Meal Planning for Young Children

Now some of you have children who will willingly eat the family meal, spinach and all.  Well done!  I would love to know how you did it.  My three year old won’t be receiving specialized cuisine for the rest of his life but for now it makes mealtime infinitely easier.  Simply listing out a few ideas for breakfasts, lunches and dinners and then posting it has made life so much easier.   It means that we don’t have to think in the morning after a horrid night with the baby and that we can be sure to have items on hand for kid-friendly meals.

Before we tried this simple tip, we spent a lot of time standing before an open fridge trying to think of healthy combinations for our son.  Also, we made the mistake of listing several choices for him each meal as if we were catering to a very demanding customer.  Now we put his meal before him and find that he’s far more willing to try it.

Our son helped us come up with the list and buy some of the items that we needed to have on hand.  It helps him be involved in mealtime beforehand so that he’s less likely to balk when the meal is placed before him.involving your toddler in mealtimes


  • Homemade cocoa-oatmeal, peanut butter and banana
  • Cereal and milk, soft boiled egg
  • Toasted bagel with peanut butter and raisins, frozen blueberries
  • Cottage cheese, apple slices and peanut butter


  • Peanut butter and honey sandwich, carrot sticks, raisins
  • Tortilla roll up with cream cheese and ham, cut into slices, edamame
  • Cheese slices, crackers, garbanzo beans with dipping sauce
  • Cheese sandwich, dried mango slices, dried seaweed (nori)


  • English muffin cheese pizza, frozen peas, blueberry smoothie
  • Whole wheat pasta with tomato sauce, garbanzo beans
  • Yumm bowl, apple slices
  • Cheese quesadilla, lima beans, dipping sauce

I know this isn’t gourmet fare, but it’s nice to have a list of a few meal ideas to get us going. Do you have other favorite meal choices that your child loves?  Please share!


  1. I think this is a great idea to get your son to be actively involved in his meal inspection! I just wrote a post for Silicon Valley Moms, about my son and gardening together:

    It’s really helped him to form a great relationship with food because we make it a fun project together. Not that there aren’t foods he doesn’t like…but he gets more actively excited about the foods he does like, when we grow them…like broccoli!

  2. I like the idea of letting the child choose a few of the items to buy at the store. I have found that if you allow children to make a small choice such as this, it makes meal time so much easier…especially if you have picky eaters at home.

  3. I put chopped kale into smoothies. You can’t taste it or even tell it’s there and it’s a good way to add raw greens to a kid’s (or your) diet.

  4. Many thanks for this article. Children as so choosy when it comes to food and I think this time, I might be able to feed them without the effort to feed them.

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