When you’re at a loss for which healthy foods to feed your toddler, this list of 100 healthy foods for toddlers is a great place to start. You’ll find healthy food for kids including fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, dairy, meat, and more!
Foods for Toddlers
This toddler food list includes fresh fruit and vegetables, whole grains, healthy dairy, lean protein, and more to ensure that you have easy ideas to feed your toddler well.These are whole foods that are easy to self-feed, because we know that toddlers love their independence! And these foods for toddlers have a range of the nutrients that our kids need to grow up strong and healthy.
How to Choose Healthy Food for Kids
It’s so much fun to start solids with babies because they are eager to eat most things (and because they haven’t yet learned how to talk!). I think if we channel that energy as we continue to feed our 1, 2, and 3 year olds, it might help us to feel optimistic about serving them a range of healthy foods. A key to this is avoiding food ruts.
TIP: Try not to serve the same 3 foods everyday, but try to rotate favorite foods in and out, exposing the kids to the healthy foods for toddlers you want them to eat.
Best Food for 1 Year Old
Remember when you fed your baby something and they spit it out? It wasn’t the end of the world! We simply cleaned it up and tried again another time—which can be a great tactic to use with toddler foods. Remember: Just because your one year old (or two or three year old) didn’t want or like something today doesn’t mean that they won’t ever eat it!
TIP: Remember that it will be easier for your child to try a food if she sees it often, so consider routine as a helpful tool when feeding your kids.
100 Healthy Foods for Toddlers
Use this list of healthy kids food as inspiration for when you go to the grocery store or plan your family’s meals. It’s a great place to start if you’re in need of inspiration, are wanting to provide a wider range of nutrients for your child, or just want to mix things up with the toddler food you regularly serve.
- ACORN SQUASH
Roasted and served in cubes or roasted and mashed.
- ALMOND BUTTER
Thinned or spread on toast or fruit or stirred into oatmeal or yogurt.
Fresh, very thinly sliced or shredded; diced and roasted or Aauteed, or in Applesauce or Applesauce Muffins.
Fresh, diced or dried and diced. Try them softened in oatmeal.
Cubed or sliced or mashed and served on a spoon. Or, you can add 1-2 tablespoons to a smoothie.
- BABY PUFFs
These are a staple of many baby and toddler diets. Use them as a way to introduce a new texture and flavors.
- BABY RICE CRACKERS
Try with a little mashed avocado or a thin smear of nut butter.
Fresh or mashed and stirred into pancake batter or yogurt. Or added to a smoothie, whether fresh or frozen.
Served in a soup or as a whole grain side dish. Add some cheese, mashed sweet potato, or avocado to help it hold together.
- BELL PEPPER
Green, orange, red, or yellow, finely diced, sliced and roasted in the oven, or sauteed.
- BLACK EYE PEAS
Try serving simply tossed with a little olive oil, salt, and pepper, or warmed with rice.
Fresh, halved if needed, or frozen and thawed, or frozen in smoothies or baked goods like Blueberry Banana Muffins.
Fresh, in baked goods, or smoothies.
Ground or thinly sliced and chopped steak, meatballs, meatloaf. Or in Easy Skillet Stuffed Peppers.
Red or golden, steamed or roasted, Or simple Boiled Beets.
- BLACK BEANS
Stirred with a little mild salsa or topped with cumin and chili powder. Try cooking a big batch in the slow cooker.
Roasted, steamed, or sauteed. Or in Broccoli Tots or Broccoli Pesto.
Prepared as a grain salad or served as a whole grain side.
- BUTTERNUT SQUASH
Roasted in cubes or roasted and pureed. Or try it in Butternut Squash Muffins or Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese.
Sliced and sauteed until soft. (It’s really good with bacon!)
Diced or served in wedges. You can also blend it with ice into a fresh icy drink.
Steamed, roasted, or sauteed. Or try them in pancakes or Healthy Carrot Cookies.
- CASHEW BUTTER
Served on toast, bread, fruit, or stirred into oatmeal or yogurt.
Sliced into small pieces and soaked to soften as needed. Or in Energy Balls.
White, purple, or orange, chopped roasted, steamed, or sauteed. Or try Cauliflower Tots! Or Cauliflower Mac and Cheese!
Steamed lightly and sliced, or served softened in soups.
Or other similar low sugar cereal with whole grains and fewer ingredients.
Shredded or cubed. Or crumbles or cheese sticks.
Halved and pitted, or from frozen for smoothies.
- CHIA SEEDS
Softened in yogurt, milk, or Baked Oatmeal Cups (above) or muffins.
Shredded, cubed, poached, roasted, baked as Chicken Nuggets or Chicken Tenders, or pan-seared.. Try it softened in these Slow Cooker Chicken Tacos.
