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Three Days of Toddler Menus

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Between finicky appetites and a penchant for junk food, meal-planning for toddlers can be a real challenge. Looking for ideas? Check out these nutritious, tasty, easy-to-prepare menus your toddler will love.
toddler menu

By Kim Galeaz, R.D.

What parent hasn't racked her brains over what to serve her picky toddler, or felt guilty when her child gorged on ice cream and skipped dinner? Fortunately, eating healthily is all about variety and balance over several days. With a variety of foods on the menu, your toddler will receive all the nutrients he needs. And if one day falls short on vegetables, it'll all even out over the period of several days or a week.


 A Caution on Portions

 Day One Menu

 Day Two Menu

 Day Three Menu

A Caution on Portions

Make sure you offer reasonable amounts of any food. Small children become overwhelmed if you put huge portions on their plate! By age 4, most children can eat adult-size servings regularly. Two- and 3-year-olds should be served smaller portions. The best thing you can do is start small with a couple of tablespoons and let your child ask for seconds.

For this meal plan, approximate maximum serving sizes for children 18 months to 3 years are listed first, and those for 4-year-olds are indicated in brackets afterwards. Remember, don't overwhelm your toddler with huge portions of food on their plate. Start with just a couple of tablespoons if your child is just 18 or 24 months old.


Day One Menu

Breakfast
85 grams cooked oatmeal, made with milk (236.6 millilitres, ml)
85 grams honeydew melon and cantaloupe chunks (113.4 grams)
118.3 millilitres (ml) cup milk

Snack
1 piece string cheese
3 whole grain crackers (4)

Lunch
85 grams tuna salad stuffed in whole-wheat pita pocket half (tuna salad made with mayonnaise and pickle relish)
85 grams baby carrots, cooked (113.4 grams)
1 small plum, cut into pieces
118.3 millilitres (ml) milk

Snack
85 grams red, yellow, and green bell pepper strips (113.4 grams)
2 tablespoons salad dressing for dipping

Dinner
4 oven-baked chicken nuggets with honey-mustard sauce for dipping (6)
85 grams cooked brown rice with 1/2 teaspoon butter (113.4 grams)
85 grams cooked green beans (113.4 grams)
118.3 millilitres (ml) cup milk

Snack
85 grams oat-ring cereal and dried fruit and nut mix, cut into small bits (113.4 grams)


Day Two Menu

Breakfast
1 small pancake with honey (2 pancakes)
1 sausage, cut into small pieces (2 sausages)
118.3 millilitres (ml) calcium-fortified orange juice (177.4 millilitres, ml)

Snack
1 hard-boiled egg, cut into pieces
118.3 millilitres (ml) cup milk

Lunch
1/2 toasted cheese sandwich made with 1 slice wholemeal bread, 1 teaspoon butter, and 1 slice Cheddar cheese (1 sandwich, made with two slices of bread and 2 slices of cheese)
118.3 millilites tomato soup made with milk (177.4 millilites)
1/2 small pear, cut into slices (1 pear)

Snack
1/2 cup strawberry yogurt (1 cup)
2 whole grain crackers (4)

Dinner
56.7 grams broiled or grilled boneless pork chop (85 grams)
85 grams cooked baby red potatoes, cut up and topped with butter (113.4 grams)
85 grams cup steamed broccoli (113.4 grams
118.3 millilitres (ml) cup milk

Snack
1/3 cup sliced peaches (1/2 cup)


Day Three Menu

Breakfast
1 scrambled egg topped with grated cheddar cheese (2 eggs)
1/2 slice of toast with butter (1 slice)
118.3 millilitres pineapple-orange juice (177.4 millilitres)

Snack
1 oatmeal biscuit
118.3 millilitres (ml) cup chocolate milk

Lunch
4 oven-baked fish fingers with tartar sauce for dipping (6)
85 grams mashed sweet potatoes, topped with butter and cinnamon (113.4 grams)
1/3 cup steamed courgette or summer squash (1/2 cup)
1/3 wholemeal roll (1/2 roll)
1/2 cup milk

Snack
4 mini rice cakes (6)
1/2 small banana, cut into pieces (1)

Dinner
Spaghetti and meatballs made with:
   85 grams cooked wholemeal spaghetti (113.4 grams)
   á á59.13 millilitres pasta sauce
   3 small meatballs (4)
    Sprinkled with Parmesan cheese, if desired
1 garlic breadstick
1/2 cup milk

Snack
1/2 cup frosted mini wheat weetabix cereal
118.3 millilitres (ml) cup milk


 

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