As a busy mother, people often ask me what I feed my toddler daughter Elle in a typical week. Like the rest of us, Elle loves her treats, but for the most part we try and stick to nutritious options for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Elle’s tastes and habits have evolved as she transitions into her toddler years, but thankfully she has always been an adventurous eater. She loves trying bites of my food (even salads!) and joins in eating whatever I’m cooking up for the family.
When I need a helping hand…
Sometimes I just don’t have time to cook—and sometimes my husband and I just need a night out without our darling daughter. When this happens, I love serving Elle Nurture Life. Out of the multiple food delivery services we’ve tried, Nurture Life is our favorite by far. With weekly menu updates and the ability to hand-select all meals, Elle has been able to expand her palate while enjoying her favorite dishes on a regular basis.
Nurture Life gives me peace of mind that even if I’m in a pinch, I’ll be able to serve Elle a well-balanced meal. The meals are easy to freeze, so whenever my husband and I have date night, I just pull a meal out of the freezer, knowing that Elle will enjoy her dinner even without us there to cook.
Eating with Elle
Elle generally enjoys three meals a day with morning and afternoon snacks in between. While she eats meals in her high chair, Elle typically consumes snacks on-the-go or at the coffee table. In an average week, Elle eats Nurture Life meals 1-3 times (typically for dinner), but she also enjoys a variety of breakfast, lunch and dinner options. Here I’ve broken down what these look like and a few snack ideas you can use with your toddler!
Elle wakes up ready to chow down right away. Strawberries and blueberries are her favorite fruits, so I almost always add those to her meal along with a glass of whole milk. For the base of the meal, here are some of our toddler-approved breakfast go-to’s:
- Yogurt + Multigrain Joe O’s (from Trader Joes) + banana
- 3 ingredient pancakes (1 egg, 1 banana, pinch of cinnamon) + strawberries + blueberries
- Oatmeal with banana + strawberries + blueberries
- Scrambled eggs + avocado + strawberries + banana
- Organic Silver Dollar Pancakes (from Trader Joes) + blueberries + strawberries
- Multigrain Toaster Waffle (from Trader Joes) + bananas + strawberries
Other Breakfast Ideas: bagel + cream cheese, peanut butter toast, cinnamon + butter toast, cream of wheat, blueberry muffins, and chocolate chip banana bread.
Elle likes an early lunch around 11-11:30 am. For a calcium boost, we were told to incorporate more dairy and cheese into Elle’s diet, so I generally try to do that during this meal. Elle enjoys this along with her most recent obsession—dips. Hummus and a Spinach-Kale Dip from Trader Joe’s are two of her tops, but here are some other meals she likes:
- Shredded rotisserie chicken (or turkey) + organic string cheese + avocado + strawberries
- Cheese and/or chicken quesadillas + avocado + tortilla chips
- Pita + hummus + Spinach/Kale Dip (from Trader Joe’s) + carrots + strawberries
- Toasted cheese with mozzarella + clementine + strawberries
- Organic string cheese + carrots + hummus + avocado + strawberries
- Pita pizza + carrots + blueberries
Other Lunch Ideas: Peanut butter + jelly sandwich, Nurture Life meals, sliced turkey or other deli meat, almond butter sandwich and soup (so messy!).
Around 5 pm, Elle is ready for dinner, and she loves to eat a variety of veggies and protein (essentially anything but salmon). If I have the time, I’ll make myself and her a healthy meal, including some of these fun and easy options:
- Chicken burrito (deconstructed) + avocado + corn tortilla chips
- Buttered pasta + broccoli + clementine
- Nurture Life Meal: Chicken Bites + Mashed Yams + Green Beans
- Cheeseburger + sweet potato fries + avocado
- Pasta (turkey lasagna) + peas + broccoli
- Nurture Life Meal: Chicken Meatballs + Pasta + Cauliflower + Broccoli
Other Dinner Ideas: Rotisserie chicken, baked chicken, macaroni and cheese, pasta with tomato sauce, roasted carrots, spinach tortellini, ravioli, BBQ chicken, steak, shrimp, turkey burgers, spaghetti and meatballs, and turkey meatloaf.
Elle loves her snacks, and I know she’s not alone. She typically has two a day, so I always make sure to have a variety of quick items on hand, including: organic string cheese, Multigrain Joe O’s, Whole Foods cheese crackers (in the shape of ducks), organic vanilla animal crackers, sliced apples, clementines, dried cranberries, carrot sticks and edamame.
We like to mix things up with a variety of textures and flavors, no matter if that comes from pre-made Nurture Life meals or different snacks from our favorite grocery stores. Not every toddler has the same tastes, but I hope you can find inspiration for your kid’s meals in Elle’s weekly diet!