Soft-Roasted or served with a little salt. Or in Hummus, Tacos or with pasta and marinara sauce.
Peeled and sectioned, cut in half if needed.
Shredded in baked goods or sprinkled over yogurt. Look for unsweetened coconut to avoid added sugars.
- COCONUT MILK
Light or full fat in smoothies or baked goods. (This can also help ease constipation.)
Thawed from frozen or fresh on the cob.
- COTTAGE CHEESE.
Whole milk when possible. Serve it with fruit or try it in a Whipped Cottage Cheese Dip or a Cottage Cheese Smoothie.
Served like pasta with pesto or marinara, or as a whole grain side with butter or a little olive oil.
Diced finely or shredded, peeled if needed. You can also add them to smoothies for a burst of freshness.
Fried, hard-cooked, scrambled, or in egg muffins.
Fresh and diced or dried and softened in oatmeal.
Ground, in smoothies, baked goods, or sprinkled over yogurt.
- GOAT CHEESE
Spreadable goat cheese on toast or muffins, or crumbles on their own or with grains or pasta.
Quartered lengthwise to avoid choking.
- GREEN BEANS
Steamed and diced, or roasted. Or sauteed as Sesame Green Beans.
Cooked until soft with cheese or bite-size broccoli and cheese grits.
- HEMP SEEDS
Try adding a tablespoon of hemp seeds to a smoothie or oatmeal, or sprinkle over foods like yogurt.
Chopped and sauteed or in smoothies or blended into pesto.
Plain or low sugar flavored, on its own or served blended into a Veggie Smoothie. This tart yogurt-like drink has a lot of probiotics that are great for digestive and immune health!
- KIDNEY BEANS
With a little salt or oregano, in chili or plain. Or, add them to a pot of marinara sauce.
Peeled and diced. Or you can add it to a smoothie.
- HONEYDEW MELON
Diced or served in wedges.
Red or brown, simmered until soft or cooked into Lentil Soup.
Shredded into very thin strips. Offer just a little at a time since it can be a challenging texture to learn.
- MANDARIN ORANGES
Peeled and sectioned, cut in half if needed. You can also blend into a smoothie.
Diced or blended into a smoothie. You can also try dried mango as a special snack.
Served as a whole grain side dish with a little olive oil or butter, or with curry.
Whole dairy or plant-based milk depending on what you prefer. (Here’s some help choosing the best milk for your toddler.)
Sauteed in olive oil or butter. On pizza. Added to marinara sauce.
- NAVY BEANS
In soup, added to rice, turned into hummus, or served with a little salt and olive oil.
Pitted and diced. You might be surprised—many kids love the flavor of olives!
Peeled and chopped as needed. Or try adding them to smoothies.
Served with marinara sauce, pesto, or with butter and cheese (or another favorite sauce). You can try chickpea pasta, whole grain pasta, quinoa pasta, or a more traditional semolina pasta.
Peeled and sliced and roasted into fries.
Diced or sliced or frozen and blended into smoothies.
- PEANUT BUTTER
Thinned and served from a spoon, spread onto toast or bread, or stirred into oatmeal or yogurt. Or try adding it to smoothies. Look for natural unsweetened to avoid added sugars.
Diced or sliced, peeled if needed. Try all different types—Bosc, Bartlett, and red pears.
Thawed from frozen (or many kids like them frozen!). Or added to pasta or soups.
Served fresh, thawed from frozen, added to smoothies, or served over cottage cheese or yogurt.
Remove the skin if it’s too tough for your toddler, then cut into wedges or small chunks.
- PINTO BEANS
In chili, as taco filling, mashed and spread on toast with a little cheese. Look for unsalted canned beans or rinse beans before warming them to remove excess salt.
Served soft with a spoon or in firmer rounds (from the tubes you can buy premade at the store). Try the round topped with shredded cheese and pizza sauce.
Roasted, mashed, boiled…any which way you like them! Try all kinds of potatoes including purple, yellow, pink, and white to get a range of nutrients.
Chopped or softened in oatmeal, or blended into a smoothie.
Served warm as a whole grain side or with mashed squash.
On their own, served in oatmeal, or in Healthy Oatmeal Raisin Cookies.
Served fresh, or if you buy frozen ones, you can add them to a smoothie. Try them mashed and stirred into yogurt!
Try all kinds: basmati, brown, jasmine. Stir in cheese or avocado or mashed sweet potato to help the grains stick together.
- ROLLED OATS
In oatmeal, overnight oats, granola bars, muffins, and more.
Prepared as you would broccoli! It’s often very sweet and is a super fun dinosaur-esque shape.
- SNAP PEAS
Fresh and diced or steamed or sauteed.
