Cheap & Cheerful Lunch Ideas for Toddlers

Now I'm juggling a newborn and a toddler- who, I might add, like to tag team me and both decide they are hungry at the same time- I've had to start making Isla lunch during her morning nap. She is a good eater, but I worry about her getting bored or having the same thing every day.

I find that a lot of the foods branded towards her age group, and designed to be fun, can be quite pricey when added to the weekly shop, so I've been trying her out with my own little plates and lunchtime is a hit now! (They're super satisfying to put together too...must invest in some cute bento accessories and more cutters.)

Below are some quick, easy and cheap idea's for your toddlers lunch. All took less than 20 minutes including prep, cooking and presentation. As you will see, I'm lucky Isla is a huge fruit and veg fan!

 "The Moana"

We call this lunch Moana lunch because it is VERY loosely based on Isla's favourite movie. We have Heart of Te Feti cucumber slices (which I used a play dough cutter to make...very classy mummy), Hei Hei's Egg Cake and Island berries.

The egg cake was super easy to make and Isla helped me out with it. We just beat 3 eggs, chopped up some cherry tomatoes, added them together in a cupcake mould and sprinkled on some cheese and pepper to taste. A quick blitz in the oven cooking by eye and they are ready to eat.

Telling your toddler that their food is somehow related to a book or movie usually has a great influence on their enthusiasm when trying something new.

 Pesto Pasta

Pretty self explanatory- pesto is always a winner in this house. Its quick and easy and super cheap t throw a jar onto your shop. You only need a teaspoon and going on with the theme of weird toddler food explanations, we like to pretend they are a mossy environment for the dinosaur cheese to roam across. We add blueberries for the fruity element, You'll notice we add them to pretty much every lunch. Can you tell they're her favourite?
 Sandwich Swirlies

Isla doesn't really like bread. It's kinda dry sometimes, hard to chew..I think a lot of toddlers feel this way. She always gets along better with bread when I squash it a bit with my hands and make it doughy.

I'd seen pinwheels done with tortilla bread (quite popular in America I think) but I didn't have tortillas and I didn't really want to buy any since we have bread... so I just squashed her sandwich, rolled it up and cut it up. You could give it any fun name and I'm sure your fussy one will try it. Bug lover? Sandwich Snails. Mermaid lover? Sandwich Sea Shells. You get it!
 Ham Fairies

Fairies. Or butterflies. It was actually random play dough cutter- but she finally ate ham. Isla is notorious for picking the ham out of things and she is such a huge fruit and veg fan I really try to make sure she gets something meat based too.

We've added in some microwave vege rice- you can make this SO easily but when tag teamed by a two year old and two month old, sometimes good old Uncle Ben has to come in and save the day if you want to shake lunchtime up a little bit.

Dino Platter

Lots of little bits to pick at- this really is the key to getting Isla to eat some of everything on her plate. If we just give her a big sandwich, I think she gets bored of the taste. I mean, as an adult I love lots of little different things on a buffet or a platter compared to one big meal which gets a bit boring after a few bits. It's also a great way to try sneaking something new in to their plate and to use up the bits which will expire soon or don't have much left.

Oh, and tell her that if she doesn't eat it quickly, the dinosaur will. That works.

Tiny Heart Trio

How cute are those tiny sandwiches? They've got a little cheese inside and yes I was back at it again with the play dough cutters... but she ate them! Bread success. Mum win. Mum of the year. I also encouraged her to crumble her biscuit into her yogurt, dip blueberries- get messy yes, but she really loved mixing the flavours up.



Toddler lunches don't have to be a battle. Or expensive. Or super fancy. I hope this post has given you some ideas for making lunch time a bit more fun without taking hours or costing the world!

If you have any ideas you'd like to share, please do! 

Steph xo


My Random Musings

2 comments:

  1. I think this is a great idea anything that helps to get children to eat healthily is fantastic in my book #mudpiefriday@_karendennis

    ReplyDelete
  2. I absolutely love these ideas and although my daughter is now 4, she only eats little bits through the day so she would love some of these lunches! I find it difficult to vary what i give her. She is obsessed with pesto pasta though! I love your plates too, i really need to get some like this for when the baby is old enough for them! :)

    #BloggerClubUK

    ReplyDelete