Lunch Ideas for Your Toddler

Will you have to pack your toddler a lunch for preschool or day care this fall? Obviously, you don't have be this creative, but there are plenty of satisfying (and still nutritious!) foods that will make your toddler excited about eating lunch.

Here are a few ideas to get you started...


First things first: Here are a few suggestions to keep in mind when packing a cold lunch for your toddler:

1. Stick to simple, easy-to-eat foods. Because preschool is the time to develop independence in toddlers, it's important to make sure they can open and eat the food on their own. If there is a package that is particularly difficult, open it ahead of time and pack in an easy-to-open container.

2. Perk up a cold lunch with sandwiches cut with cookie cutters, personalized notes (Hi Jamie!) or smiley faces, and favorite foods. You can also get your toddler involved in the packing process. This may help them look forward to lunch.

3. Keep serving sizes small. Too much food can be overwhelming and may end up in the garbage can.

4. Don't send new foods to school. We all know how picky toddlers can be. Try new foods at home first to make sure your toddler likes them.

And, now, for a few ideas:

  • Half a sandwich or small wrap
  • Soup in a Thermos
  • Crackers with peanut butter or cheese slices
  • Cut-up fruits with applesauce
  • Cut-up vegetables with hummus or Ranch dressing
  • Pasta with butter or Spaghettios in a Thermos
  • String cheese
  • Bagels with cream cheese and jelly
  • Yogurt
  • Juice Boxes
  • Popcorn/pretzels/banana chips
  • Homemade Lunchables

What do you pack in your toddler's lunch?

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