Toddlers are at a crucial stage of development, and the right nutrition is essential to support their growth and development. However, it’s no secret that getting them to eat can sometimes feel like a battle. Picky eating habits, food preferences that seem to change daily, and the desire for independence can all make mealtime a struggle.
The good news is that there are creative ways to ensure your toddler gets the nutrients they need while keeping mealtime enjoyable. The team from Children’s Campus, our 5-star preschool in Greenville, NC, have put together six simple and tasty meal ideas that will make both parents and toddlers happy. These meals are easy to prepare, packed with essential nutrients, and designed to appeal to your little one’s taste buds.
Meal #1: Mini Pancake Stacks
Mini pancake stacks provide essential carbohydrates for energy, protein from eggs, and antioxidants and vitamins from fresh berries. You can add a touch of cinnamon or vanilla extract to the pancake batter for extra flavor, and even cut the pancakes into fun shapes or use cookie cutters to make them more appealing to your toddler.
Fresh berries (strawberries, blueberries, or raspberries)
Maple syrup (in moderation)
In a bowl, mix pancake mix, eggs, milk, and whole-grain flour to create a thick batter.
Heat a non-stick pan over medium heat and lightly grease it.
Pour small portions of the batter onto the pan to make mini pancakes.
Cook until bubbles form on the surface, then flip and cook until golden brown.
Stack the mini pancakes, layering them with fresh berries.
Serve with a drizzle of maple syrup on top.
Meal #2: Veggie and Cheese Quesadillas
Veggie and cheese quesadillas are an excellent source of calcium, fiber, and essential vitamins from the vegetables. You can experiment with different vegetables based on your toddler’s preferences. Consider using whole-grain tortillas for added fiber and nutrients.
Cheddar cheese (shredded)
Mixed vegetables (bell peppers, zucchini, and carrots, finely chopped)
Mild salsa (optional for dipping)
Heat a skillet over medium heat with a small amount of olive oil.
Place a tortilla in the skillet and sprinkle shredded cheese on one half.
Add the finely chopped mixed vegetables on top of the cheese.
Fold the tortilla in half to create a half-moon shape.
Cook until the tortilla is golden brown and the cheese is melted.
Cut into wedges and serve with mild salsa for dipping.
Meal #3: Peanut Butter and Banana Roll-Ups
Peanut butter and banana roll-ups provide healthy fats, protein, and natural sugars for energy. You can also add a sprinkle of cinnamon or chia seeds for extra flavor and nutrition. Be cautious with honey for children under 1 year old, as it may pose a risk of botulism.
Peanut butter (or almond butter for allergies)
Honey (optional, for drizzling)
Lay out a whole-grain tortilla.
Spread a layer of peanut butter (or almond butter) evenly on the tortilla.
Place sliced ripe bananas on top of the peanut butter.
Drizzle honey over the bananas if desired.
Roll up the tortilla tightly and slice into bite-sized pieces.
Meal #4: Chicken and Vegetable Stir-Fry
Chicken and vegetable stir-fry offers lean protein, fiber, and a variety of vitamins and minerals. Feel free to switch up the vegetables based on your toddler’s preferences. You can even add a touch of ginger or a splash of lemon juice for extra flavor.
Boneless, skinless chicken breast (cut into small pieces)
Mixed vegetables (broccoli, bell peppers, snap peas)
Low-sodium soy sauce
Cooked brown rice
Heat olive oil in a large skillet or wok over medium-high heat.
Add minced garlic and chicken pieces. Cook until the chicken is no longer pink.
Add mixed vegetables and stir-fry for a few minutes until they are tender.
Pour low-sodium soy sauce over the mixture and stir well.
Serve the stir-fry over cooked brown rice.
Meal #5: Homemade Macaroni and Cheese with Hidden Veggies
Homemade macaroni and cheese with hidden veggies provides the creamy comfort of mac and cheese with added vitamins and fiber from the vegetables. You can use sweet potatoes, butternut squash, or peas as alternative hidden veggies. Gradually increase the amount of pureed veggies to encourage your toddler to enjoy the taste.
Whole-grain macaroni pasta
Cheddar cheese (shredded)
Cauliflower (steamed and pureed)
Carrots (steamed and pureed)
Cook the macaroni pasta according to package instructions.
In a separate pot, melt butter and add milk, shredded cheese, and pureed cauliflower and carrots.
Stir until the cheese is melted and the sauce is creamy.
Combine the cooked pasta with the cheesy veggie sauce.
Serve as a delicious macaroni and cheese dish with hidden veggies.
Meal #6: English Muffin Mini Pizzas
English muffin mini pizzas offer a balanced combination of carbohydrates from the muffin, protein from cheese and toppings, and essential vitamins from the sauce and vegetables. Let your toddler get involved in assembling their own mini pizzas by allowing them to add their favorite toppings. Experiment with different sauces and toppings to cater to your toddler’s taste preferences.
Whole-grain English muffins (split in half)
Tomato sauce or pizza sauce
Shredded mozzarella cheese
Mini pepperoni slices or diced vegetables
Dried oregano and basil (optional)
Preheat your oven to 375°F.
Place the English muffin halves on a baking sheet.
Spread a thin layer of tomato or pizza sauce on each muffin half.
Sprinkle shredded mozzarella cheese on top of the sauce.
Add your choice of mini pepperoni slices or diced vegetables as toppings.
Drizzle a little olive oil over the toppings for extra flavor.
If desired, sprinkle a pinch of dried oregano and basil on top for seasoning.
Bake in the preheated oven for about 10-12 minutes or until the cheese is melted and bubbly, and the muffins are lightly toasted.
Contact Our Greenville, NC Preschool Today for 5-star Child Care
Your child’s early years are crucial for their development, and our dedicated team at Children’s Campus in Greenville is here to provide the nurturing and educational environment they need.
Offering 5-star toddler child care, we understand that choosing the right preschool for your toddler is a significant decision, and we invite you to take the next step in ensuring your child’s bright future.
Contact us today to schedule a visit, ask any questions you may have, and learn more about our tailored toddler care programs. Let’s work together to give your child the best start in their educational journey.
Get started today by calling us at (252) 756-8200 or filling out the contact form below.
My husband and I signed our daughter up for daycare at Children's Campus in a desperate need. We had the opportunity to tour the center which we instantly fell in love with everything about it. Since our daughter has been attending Children's Campus she has done nothing but flourish in development. All of her teachers that she had been with since being here have been the sweetest and most caring, and that does not stop with the teachers as all of the staff at this center share constant love for the children. This is all evident by always being greeted with cheerful smiles, as well as witnessing everyone else being treated the same.
Laura L., Greenville
By spending time in my children's classrooms, I have witnessed the teachers' dedication and passion for working with children. Each day provides a stimulating experience in an atmosphere that fosters learning, as well as development of social, emotional, and gross and fine motor skills, all of which helps boost self-esteem. Each day when I drop them off I am confident Children's Campus provides a loving, nurturing , and attentive environment where my kids can play, learn, grow, and thrive!
Maria F., Mother of two, Greenville
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The Children’s Campus of Greenville admits students of any race, color, national or ethnic origin to all the rights, privileges, programs, and activities generally accorded or made available to students at the school.