Maybe you’ve mastered meal prep when it comes to your daily lunch at work, but have you ever tried toddler meal prep? Getting into the habit of planning and prepping healthy meals for toddlers is a great way to save time and eliminate some stress. If you have a picky eater, asking them to help prepare make-ahead toddler meals might even encourage them to try new foods. Here are some of our favorite meal prep ideas for toddlers.
Minimal food prep for toddlers is enough
You don’t have to put together five full lunches stacked in pretty containers for your toddler to reap the benefits of meal prep. Start with small things like snacks. Even washing and cutting fruits and veggies or laying out yogurt and Snack Poppers in the fridge will encourage healthy eating for toddlers.
Designate a time for toddler meal prep
They key to meal prepping for anyone is planning. That includes carving out a block of time on Saturday or Sunday to spend in the kitchen. The good news is, you won’t really need more time to food prep toddlers if you’re already making some meals for yourself. Just use some of the same foods for both you and your child. Or, prep some easy foods like veggies while something for you is cooking.
Protein meal prep ideas for toddlers
Protein is definitely important for preschool meals. However, parents can keep it simple, as toddlers only need a few small servings each day. Prepping easy, versatile lean meat as a protein source for kids – like shredded chicken or ground turkey – goes a long way for meal prep. You can use these toddler-friendly foods in salads, quesadillas, or even on their own.
Meatballs are perfect for make-ahead toddler meals because you can make a lot and pop some in the freezer for later. Kids love them, too! The Fusilli and Meatball Marinara is a great example. This popular toddler meal packs 20 grams of protein using cheesy pasta and tasty meatballs.
It’s not always necessary to cook meat. Utilize other sources of protein like beans, nut butter or hummus. Some of these meat alternatives provide healthy fats for toddlers, and they require little to no prep.
Make more than you need
If you’re already preparing your own meals for work or even family dinner, make extra. Leftovers will make tomorrow’s lunch quick and easy. If cooking extra servings of a whole meal is difficult, try making extra sides like rice or pasta to use later in the week.
Use this toddler meal prep tip for breakfast, too! If your kids like oatmeal in the morning, make a large batch of baked oatmeal to feed your kids multiple mornings. Breakfast foods like healthy pancakes and muffins are easy to cook in large batches as well.
Shortcuts for toddler meal prep
There’s no shame in cutting some corners. If it’s in your budget, buy pre-cut veggies to save yourself time and one less cutting board to wash. Rotisserie chicken, canned beans, and easy snacks like string cheese or canned fruit take most of the work out of food prep for toddlers, too.
Meal delivery for kids is another super convenient toddler meal prep shortcut. Let someone else prep the make-ahead toddler meals for you and rest easy knowing that you always have healthy meals on hand for your kids. Plus, your kids will love having yummy meals like Mac N’ Cheese & Nuggets Please in the fridge and ready to eat!
Looking for an easy way to simplify toddler meal prep? Yumble is the children’s healthy meal planner that does the hard work for you. We deliver fresh, delicious, fully prepared toddler meals right to your door. How do you get started? Pick the plan that works best for your family, choose your weekly meals, and Yumble will take care of the rest! No cooking required!