Toddler Lunch Ideas

Merle starts daycare today and I'm much more freaked out than she is. Will she get along with the other kids? Will she learn enough during the day? Will she eat her lunch (she's weird about eating with new people)? Will she nap? Is the blanket she uses too warm/not warm enough? How will she adjust to the new routine? Ultimately I feel like the big question is am I doing the right thing. At two and a half, Merle has only been cared for by a family member or a nanny who watched her in our home. In a dream world I would stay home with her until she's ready for pre-k, but as the sole income earner for our little family of three, quitting my day job isn't possible. As a parent, whether you stay at home or send the children to daycare, I don't think you ever really know if you're doing the right thing. All you can do is make the most of the situation at hand and spend the time you do have with your children well, whether it's a little or a lot.

That brings me back to the title of this post. The one thing I am excited about when it comes to sending Merle to daycare is packing her lunch. Bento box lunches here we come! I've talked about it before, but I love the idea of bento boxes. Originally of Japanese origin, bento boxes have become a way for a new generation of parents to show their creativity and love in food form. If you have no idea what I'm talking about, I've made a Pintrest board filled with photos to show you just what I mean. See it here. I think kids of all ages (including me) love the idea of adorable, whimsical food, but toddlers are especially prone to bento love. If we survive the first few weeks of daycare, I think Merle may be finding some fun bento supplies in her stocking come Christmas :)

Alright, alright you get the picture, cutesy food. Obviously what matters most in a lunch is the nutritional content. We feed Merle a mostly organic, whole foods diet and we plan on continuing that when she is in daycare. Below are meals that Merle regularly eats, but I will be repacking them to be easily transportable to daycare (see paragraph above). Without further delay, here's a list of toddler lunch ideas.

Meal Ideas

  • Egg noodles with broccoli, peas, and tofu
  • Baked yam, black beans, and small corn tortilla
  • Cubed chicken breast, avocado, and halved cherry tomatoes
  • Pureed cannellini beans, sliced radishes, cucumbers, and cubed cheese
  • Cubed chicken breast, greek yogurt, shredded cucumber, and chopped kale
  • Whole wheat spaghetti, tomato sauce, and homemade turkey meatballs
  • Brown rice with ground bison, baby bok choy, and peas
  • Cubed pork chop, kale chips, and apple slices 
  • Egg souffle with spinach, carrots, and whole wheat toast
  • Almond butter and banana sandwich with apple slices, asparagus, and greek yogurt

1 comment:

  1. You are such a caring and thoughtful Mommy! I bet she will do just fine :) She also sounds like such a good little eater :)