9 Healthy Toddler Meals for Daycare

June 12, 2017

Thrifty Wife, Happy Life- 9 Healthy Toddler Meals to Pack for Daycare
One of the most challenging things about being a mom for me right now is figuring out what to pack Jack in his lunches for daycare.  The daycare we send Jack to does not provide meals for him.  This can be a good and bad thing.  It's good, because I get to be in control over what I pack for him.  He gets a variety from me and I know what kinds of foods he likes.  It's bad, because I am constantly trying to figure out what to pack.  I try my best to send him to school with a decent lunch.  I was flattered that his teacher said to me that Jack has the best lunches in the class.  It makes me wonder what the other parents send for their kids to eat, because I don't think I do anything special with his lunches.

Here are a few tips I like to stick to when coming up with meal ideas for my little guy.

1.) Feed your child what you eat- I try not to buy a whole lot of special foods for Jack.  I buy food that I can pack in his lunches, my lunches and my husband's.  I don't want him to only eat kid type food. 

2.) Give them a variety- I always try to pack Jack a protein, grain, fruit and vegetable.  This way it lets him try a little bit of everything.  I try to give him new foods to try along with something that I know he will eat, like fruit.

3.) Make it colorful- At my school, one thing I like about our food program is that they try to make the meals colorful.  For whatever reason it's appealing to the children and it makes them want to try all the food.  That's why I try to pack Jack colorful meals.  I like to send him with something green, something red, something orange... anything to make the meal more appealing to him.

4.) Pack left overs- This is perfect for saving money and time.  I always pack Jack left over dinner.  It saves me the time of thinking up a meal and it helps me get rid of the extra food from dinner.

5.) Don't give up on foods- It takes a child at least 7 to 15 times of trying a new food, before they can actually say they don't like it.  I have a hard time getting Jack to eat meat and vegetables, but that doesn't mean I stop feeding it to him.  I think that is one of the things parents do that can create a picky eater, they give up on foods they won't eat and only feed them foods they will eat.  I have worked with young children for a long time.  At one of my jobs, I remember a child who's parents packed them...no joke.... garlic bread and candy everyday.   That is an example of a parent who just wanted their kid to eat.  You can't give up on food, especially when they are little. 

Those are my tips. Here's a list of different meals that I packed for Jack over the last couple months.

Thrifty Wife, Happy Life- 9 Healthy Toddler Meals to Pack for Daycare
Main meal- Ravioli with marinara sauce
Veggie- Peas
Fruit- Peaches

Thrifty Wife, Happy Life- 9 Healthy Toddler Meals to Pack for Daycare
Main meal- Ham and cheese slices
Veggie- Avocado
Fruit- Strawberries

Thrifty Wife, Happy Life- 9 Healthy Toddler Meals to Pack for Daycare
Main meal- Turkey and cheese
Veggie- no veggies, extra fruit
Fruit- Blueberries and peaches

Thrifty Wife, Happy Life- 9 Healthy Toddler Meals to Pack for Daycare
Main meal- Gyro meat, cheese and pita
Veggie- no veggie
Fruit- Raspberries

Thrifty Wife, Happy Life- 9 Healthy Toddler Meals to Pack for Daycare
Main meal- Hamburger with whole wheat egg noodles
Veggie- Vegetable medley
Fruit- Grapes

Thrifty Wife, Happy Life- 9 Healthy Toddler Meals to Pack for Daycare
Main meal- Tortellini with marinara sauce
Veggie- Peas and carrots
Fruit- Watermelon

Thrifty Wife, Happy Life- 9 Healthy Toddler Meals to Pack for Daycare
Main meal- Scrambled eggs
Veggie- Mixed vegetables
Fruit- Blueberries

Thrifty Wife, Happy Life- 9 Healthy Toddler Meals to Pack for Daycare
Main meal- Fettuccini
Veggie- Peas and carrots
Fruit- strawberries

Thrifty Wife, Happy Life- 9 Healthy Toddler Meals to Pack for Daycare
Main meal- Ham and Cheese
Veggie- No veggie
Fruit- Blueberries

Thrifty Wife, Happy Life- 9 Healthy Toddler Meals to Pack for Daycare

For snack, I keep it very simple.  I like to pack him yogurt or apple sauce pouches.  I also like nurtri-grain bars for his am snack.  It's easiest for me to grab something and go in the morning.

I also pack him 2 cups of milk and 1 water for the day.  I know I'm not perfect, I noticed that I don't pack a vegetable every time, but I do my best to mix it up and introduce my little guy to as many different foods as I can.  So far pasta, cheese and fruits are his favorites.  (He takes after his mommy)

Let me know if you have any meal ideas that your little ones love.


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