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.
Food 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 toddler foods have a range of the nutrients that our kids need to grow up strong and healthy.
How to Choose Healthy Foods for Toddlers
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—and trying not to serve the same 3 foods all the time.
It’s about routine and regularity. Here’s an example: It’s much easier to convince my older daughter to eat oatmeal for breakfast when we have it regularly. And when we forget to have it at least once a week, it can be more of a struggle because it’s become unfamiliar. (I don’t want to lose it as an option so I do my best to make sure we have it once a week!)
It’s also about exposure. Similarly, when we don’t have beets for a few months because we don’t have them in the garden, it takes a few times of offering them to her before she’s ready to give them a shot. And it’s hard to remember those forgotten foods when life is so busy—and it’s easy to feel like our kids don’t like something when they reject it once…even though they might just need a few tries to remember that they actually do like it.
Toddler Meals for Picky Eaters
Remember when you fed your baby something and they spit it out? It wasn’t the end of the world and in many cases, it was funny. 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 toddler didn’t want or like something today doesn’t mean that they won’t ever eat it!
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!
100 Healthy Foods for Toddlers
- ACORN SQUASH
Roasted and served in cubes or roasted and mashed.
- yogurt. Thinned or spread on toast or fruit or stirred into oatmeal or
Fresh, very thinly sliced or shredded; diced and roasted or sauteed, or in applesauce.
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!
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.
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 oatmeal or muffins.
Shredded, cubed, poached, roasted, baked. Try it softened in these Slow Cooker Chicken Tacos.
Soft-Roasted or served with a little salt. Or in 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.
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.
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.
Cooked until soft with cheese or bite-size broccoli and cheese grits.
Chopped and sauteed or in smoothies or blended into pesto.
Plain or low sugar flavored, on its own or served blended into a 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.
- KIX CEREAL
This is a favorite snack of mine since it’s made from whole grains, is fun for little kids to eat, and is low in sugar.
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 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.
Poached or steamed. Try it with green curry or a light tomato sauce.
Firm in cubes or lightly sauteed. You can also add soft tofu to smoothies for extra iron and protein.
Cherry (halved), or chopped, or 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 cakes.
- WHITE BEANS
As hummus, plain, with marinara sauce and pasta.
In smoothies, sauteed, made into zoodles and served with peanut sauce, or as Zucchini Fritters.