Toddler Dinners: Daycare Grub

HELLO! I’m not dead. I was just on vacation. A LOOOOOOONG needed vacation. To add to that lovely break, I am finally getting a break from something on the daycare front. Starting Monday, I no longer have to send tiny bits of food to daycare for lunch! Yes, I realize I am lucky and spoiled. I pay good money to NOT do it 🙂

Starting at 11 months, the kids get lunch and snacks via the daycare here. They have a great variety (honestly not at much as L did but I think things will change since L’s old director is now O’s new one!). But since Oliver eats everything, I have been dicing tiny bits of food every night for months to make him 2 snacks and a lunch every day. This isn’t pack a sandwich, carrot sticks and an apple type packing. This is cut up chicken, broccoli, fruit, pasta, etc. I AM SO TIRED OF IT but I am happy I did. He is a master at finger foods. There is no baby food here. He feeds himself. He loves a wide variety of stuff. It played out well.

But as I did it, I realized once again that people might want some examples of what to send to school. I mostly sent leftovers or just known staples but I figured those posts were pretty buried. So here we go. I didn’t do rankings because the kid eats everything. Really. Everything.

td3 Marinated Grilled Chicken

Lemon-herb pearl couscous

3 Bean salad



Whole grain crackers (those were to keep there…he didn’t eat all that

td2 Grilled lemon chicken

Frozen peas (they thaw by lunch)

Pesto orzo

Mandarin Oranges


Pureed Sweet Potatoes

td1 Trader Joe’s Sweet and Sour Tempura Chicken

Steamed Broccoli

Brown rice



td4 Diced ham and tofu

3 bean salad

Pasta (under it all)

Steamed broccoli



Mum Mum

This was just a handful of them but you get the idea. So what do you send your little with to daycare?

New here and want more examples? I have WEEKS of this stuff from Landon’s days all waiting for you! And always follow the hashtag #toddlerdinners and #infantdinners on Instagram and Twitter for other ideas from around the interwebs!

5 thoughts on “Toddler Dinners: Daycare Grub

  • July 9, 2013 at 9:24 am

    Those look like great lunches! My son could have been getting the DC snacks/lunches from the beginning, but the food is crap. Chicken nuggets, cookies, juice, cheeseburgers, tacos, pizza, etc. So, I’ve been bringing in my own stuff. Unfortunately, they said they don’t like for us to bring in our own food in the toddler room unless there are allergies. I’m going to let the Director know I’m not pleased with the menu (and he will NOT be getting juice), but I don’t expect anything to change. Can’t wait until he gets into the DC he’s on the waitlist for.

  • July 9, 2013 at 11:14 am

    I was just talking to my coworkers today trying to figure out how to transition my daughter from bottles and a random assortment of food, to more coherent meals and snacks at daycare. This is SO useful. Thanks!

  • July 9, 2013 at 4:23 pm

    I may pay through the nose for day care but I don’t think I could ever trade down to a center that didn’t provide food for the kids. Breakfast, lunch and two snacks provided, saves me so much time. Can’t wait until my littlest is off bottles completely, makes mornings so much easier.

  • July 9, 2013 at 9:21 pm

    I’m always so happy and interested to see your lunches on instagram. And I don’t even pack a lunch for my kid! You’re that good.

  • July 11, 2013 at 1:02 pm

    I’m extremely lucky that daycare provides food for the kids. It’s probably a little better than normal daycares too. Fresh fruits and veggies and a varied lunch menu. I’m thrilled that I don’t have to worry about it!


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