Whole Food Recipes For Toddlers
Toddlers need three meals and two snacks a day to meet their nutritional needs. Try to incorporate whole foods into each meal and snack.
Cheese is a good source of protein, calcium and vitamin A. Try adding mild cheeses like cheddar or provolone to your toddler’s diet.
Beans are a good source of whole food carbohydrates, fiber and nutrients like iron, folate and potassium. Add black beans or pinto beans to your toddler’s diet.
Toddlers are able to digest meat at 6 months, so this is a great food to offer them for lunch or dinner. It’s high in protein and iron, both of which are important nutrients for toddlers.
While it’s fine to sometimes feed children processed foods, sugary snacks and refined grains, they shouldn’t be the majority of their diet. If they eat these foods frequently, it may lead to nutritional deficiencies.
Cooking with your child can help them learn about new foods, while exposing them to different textures and flavors. They can practice washing vegetables, stirring room temperature ingredients and even using a blender.
Toddlers often go through phases when they are reluctant to eat vegetables. It can take upwards of 20 times before kids will try a vegetable, so keep offering them and be patient!
Vegetables are nutrient-dense and help with digestive health, immune support, eye health and more. They can be eaten in many ways and are a great source of protein.
Caramelizing veggies adds a sweet flavor that can help kids enjoy them more. These veggie nuggets are a fun way to serve veggies and are easy to dip!
Toddlers need a variety of nutrients and calories to grow, play and learn. These healthy toddler meals feature a range of fruits, veggies and whole foods to provide your child with a balanced diet.
Fruits, like bananas, provide a source of carbohydrate for energy and fiber to support a healthy digestive tract. They are also a great snack option for toddlers.
Whole grains are an important part of a healthy eating pattern for toddlers and children. They provide fiber, vitamins and minerals and help keep kids feeling full.
Toddlers and preschoolers should consume three to seven ounces of grain foods per day, which can be achieved by including whole grains in many meals and snacks. The 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines recommend that half of all grains be whole grain.
Whole grains are the seeds of grasses such as wheat, barley, rye and triticale (wheat-corn hybrid), and they can be eaten intact, cracked, crushed or flaked. A food can be labeled ‘whole grain’ if it contains all anatomical parts of the seed, such as the bran, germ and endosperm, in the same proportions as they exist in the intact kernel (1).
Dehydrated Whole Foods
Toddlers can be picky eaters, but their growing bodies need healthy foods. Try these whole food recipes to get your kids the nutrients they need.
Toddlers need three meals and two snacks each day. Snacks should be balanced just like meals.
Try these whole food snack ideas that are easy to prepare and will provide your toddler with the energy they need for a busy afternoon. Remember to watch for added sugar, salt and saturated fat in packaged snacks and choose options lower in these ingredients. Also, be careful with nuts and seeds, as they can be a choking hazard for younger toddlers.
Nuts & Seeds
Nuts are a rich source of protein, healthy fats and vitamins. They are also a delicious addition to meals. Nuts can be safely introduced to children from six months in the form of butters and pastes – whole nuts are not recommended due to the risk of choking.
Soaking raw nuts and seeds makes them easier to digest and increases nutrient absorption. Add them to granola bars, salads, rice preparations, sweet dishes and baked recipes.
Serving wholesome snacks is essential for toddlers to ensure they get the nutrition they need between meal times. Avoid offering them processed snack foods such as fried pizza slices and tater tots.
Canned seafood offers an easy way to add protein, healthy fats and vitamins & minerals to your toddler’s diet. These recipes for fish, molluscs and crustaceans can be used as snacks or main dishes to fill your little Seafoodies up with nutrient-rich foods.
Kids have a higher concentration of taste buds and can be sensitive to fishy or strong flavors. These fish & shellfish recipes are designed to be mild and kid-friendly.
Make a tuna salad that’s loaded with veggies and whole grains or try these tuna nuggets, which are made without any raw ingredients and perfect for little hands to hold. They’re also super easy to make!