantro with a gold spoon
5 from 22 votes

Vegan Chickpea Cauliflower Soup

Super EASY to make using pantry ingredients, this creamy chickpea soup with cauliflower is the perfect soup for babies and kids.
View Recipe
a bowl of Korean radish soup placed on a wooden board
5 from 12 votes

Korean radish soup

A healthy and easy to digest soup for your baby! This Korean radish soup is especially great to serve during times of illness, teething and constipation.
View Recipe
vegetable beef soup served in a white spoon with a spoon and a side of buttered toast
5 from 13 votes

Vegetable Beef Soup with Cabbage

This vegetable beef soup with cabbage is a healthy comfort meal and makes for a great way to incorporate more vegetables into your baby or kid’s diet.
View Recipe
Korean tofu soup in a claypot with a soup
5 from 29 votes

Non-Spicy Korean Tofu Soup

This non-spicy Korean tofu soup, or sundubu jjigae, is warm and comforting, and perfect for the entire family to enjoy, especially babies and toddlers.
View Recipe
A small portion of tomato soup with sliced grilled cheese, cauliflower, and one basil.
5 from 4 votes

Vitamix Tomato Soup

Packed with fresh ingredients, this easy Vitamix tomato soup with basil is made without added sodium, sugar, or cream! Simply roast the vegetables, blend them up, and enjoy hot or cold.
View Recipe

Easy Toddler Dinners #7 – Instant Pot and Slow Cooker

A family style steak fajita dinner with various toppings.

You can’t have an easy toddler meals round up without these two pieces of kitchen equipment! All of these are full of nutrition and flavor with minimal effort on your part.

peanut chicken and broccoli served with barley on a blue plate with a a fork
4.85 from 13 votes

Instant Pot Peanut Chicken and Broccoli

Another EASY, 30 minute weeknight meal you can enjoy with your baby and kids! This Instant pot chicken and broccoli is also a great way to continue exposing your child to one of the top food allergens, peanuts.
View Recipe
A close up shot of the dish.
5 from 18 votes

Instant Pot Chicken and Noodles

This Instant Pot chicken and noodles dish is your solution to a busy weeknight dinner! Minimal prep work and ready in 30 minutes!
View Recipe
steak fajitas served family-style with an assortment of toppings and toddler, baby, and adult's plate with tortilla.
5 from 2 votes

Pressure Cooker Steak Fajitas

Super juicy and flavorful, this pressure cooker steak fajitas recipe for babies and kids is perfect for busy weeknights.
View Recipe
cooked chicken, carrots, potatoes with green onion inside an instant pot
4.86 from 71 votes

Instant Pot Korean Chicken and Potatoes

If you're in need of a quick and easy weeknight family meal, here's an Instant Pot Korean chicken and potatoes recipe that everyone, including babies, will enjoy!
View Recipe
A close up shot of cooked curry with coconut milk.
5 from 10 votes

Slow Cooker Thai Chicken Lentil Curry

A cozy, hearty meal is what I promise with this Thai chicken and lentil curry recipe! Made with a few kitchen staples, it's a healthy and EASY dinner perfect for the whole family.
View Recipe
a bowl of slow cooker chickpea lentil chili with diced avocado and cilantro
5 from 6 votes

Slow Cooker Lentil Chili with Chickpeas

Thick and hearty, this vegetarian slow cooker chickpea lentil chili is sure to keep your baby and child happy and nourished. It's also an incredibly iron-rich meal!
View Recipe

Healthy Toddler Meals #8 – Asian Inspired Dishes

Salmon teriyaki, broccoli, and rice for mom, toddler, and baby.

Here are my healthier twists on classic dishes made without sugar and minimal sodium.

Healthy Asian Recipes for Babies and Kids

Quick Toddler Dinners #9 – Takeouts

A slice of pizza with frozen peas.

It doesn’t have to be Friday or the weekend to get takeout. Give yourself FULL permission to take all the help that you can get! I don’t know where I’d be if it weren’t  for pizza and frozen vegetables.

More Toddler Meal Ideas

toddler pushing bowl away

Is your toddler becoming picky?

Arm yourself with these strategies that will transform your mealtimes!

About Min

Thank you so much for stopping by! I am Min, a Registered Dietitian, a Christ follower, a wife, and a mom to our two miracle babies! Currently, I’m having a ton of fun feeding their tummies and sharing our baby led weaning journey! Follow me on Instagram if interested in seeing daily menu as well as tips and tricks.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


  1. I am a granma to 2 little ones. 18 months 2yrs. This was so refreshing. It’s been 20 some years since I’ve had little ones around. Thank you for sharing.