A Week in Toddler Dinners

Toddler feeding time.  We all have war stories.  We try to feed these monsters angels and they do everything in their power to keep up on our toes.  It seems to be THE issue lately with us new mothers to toddlerhood. What do I feed them? How can I sneak veggies into my munchkin? What fun tricks work? I have seen people swapping tips and tricks everywhere lately.  Pinterest, Twitter and just in person.  On top of all that, I have started to want to have more family dinners at home.  It A) makes the meal go smoother B) means less work after he goes to bed and C)makes me not eat so much.  I also like the tradition of a table family meal.  So now I have to make a meal for all of us (pulling in LT staples when needed) by 6pm at the latest.  We get home around 5.  It can get a little crazy.

So to help out other mamas AND kinda contribute to Adeventuroo’s Week in the Life posts, I give you a week of toddler dinners in the Mann household.

Some notes about our stash….

  • I keep leftovers for everything. Even if it isn’t really a serving…this kid might eat just that much
  • I get food from our cafe a work as a quick option a lot. For the whole family and just small pieces for Landon.
  • I make large batches of things I know he will eat. Raviolis, mac and cheese, steamed carrots….so I can pepper into meals.
  • We keep a lot of dried fruit around. Keeps, easy snack food and less messy.
  • We also keep frozen fruit. It is great to mix in hot oatmeal to help it cool faster.
  • He pretty much has water and milk at all meals. Sometimes he has watered down juice if he asks….but he usually doesn’t. Lemonade is a special treat.

So what do you feed your tots? Wonder what we dip brussel sprouts in? Want a recipe for parm couscous? Ask away! Leave a comment!

Next week, tips and tricks for getting the food in him on a hard day.

Capture the Everyday from AdventurooHappy to share my everyday with Adventuroo!

Toddler Dinners is my weekly series of posts to explore the world of feeding munchkins. Each Monday I will post our previous week’s meals and a rating on how they went as well as discuss numerous issues we all face. Find out more here.Also be sure to follow me along throughout the week with your creations on Twitter and Instagram with the hashtag #toddlerdinners.


  1. OMG this is brilliant! I feed my kids relatively healthy (heavy limit on processed foods but lots of Trader Joes food) so this is just what I needed to rev up lunches! I’ve tried the Annie’s brand raviolis but BOTH kids hate them! Maybe those small ones are what we need!
    I LOVE the idea of making batches of stuff they eat. I do this with some things I make (our spaghetti sauce) so big DUH to me for not thinking about it for the lunches!

    Thanks for the great ideas!

    • O you just made my DAY! I am such a PS novice but I wanted to display the info a little better than bulleted lists. At least I made a nice template to use since I plan to do this more!

  2. Those meals look amazing! I’d eat them! Meals are definitely an issue w/ my 2-year-old. My husband grew up a picky eater, and we are both determined that Daniel NOT be one. He ate a wide variety of foods as an infant but now he is being super picky. He’ll eat almost any meat (except chicken unless it is BBQ chicken), pizza (ugh) and spaghetti w/ tomato sauce (which we make ourselves, so it has a few veggies in it). He’s not into veggies right now, but he loves fruit. When all else fails, I give him yogurt. I’m going to try a few things with butternut squash later this week and see if he’ll eat it.

    I keep trying to tell myself that it’s a phase and that we offer him veggies and he sees us eating veggies, but it’s frustrating.

    • There are phases. Landon ate EVERYTHING as an infant. I did the 100 foods or so before his first birthday. But then he hated most. My husband is way pickier than me but he does a great job trying to new things too now with Landon. I try not to put a stigma on a food..like brussel sprouts…i just put them on the plate and hope. I got him to eat a few bites because he knows he gets a “special treat” at the end. I find most is control…and not that he doesn’t like it.

  3. Awesome post!!! Where did you get the super cute plates?? Although I do recognize Sunday’s plate, I think we have that one in hot pink!

    • Ha Target dollar section after each season…when they are 50 cents :). Wait until after halloween and you can find some. We have frankenstein bowls. I love divider plates the best…so i stock up.

  4. Great post! Definitley has given me some ideas for my 16-month old. I like that you give him so many options…that way if he only eats a little of each it’s still a good meal.

  5. So do you find having the wide variety each time works? I am trying this with E but then, she will only eat say the mac and cheese, and ignore the rest so, I get hesitant to give her a bunch of things because then she won’t try the ones that are “new”.

    • I find offering a smaller serving of the fave and use seconds as incentive (read bribe) for the other bites works. Especially for new things he is timid about. He sees he likes the new thing just as much sometimes and gets more adventurous. Sometimes we have some things not touched if I call tell it is going to result in total meltdown. Pick your battles.

  6. Love it, thnx brandy! Other things I think we could address 1) when and what are the other meals/snacks during the day. I find Clinton wanting lots of snacks but not wanting dinner. It’s almost like he is too tired at night (also note his rampant nap strike).

    2) other mealtime behavior. ie I deal with throwing food, feeding the dog and playing with food.

    Thnx for putting these great examples together and getting some great comments too!

  7. Pingback: This Week in Toddler Dinners – Q & A

  8. This is an absolutely awesome post – thanks so much for sharing! My toddler (still can’t believe she’s a toddler) just turned 1 and I’m trying to come up with better meals for her!

    I hope you don’t mind linking to your blog in a post I’m trying to write about toddler meals and snacks.

    Feel free to stop by any time!

    For Love of Cupcakes

  9. What a fantastic idea!!!!!!!! Where have you been all my life???

    I am so excited to try this!! We usually stick to the basic: hotdog, chicken fingers, and some diced fruit. I can’t wait to go to the grocery store!

  10. My 1 month-till-he-turns 3 year old was looking at the food pictures with me. He kept saying he wanted those meals. Realistically he wouldn’t eat anything on this page no matter how fantastic I think it all is, because he is oddly picky. I did everything “Right” with him as an infant and then with finger foods and so on but the pickiness is still there. However, him saying he wanted all this food is a HUGE step, so thank you! I am going to try the hot dog octopus first, which he has assured me 17 times that he will eat. Keep your fingers crossed for me!

    • That is awesome! Be sure to check out the other weeks for more ideas. It is always evolving. There is also a great guest post by a friend who shows off her skills with cookie cutters. Blow your toddler’s mind! 🙂


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  12. Thank you so much for your blog and wonderful toddler dinner ideas! Dinner is almost always a struggle with my almost 3 year old and he is quite picky no matter what i do. He does have his few staples that he will always eat but i would love to introduce him to more variety! I am so anxious to try out these ideas!!!!

  13. I have never been so happy…..because of your food tips for my VERY fussy toddler. He was a great eater until he hit 2 and now 3 mths later I am getting so frustrated and him only wanting to eat yogurt, cheese and toast with pbutter. You keep it easy, and make it look fun. Love the plates, food options and suggestions. You are BRILLIANT! I am so inspired.

    Thank you!

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  15. Pingback: Family Dinner: The Working Mom Conundrum | Liberating Working Moms

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