25 Easy-to-Prep Foods to Keep on Hand for Toddlers: A Parent’s Guide

by Heather

When you are the mom of two littles, you are always on the lookout for easy-to-prep foods to keep on hand for toddlers. I like meals that I am able to prepare in minutes because if you have a little one or have ever been around a little one, you know that they do not like to wait when they get hungry. Patience is not a word in their vocabulary and they don’t understand when you tell them to hold on, even when you are in the process of cooking their meal!

Mealtime with a toddler can be a delightful adventure, but it can also be a challenging journey through picky eating habits. As parents, we know that toddlers can be finicky about their food. One day, they love a certain dish, and the next day, they won’t touch it. To navigate this culinary rollercoaster, it’s crucial to have a variety of healthy, convenient, and easy-to-prep foods on hand. In this blog post, we’ll explore 25 nutritious and toddler-friendly options that will make your life easier while ensuring your little one gets the nourishment they need.

Foods to Keep on Hand for Toddlers

Photo Courtesy of Pixabay

25 Easy-to-Prep Foods to Keep on Hand for Toddlers: A Parent’s Guide

1. Fresh Fruit:

Fresh fruit is a toddler’s best friend. Apples, bananas, and berries are not only nutritious but also incredibly easy to prep. Simply wash, peel (if needed), and slice or serve whole. Fruits are loaded with vitamins, fiber, and natural sweetness, making them an ideal snack for your toddler.

2. Yogurt:

Yogurt is a versatile and nutritious option for your toddler. Make sure you select plain, full-fat yogurt or Greek yogurt to provide essential probiotics and calcium. To enhance the flavor, add a drizzle of honey or a sprinkle of cinnamon. Yogurt can be served on its own, mixed with fruit, or used as a dip for other snacks.

Cheese TrayPhoto Courtesy of Pixabay

3. Cheese:

Cheese, whether sliced or in the form of string cheese, is an excellent source of calcium and protein. It’s a perfect on-the-go snack that requires minimal prep. Choose low-sodium options and cut them into bite-sized pieces for easy handling by your little one.

4. Baby Carrots:

Baby carrots are not only adorable but also a convenient and nutritious snack for toddlers. They are sweet, crunchy, and perfect for dipping in hummus or yogurt-based dips. No need to peel or cut them; just wash and serve!

Whole Grain Bread

Photo Courtesy of Canva

5.  Whole Grain Bread:

Whole grain bread is the foundation for countless easy and healthy toddler-friendly meals. Use it to make sandwiches or toast slices for a quick and nutritious breakfast or snack. Top with avocado, peanut butter, or your toddler’s favorite toppings.

6. Avocado:

Avocado is a nutrient powerhouse, packed with healthy fats and essential nutrients. Slice or mash it for a simple, no-fuss addition to your toddler’s diet. Avocado toast, anyone?

Hummus

Photo Courtesy of Pixabay

7.  Hummus:

Hummus is a versatile and tasty dip that provides protein and fiber. It pairs perfectly with veggies, crackers, or pita bread. No prep required – just open the container and serve.

8. Cucumbers:

Cucumbers are hydrating, mild in flavor, and a favorite among toddlers. Slice them for an easy, refreshing snack. They are perfect for tiny hands to grasp.

Hard-Boiled Eggs

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9. Hard-Boiled Eggs:

Hard-boiled eggs are a fantastic source of protein and can be prepped in advance. Simply boil a batch, peel them, and keep them in the fridge for a quick, healthy snack.

10. Oatmeal:

Rolled oats are a quick and nutritious breakfast option. Cook them with water or milk, add a touch of honey or fruit, and you have a wholesome meal that will keep your toddler full of energy.

Peanut ButterPhoto Courtesy of Canva

11. Natural Peanut Butter:

Natural peanut butter is a fantastic source of protein and healthy fats. Spread it on whole-grain crackers or toast for a toddler-friendly treat.

12. Brown Rice:

Brown rice is an excellent source of whole grains. Cooked brown rice can be served with a variety of vegetables and proteins to create a balanced meal for your toddler.

Cherry TomatoesPhoto Courtesy of Pexels

13. Cherry Tomatoes:

Cherry tomatoes are bite-sized vegetables that are both fun to eat and rich in vitamins. No need for prep; just wash and serve them as a snack or part of a salad.

14. Cottage Cheese:

Cottage cheese is a high-protein option that pairs well with fruits or veggies. You can serve it as a snack or as a side dish.

Frozen Peas

Photo Courtesy of Pixabay

15. Frozen Peas:

Frozen peas are quick and easy to prepare. Steam or microwave them, and you have a nutritious side dish ready for your toddler.

16. Frozen Corn:

Just like peas, frozen corn is simple to prepare and is a toddler favorite. It’s a quick and nutritious addition to any meal.

Whole Wheat PancakesPhoto Courtesy of Canva

17. Mini Whole Wheat Pancakes:

Make a batch of mini whole wheat pancakes and freeze them. They can be quickly reheated for a convenient and nutritious breakfast or snack.

18. Sweet Potatoes:

Baked or roasted sweet potato chunks are not only nutritious but also delicious. They’re a great source of vitamins and minerals.

Broccoli

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19. Broccoli:

Steam or roast broccoli florets to create a nutritious side that your toddler may enjoy. The bright green color can make it more appealing.

20. Turkey Slices:

Deli turkey slices can be rolled up or served with whole-grain crackers, making them a protein-packed and easy-to-prep option.

Whole Grain Cereal

Photo Courtesy of Pixabay

21. Whole Grain Cereal:

Low-sugar, whole-grain cereals are a quick and easy breakfast option. Serve them with milk or yogurt for added protein and calcium.

22. Cottage Cheese with Fruit:

Combine cottage cheese with fresh or canned fruits for a sweet and protein-packed treat that your toddler will love.

Bananas

Photo Courtesy of Pixabay

23. Mashed Bananas: 

A ripe banana can be easily mashed and served as a simple, healthy dessert or snack. It’s a great way to introduce your toddler to different textures.

24. Baby Spinach or Kale:

These leafy greens can be added to smoothies or sautéed as a nutritious side. They provide essential vitamins and minerals for your growing toddler.

Muffin

Photo Courtesy of Pexels

25. Muffins:

Homemade muffins made with whole grains and fruits can be a nutritious snack or quick breakfast option. Bake a batch and freeze them for on-the-go convenience.

In this blog post, we’ve explored 25 easy-to-prep foods that can make mealtime with your toddler a breeze. These options not only save you time and effort but also ensure your little one gets the nutrition they need for healthy growth and development. Remember, variety is key to providing a well-rounded diet, so don’t hesitate to mix and match these foods to keep things exciting for your toddler.

By having a selection of these nutritious and convenient foods on hand, you’ll be better equipped to handle the ever-changing preferences of your toddler. Whether you’re dealing with a picky eater or an adventurous one, these foods are sure to please even the most discerning little palates. So, stock up on these essentials and make mealtimes with your toddler a delightful and stress-free experience.

What is your toddler’s MUST HAVE food that you always keep on hand? Let us know in the comments!

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2 comments

Paula Peterson November 27, 2023 - 11:00 am
I do home school with my kids and I love these ideas. I'm going to try the Deli turkey slices with crackers.
Reply
Denise Low December 29, 2023 - 10:59 am
When the grandkids come over they always expect at least fruit.
Reply

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