toddler food recipe

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 phases are common, yet it’s understandable if you’re worrying that your child is not getting enough good nutrition. We’re here to help. From a simple recipe for kids, to a flavour-packed dinner with adult appeal, we’ve got speedy toddler food recipes to make even the most hard-to-please little ones hungry for more.

Toddler Food Recipes: Getting Started!

Every child needs the right balance of important nutrients as they grow up. And picky eaters, while often just going through a normal phase in child development, are at risk of not getting the nutrition they need. That’s why if your child is picky with food, then try preparing dishes that answer that specific need. Picky with fibre? Why not try vegetable stir-fry with chicken or fish? If they’re picky with protein, try beef lo mein instead. Or if they’re picky with carbohydrates, prepare some Thai noodles with vegetables.

These toddler food recipes are sure to give you more ideas on how to feed your picky eater.

For Kids Who Are Picky with Fibre: Vegetable Stir-Fry with Chicken or Fish

If your child is picky with fibre, you can’t go wrong with this Asian food staple, vegetable stir-fry with chicken or fish4. Served with rice, it’s a complete meal in itself, full of protein and fibre-rich vegetables. It’s also a great way of introducing kids to vegetables, as the veggies come in small bite-sized portions and a strong flavour of the accompanying meat.

Why It’s a Toddler Food Recipe Favourite

Vegetable stir-fry with meat is simple, easy-to-make, delicious and nutritious. We’ve all grown up eating it and your kids will be sure to love it. To introduce your child to other kinds of protein, you can also substitute chicken or fish with shrimps - anything goes!

Ingredients

1 1/2 tablespoon cooking oil
1 1/2 lbs of thinly sliced chicken breast or fish
1 small onion finely diced
1 1/2 cups sugar snap peas
1 large carrot sliced into matchsticks
1 bell pepper sliced

Marinade Ingredients:
3 teaspoons grated orange zest (from 1 orange)
1/2 cup fresh squeezed orange juice
4 tablespoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon fresh ginger grated
3 garlic cloves finely minced

Garnish
Sesame seeds or diced green onion — optional

Instructions

  1. Combine marinade ingredients in a large bowl and stir to combine.
  2. Slice chicken breast or fish into very thin strips. Add sliced meat to your marinade, mix well. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes while you prep your veggies.
  3. Finely dice your onion, rinse and remove caps from snap peas, slice carrot into matchsticks and slice bell pepper.
  4. Preheat a heavy-bottomed skillet or good wok over high heat. Once the skillet is HOT, swirl in 1 1/2 tablespoon cooking oil. Immediately add onion (1 min stirring constantly).
  5. Drain the meat and reserve the marinade. Add drained meat and stir constantly for 2-3 min. Add the extra marinade to the pan.
  6. Add veggies and continue cooking on high heat 2-3 minutes, stirring frequently or vegetables soften and sauce starts to thicken. Serve over a bed of hot white rice.

For Kids Who Are Picky with Protein: Beef Lo Mein

Is your child picky with protein? They’ll find it hard to say no to beef lo mein5. Every child loves noodles and spaghetti, so with this noodle dish, half the battle is already won! If your child is picky with meat, this dish will ensure that they receive the right amount of protein in every serving. Throw in a bunch of vegetables, and you can’t go wrong!

Why It’s a Toddler Food Recipe Favourite

With noodles (carbs), meat (protein), and vegetables (fibre), beef lo mein is another complete meal in one dish. The sauce gives this dish a unique flavour which can also be switched around by using varying ingredients to suit your child’s taste buds.

Ingredients

8 ounce flank steak or sirloin sliced against the grain
8 ounces lo mein noodles or spaghetti
1 teaspoon sesame oil

Vegetables

1 tablespoon olive oil
3 garlic cloves minced
1 ½ teaspoons minced ginger
1 cup broccoli florets
1 cup zucchini halved and sliced
¼ cup onion sliced
8 ounces white mushrooms
1 red bell pepper sliced
1 can 8 ounces water chestnuts, drained

Sauce

3 tablespoons packed brown sugar
1/2 cup reduced-sodium soy sauce
1 teaspoon sriracha
¼ teaspoon pepper

Instructions

  1. Thinly slice flank steak against the grain, and lightly season with salt and pepper. Set aside.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together the brown sugar soy sauce, hoisin sauce, sesame oil, sriracha and pepper. Set aside.
  3. In a large pot with boiling water, cook the lo mein (or spaghetti) noodles according to package directions. Drain the noodles and toss with 1 teaspoon sesame oil to coat, set aside.
  4. While the pasta is cooking, add olive oil to a large skillet. Add in the minced garlic and ginger, and stir fry for 30 seconds.
  5. Add the thinly sliced steak, and cook for 2-3 minutes, until no longer pink.
  6. Remove steak from pan, leaving any juices and oil behind.
  7. Add all the other vegetables, and cook for 3-5 minutes, until everything is crisp tender. If needed, add a little more oil.
  8. Now add the thinly sliced steak back in, as well as the lo mein noodles, and pour the sauce over the top.
  9. Toss until fully incorporated, and cook for 1-2 more minutes to ensure veggies are tender and sauce starts to thicken.

