18 self-feeding dinner ideas for 1 year old babies and toddlers based on what my toddlers actually eat for dinner every night.
Dinner with a one year old doesn’t have to be overly complicated. For the most part your toddler can eat what you eat for dinner! You just might have to modify it, serve different sides, or serve a deconstructed verson.
I’m a mom of two toddlers and am sharing what my one-year-old is eating for dinner. Some of these meals are made just for him, but most are family-friendly dishes that would be great for the whole family.
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Toddler Self-Feeding Supplies
Having the right meal time supplies can make all the difference for toddler meal time!
Pillowfort Plates: All of the photos below are taken on these pillowfort plates. They are our go-to for meal time with my one and two year old toddlers. They are durable and affordable! If your toddler is prone to throwing their plate I also love the EZPZ Mini Mat (pictured above: Use code EZPZ25LOVE for 25% off $75+ at EZPZ)
EZTOTz fork and spoon: Our favorite for beginner eaters or babies and toddlers learning to use silverware. They are the perfect size and shape for their little hands and help them learn to use normal silverware.
Silicone Bib: Our favorite bibs that are great for keeping clothes clean during meal times. I like these ones particularly because they lay flat and don’t buckle like some of the other bibs we have tried. They are made of thicker and softer silicone.
Self-Feeding Toddler Dinner Ideas
Below are 18 self-feeding dinner ideas based on what my one year old actually eats for dinner! Most of these meals are family-friendly or are great quick and easy options when you need to feed your toddler dinner in a pinch.
Toddler Dinner Idea #1: Cheese Crisp
- Cheese crips & sides: cheese crisp made in the cast iron pan with sides of full-fat sour cream (or greek yogurt) for dipping, avocado, diced tomatoes, and banana. If your toddler is used to quesadillas try serving an open faced cheese crips to mix things up.
Self-Feeding Dinner Idea #2: Deconstructed Cobb Salad
- Deconstructed Cobb Salad: salads can still be a family-friendly meal if you serve a deconstructed salad without lettuce or with some lettuce on the side. All the toppings to a hearty salad can make a great toddler meal; turkey, avocado, bacon, boiled eggs, tomato, mozzarella, cucumber and ranch for dipping.
Toddler Dinner Idea #3: Deconstructed Breakfast Burrito
- Deconstructed Breakfast Burrito: we love having breakfast burritos for dinner and your young toddlers can still join in. Try smaller breakfast tacos or a deconstructed version; mini cut up quesadilla, scrambled eggs with chicken sausage, avocado, and mixed veggies on the side.
Self-Feeding Toddler Dinner Idea #4: Broccoli Grilled Cheese
- Broccoli Grilled Cheese: I love adding veggies to normal ‘kid food’ to make it just a little more nutritious (and my toddlers barely notice). Make a normal grilled cheese but throw some chopped up broccoli inside while cooking. Side of ketchup for dipping and raspberries.
Toddler Dinner Idea #5: Broccoli Cheese Quesadilla
- Broccoli Cheese Quesadilla: like a broccoli grilled cheese but inside of a tortilla, make a normal quesadilla and throw in some chopped broccoli while cooking. Side of avocado and quartered grapes.
Toddler Dinner Idea #6: Pesto Pasta w/ Veggies
- Pesto Pasta w/ Veggies: pasta dishes are another great place to add extra veggies; noodles with pesto and cooked veggies, avocado, and mandarin orange on the side.
Self-Feeding Meal Idea #7: Corn Dog
- Corn Dog: we love the veggie corndogs by MorningStar Farms. Chopped up for a 1 year old or left whole for an older toddler. Side of peas and thinly sliced red pear.
Toddler Dinner Idea #8: Cauliflower Tots
- Cauliflower Tots: tots made out of cauliflower instead of potatoes for a slightly healthier option (these are the Green Giant brand). Side of kiwi and whole milk string cheese cut up.
Toddler Meal Idea #9: Deconstructed Taco Bowl
- Deconstructed Taco Bowl: a deconstructed version of tacos or a taco bowl; ground beef, shredded cheese, sour cream (or greek yogurt), avocado, olives, and cherry tomatoes. Anything goes for taco bowls, add your families favorites sides and toppings!
Self-Feeding Dinner Idea #10: Chicken Sausage & Veggies
- Chicken Sausage & Veggies: sheet pan meals can be a quick and easily family-friendly dinner. We had sheet pan chicken sausage cooked with diced sweet potato and broccoli.
Toddler Dinner Idea #11: Mac & Cheese
- Mac & Cheese: macaroni and cheese can be a hearty dinner if you add in meat and veggies; try turkey or beef hot dogs (we like the Applegate Hot Dogs), peas, and carrots.
Toddler Dinner Idea #12: Whole Wheat Pasta Marinara
- Pasta Marinara: whole wheat pasta with marinara sauce (this could also be a good place to add in extra veggies like zucchini, bell pepper, or carrots), side of peas and mandarin orange.
Self-Feeding Dinner Idea #13: KidFresh Pizza
- KidFresh Pizza: for a quick frozen pizza dinner we like the KidFresh pizza with extra veggies in the crust. The perfect size for a toddler (or two). Side of ranch for dipping, carrots, and avocado.
Toddler Dinner Idea #14: Deconstructed Fajitas
- Deconstructed Fajitas: fajitas are another fun meal that can be easily served deconstructed; chicken, pepeprs and onions, sour cream for dipping, avocado, and shredded cheese.
Toddler Dinner Idea #15: Pesto Fish
- Pesto Fish: fish is a great dinner option for babies and young toddlers because it is so flaky and easy to eat with little to no teeth. Add a fun marinade or sauce to make it more appealing to young toddlers; fish cooked in pesto with sides of bell pepper, broccoli, and sweet potato.
Toddler Dinner Idea #16: Pizza Chicken
- Pizza Chicken: chicken baked with marinara sauce and topped with mozzarella cheese and pepperoni (try adding your toddler’s favorite pizza toppings to make it more fun!). Side of cooked carrots, salad, and mini sweet pepper.
Toddler Dinner Idea #17: Steak + Sides
- Steak w/ Sides: red meat can be a great source of iron for young toddlers, but if its too tough they are less likely to eat it. Choose tender options like rib-eye and filets and don’t cook for too long. We had ribeye, cauliflower mash and roasted broccoli.
Toddler Dinner Idea #18: Grilled Cheese & Broccoli Soup
- Grilled Cheese & Broccoli Soup: soup can be another fun option for toddler dinners. Add some grilled cheese for dipping so its easier for them to eat!
Let me know if you’ve tried any of these dinner ideas in the comments below, i’d love to hear from you!
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