What to feed a picky toddler

Foods to offer your picky toddler

While I was choosing my organic applesauce at the grocery store, I ran into Superhero Andrea, and she asked me for some good suggestions for what to feed toddlers. In fact, she asked me if I had anything on my blog about it already, which made me think I should write a little something — and mine the Internets for all of your good ideas as well.

When she asked me about what to feed a picky eater, I totally drew a blank and thought of all the food Milo routinely dumps on the floor. His pattern was so erratic that just when I thought he was finished with his meal, because he’d tossed half of it on the floor and started asking for either “dow(n)” or “nigh(t) nigh(t),” he’d actually begin eating his meal again with gusto.

Feeding a picky toddler

Hmmm, but then as Andrea and I did the dance among supermarket aisles, running into each other every few minutes, I’d have a new suggestion each time I saw her.

So, friends out there, I’ll share with you my go-to toddler meals and snacks for my 17-month old and ask for yours in exchange. Help a mama out, please!

When the cupboards, fridge, and freezer are bare, these are the things I grab for Milo at the store:


  • Frozen waffles (I get the whole wheat, some big, some little with no accoutrements)
  • Scrambled eggs (currently on the outs)
  • French toast (Sunny makes a whole loaf at a time and freezes it)
  • Puffins (regular flavor or cinnamon)
  • Raisins
  • Banana (little dude eats one every day)


  • Almond butter and jelly sandwiches on hearty bread, cut small (we still fear the peanut)
  • Cheese sticks
  • Hard boiled eggs
  • Mixed berries: blackberries, blueberries, strawberries
  • Other fruit chopped up when time permits
  • Firm tofu, usually teriyaki flavor or “savory” whatever that means
  • Applesauce (organic, any flavor) mixed with baby cereal to improve scoopability


  • Just Peas, Just Corn, or Just Mixed Fruit from Just Tomatoes (freeze dried fruits and veggies with no added gunk — they can go stale quickly, so just open one package at a time until you go through it)
  • Veggie booty
  • Goldfish crackers and their Annie’s bunny equivalents
  • Whole wheat pita and hummus
  • Crispy Italian style breadsticks (more hummus for dipping)
  • Half a Puffet from Peas of Mind


  • Taquitos from Whole Foods (the reason for going to TWO grocery stores and why I deserved my chocolate cream treat)
  • Frozen organic peas (I don’t even cook them. Try handing over a cup of frozen ones if your child has rejected hot peas.)
  • Plain yogurt
  • Aidell’s teriyaki and pineapple meatballs (they last for about a week in the fridge, so once I open the package, you know what lunch is until they’re gone)
  • Whatever we’re eating
  • Black bean quesadillas
  • Small pieces of chicken or fish (sometimes he likes, sometimes he chucks on the floor)
  • Homemade guac (made by me and Holden, who likes food better if he makes it)
  • Crispy kale chips or cooked zucchini (whatever vegetable we’re having, he’ll usually try one or more before throwing on the floor
  • Amy’s frozen pizza bites with spinach (I heat them for Milo in the microwave and for myself in the toaster oven; Holden tries to eat them frozen because I think it’s strange. Go figure.)

Look down there in the comments for many ideas from readers with picky eaters.

More inspiration for lunches from Laptop Lunches (the best lunchbox for little ones, I hope to write about soon!), Kiddley lunchbox ideas, Vegan Lunchbox, 5 favorite convenience foods from ParentHacks, and VegCooking.com.

If you’re already packing a mean lunchbox, check out the contest at Vegan Lunchbox and win a copy of Jennifer’s new book: Vegan Lunch Box: 130 Amazing, Animal-Free Lunches Kids and Grown-Ups Will Love!.

I told you mine, now you tell me yours!