- SNOW PEAS
Fresh and diced or steamed or sauteed. Try these in a stir fry.
Sauteed or in smoothies or pesto.
- SPLIT PEAS
In soup! We love this Broccoli Cheddar Soup with hidden split peas.
Diced fresh, in Strawberry Muffins, in freezer pops, in smoothies.
- SWEET POTATOES
Roasted, steamed, or mashed. Or try them in a smoothie or pancakes.
Poached or steamed. Try it with green curry or a light tomato sauce.
Firm in cubes, lightly sauteed, or breaded into Tofu Nuggets. You can also add soft tofu to smoothies for extra iron and protein.
Cherry (halved), chopped, or in tomato sauce or in mild salsa.
With butter or olive oil, with pesto, with marinara sauce. These are a great quick dinner to have on hand since they cook so fast.
Try the low-mercury kinds like Safe Catch as tuna salad or tuna cakes.
Shredded or cubed, roasted or ground. We like store-roasted turkey lunch meat or nitrate-free lunch meat from brands like Applegate.
Roasted, mashed—or prepared like sweet potatoes.
- YELLOW SQUASH
Sauteed in olive oil and topped with a little grated Parmesan cheese, in smoothies, or in Cornmeal Muffins.
Whole-milk plain yogurt is the best choice for kids. You can serve it with granola, in overnight oats, or in smoothies.
Cubed, in sticks, in wedges. Or blend it up into fresh juice!
- WILD RICE
Served as a whole grain side dish with a little butter or coconut oil.
- WILD SALMON
Canned or filet, baked or in salmon salad or salmon cakes
- WHITE BEANS
Use instead of chickpeas in hummus, plain seasoned with a little salt, or with marinara sauce and pasta.
In smoothies, sauteed, made into zoodles and served with peanut sauce, or as Zucchini Fritters.
Finger Food for Toddlers
I hope this list of safe and simple foods for toddlers comes in handy when you run out of ideas for what to serve your toddler, or to help you remember which foods you haven’t served in a while. Choose from these finger foods to assemble healthy toddler meals and snacks—and to help yourself remember that there are so many wonderful foods for toddlers available if we can just remember what they are!
My 16 month old likes organ meats! We regularly have liver and beef tongue. Chicken or beef heart can be a bit chewy so I finely chop it up. I personally eat pork intestine and beef tendon but haven’t given it to my baby since it’s quite chewy. As a kid I ate liver and chicken gizzards/hearts, and it was normal. One can also shred frozen liver into meatballs and things but I don’t bother since he eats it as is. Also, some non western vegetables are very healthy such as kabocha squash, lotus root, burdock, seaweed, dragon fruit, jackfruit, kohlrabi, soy beans (edamame and natto). All things my toddler has eaten and enjoyed!
Oh man after having a 12 year gap between my kiddos I was feeling pretty lost on what to feed my 1 year old. I’m started to wean him off breast milk, but whole milk makes him sick, so we’re trying Ripple kids instead. Wanting to make sure he’s getting dairy from other sources and a well balanced diet. Thank you so much for making this list! It’s exactly what I needed to see!
I’m so thankful for your helpful post!
Wow. Your article has become a godsend for me. My wife and I decided to switch from breastfeeding to complementary nutrition and now we are looking for good products so that it is not only tasty but also useful for our child. And it seems to me that this is a wonderful and most importantly useful list of products not only for a child but also for any adult. I really liked it and I’m ready to try it. But what really surprised me was the olives. It seemed to me that the children do not like the taste of olives, but according to your information, it is just the opposite.
Amazing article. I really impressed by your work. I think I got all the information which I want to look for a search.
Very informative blog and thanks to the writer who has taken that much effort to written it. I am gonna bookmark it for later use. Every mom should read this post once as it will help all of us to know what food choices we have for our babies.
I have 7 kids, 9 and under. I think it is a good idea even for me! It’s great for toddlers, but even I get stuck in a rut. Thank you!
7 kids!!! oh my….
This is a very good article and included very informative ideas about food I loved it
This is a great list. I’ve been stuck in a groove with my daughter and this will be extra helpful. Thank you for sharing! Do you have it as a printable list? I’m having trouble printing it. Thanks again!
Wow 🙂 it’s a great article. I am thankful to you for giving this informative huge post.
Thanks a lot for giving a great informative post. It’s really helpful for me.
This is really a long list of healthy foods for the toddlers. They can get a variety of food items.
I read your blog and its very informative and I read the same blog related to this one and its informative if you are concerned about toddler’s food.
I have 5 kids, 9 and under. I have been thinking about doing this lately. I think it is a good idea even for me! It’s great for toddlers, but even I get stuck in a rut. Thank you!