For Kids Who Are Picky with Carbohydrates: Thai Noodles with Vegetables

If your little one is picky with carbohydrates, tempt them with a sweet and savory dish that’s rich in nutritional value.

Why It’s a Toddler Food Recipe Favourite

As a coconut milk-based dish, Thai Noodles with Vegetables6 is instantly pleasing to those young tastebuds. With its rich variety of ingredients — it even has protein rich peanut butter! — your child will reap the benefits of a balanced diet.

Ingredients

2 teaspoons cornstarch
1/2 cup coconut milk
1/2 cup reduced-sodium soy sauce
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup creamy peanut butter
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
5 teaspoons Thai chili sauce (optional — not all kids like spice!)
1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger root
4 ounces uncooked thick rice noodles
1 pound fresh asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
2 cups fresh snow peas
1 cup julienned sweet red pepper
1 cup shredded carrots
1 can (8 ounces) sliced water chestnuts, drained
1/4 cup chopped shallots
1/4 cup chopped dry roasted peanuts

Instructions

  1. In a small bowl, combine the cornstarch, coconut milk, soy sauce, water, peanut butter, vinegar, chili sauce and ginger until blended; set aside.
  2. Cook noodles according to package directions. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, saute the asparagus, snow peas, red pepper, carrots, water chestnuts and shallots in oil for 5-8 minutes or until crisp-tender.
  3. Stir soy sauce mixture and stir into skillet. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened. Drain noodles; add to vegetable mixture and stir to coat. Sprinkle with peanuts.

Picky Eater General Alternatives

If you’re still not able to tell which of the above categories your child fits into, you could try more general recipes such as the options below.

Cheesy Fish Porridge

This healthy comfort dish is chock full of omega-3 fatty acids from the salmon and is sure to whet your child’s appetite with the accompanying cheese.

Ingredients

4 pieces of boneless salmon
1 small carrot
1 small piece of ginger
2 cups of white rice
4 pieces of mushroom
1 teaspoon of cheese salt

Instructions

  1. Wash and cut the salmon into bite-sized pieces.
  2. Peel the ginger and mix its juice with salt to marinate the salmon for 5 minutes.
  3. While marinating, peel and mince the carrot into small pieces, and cut the mushrooms into bite-sized pieces.
  4. Rinse the rice thoroughly and begin boiling in a pot on the stove for 5 minutes after draining. Add the salmon, carrots and mushrooms.
  5. Stir well and boil for another 5 minutes. Cover the pot and let it sit for 1 hour.
  6. Add in the cheese salt and stir well before serving.

Claypot Vegetable Brown Rice

This nutritious dish is jam packed with whole-grains which contain high amounts of fibre, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that are sure to please the taste buds.

Ingredients

2 cups of brown rice
200g of pumpkin
1 small carrot
3 stalks of long beans
3 fresh mushrooms
1 tablespoon of garlic
2 stalks of spring onion
3 cups of vegetable stock
1 tablespoon of oil

Seasoning

Vegetarian oyster sauce
A dash of pepper

Instructions

  1. Chop the pumpkin, mushrooms and carrots into little cubes. Cut the long beans into bite-sized pieces, and mince the garlic.
  2. Heat some oil in a frying pan and stir-fry the garlic until fragrant.
  3. Add the stir-fried garlic, cubed ingredients, brown rice and seasoning into a rice cooker and mix well.
  4. Add the vegetable stock into the rice cooker mix and turn it on.
  5. Once the rice is cooked, add spring onion garnish and serve.

Serve It Up!

See. Handling a picky eater isn’t too hard after all now, is it? It also helps if you get your child involved in food preparation to get them to understand the healthy ingredients being used to create such scrumptious dishes. Be sure to switch things around a little more with these toddler food recipes and you’re sure to please your picky eater with little trouble!

Interested to learn more about nutrition for your picky eater? Join the Enfamama A+ Club today to connect with other like-minded moms, speak to experts, and access many more recipes for your little one!


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