Baby food lunch

15 Easy Lunch Ideas for 1 Year Olds (For Home or to Pack!)

These lunch ideas for 1 year olds will give you inspiration the next time you want to pack a healthy toddler lunch at home or to pack for daycare or preschool. So whether your baby just turned one or you have a more experienced eater, need ideas for at home or to pack, these toddler lunch box ideas will help!

Lunch Ideas for 1 Year Olds

Coming up with toddler lunch ideas for 1 year olds is a challenge, to put it lightly! It’s so hard to know how hungry they’ll be, what food they’ll actually want to eat, how they’ll do with textures—and simply to come up with the ideas. To help, this list has easy ideas that you can serve at home or pack for daycare or preschool.

Food for 1 Year Old

One year olds are in a very specific phase of being able to eat more than they did as babies, but are still not able to chew everything that older toddlers and kids can. They are also notorious for having appetites that can range widely from day to day, so these ideas take both of those into accounts. The options here are easy to pack, but are also nutritious and filled with a range of textures and flavors.

Lunchbox Ideas for  One Year Olds at Daycare

Any of these lunches can be packed to send to daycare or preschool. Or just to take on the go. I have a few lunchboxes and thermoses that I love, so see which might work best for you in your circumstances.

TIP: As always, adjust these toddler lunch ideas based on your one year old’s chewing ability, preferences, and allergies. Which is to say: Iff you see something that isn’t cut or prepared the way you know your toddler would need it to be cut or served, you of course have full permission to change it. I did my best here to visually show you suggested serving options, but you may need to adjust.

1. Easy Snack Box

I love muffin lunches since they allow me to make the main component ahead and then add in simple sides. This one has fresh blackberries, freeze-dried strawberries, O cereal, and Vegan Banana Muffins. (Not every lunch has to have every single food group…do your best with what you have!)


2. Pesto Pasta and Peas with Grapes and Fruit Leather

Having store bought pesto or homemade pesto on hand is an easy pasta sauce that’s flavorful and packed with nutrition—especially when paired with peas—but also kid friendly! Served with halved grapes and fruit leather, this is an easy and fun lunch.

3. Carrot Cake Muffins with Cottage Cheese

Muffins like my Carrot Cake Muffins are a great lunch option, as are Roasted Carrot Fries. We love both cold or slightly warm, so you have options when serving them at home or packed in a lunchbox. Pack a spoon for the cottage cheese if sending to daycare!

4. Easy Breakfast for Lunch

Pair Veggie Muffins with hard-cooked eggs and berries for a super easy and fully make-ahead kids lunch idea.

This super simple idea pairs quickly cooked chicken with roasted sweet potatoes and zucchini for a super easy make-ahead lunch. I love this one since it’s easy to adjust for an adult’s lunch too!


6. Veggie Grilled Cheese, Corn and Applesauce

Adding spinach to grilled cheese is a simple way to increase nutrition in a kid staple. (Just use the filling from my Spinach Quesadillas spread on bread and prepare like any other grilled cheese.) Pair with warmed frozen corn and an applesauce pouch.

TIP: See below for the recipe!

Incorporating broccoli right into the pasta sauce is a simple way to serve it up to one year olds. Try it with a fun pasta shape like stars and paired with simple sides like puffs, berries, and thawed frozen veggies.

8. Easy Finger Foods Lunch

Eggs, Roasted Butternut Squash, fruit and avocado is a super simple lunch idea. I often make the squash and eggs ahead and then warm very briefly to serve or pack. You can lightly rub a little lime or lemon juice on avocado to keep it from turning brown if packing in a lunch box.

9. Meatballs, Pasta and Fruit

My Chicken Meatballs with Sweet Potato are an easy make-ahead protein option that are super yummy and easy for one year olds to chew. Pair with pasta or a grain and fruit to round out the lunch.

10. Soft Roasted Chickpea Lunch

Pair Salty-Sweet Cinnamon Roasted Chickpeas with diced cheese, kiwi, and crackers for a super simple finger foods lunch for a one year old.

Make pizza for lunch a whole lot easier by starting with a tortilla. These are soft and easy to chew (use tortillas labeled “soft” for the best texture for little ones) and yummy—and boast a veggie punch from the pizza sauce.

12. Easy Hummus Lunch Box

I love using dips to help the kids get more interested in foods they may not love and this one year old lunch is a good example. Here, I paired hummus with bread strips, thinly sliced pepperoni, and sauteed green beans. Plus mini animal crackers and fruit.

I never thought I’d find it necessary to make simple sandwiches ahead, but these freezable PB&Js are so handy to have on hand! They thaw in a lunchbox and just streamline packing. You can use sunflower seed butter if needed to make them allergy-free.

These baked fritters are so good in the summer when there’s too much zucchini, or really any time of the year when you want a make-ahead lunch option with a veggie in the mix. I like to serve them diced with a dip like ranch, ketchup, salsa, or even bbq sauce.

You can make this with store bought dough or homemade and it only requires two other ingredients. It’s a fun lunch to make at home or to send in a lunchbox. I like to cut it into strips or cubes to ensure it’s easy for a one year old to chew. Here I paired it with matchstick cut apples and sliced cucumbers.

Healthy Sides for Lunches

If you need some ideas for what to pack with a lunch, these healthy snack options from the store are super easy options.

Best Lunch Boxes for Kids

All of the lunchboxes shown here are in my guide to lunchboxes here.

If you have any questions about food for one year old’s or any of the lunches shown here, please comment below.

I appreciate all feedback and hearing from you all—it always helps to make my content so much better!

Prep Time 10 minutes

Cook Time 6 minutes

Total Time 16 minutes

Author Amy Palanjian

Cuisine American

Course lunch

Calories 157kcal

Servings 2

Spinach Grilled Cheese
  • ▢ 2 cups baby spinach (loosely packed)
  • ▢ 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • ▢ 1 tablespoon cream cheese
  • ▢ 1/4 teaspoon cumin
  • ▢ 4 pieces whole grain bread
  • ▢ 1 tablespoon butter
  • Place the spinach, cheese, cream cheese, and cumin in a food processor or blender. Blend until smooth, stopping to scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed.

  • Spread a thin layer of the spinach mixture onto 2 of the slices of bread. (You may have leftovers.) Add the second bread slices on top to make a sandwich. Add a thin coat of butter to the outside of each sandwich.

  • Warm a skillet over medium heat. When warm, cook each sandwich for 2-3 minutes per side or until warmed through and melty.

  • Serve warm in slices or cubes.

  • You can store any leftover spinach mixture in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-5 days to make additional sandwiches.

Here are other simple toddler lunch ideas to try too:

  • Easy Snack Box with mini muffins, diced fruit, freeze-dried fruit, and dry cereal
  • Pesto pasta with peas, fruit, and fruit leather
  • Carrot Cake Muffins, Roasted Carrots, cottage cheese, halved grapes
  • Veggie Muffins, hard-cooked eggs, raspberries
  • Chicken and Sweet Potato Bowl with diced pineapple
  • Broccoli Pesto Pasta with puffs and fruit
  • Finger food lunch of scrambled eggs, roasted squash, avocado, berries
  • Pasta and peas with butter, Chicken Sweet Potato Meatballs, and clementine
  • Soft Roasted Chickpeas, cheese, kiwi, cheddar bunny crackers
  • Pizza Quesadilla with berries
  • Hummus Lunch with hummus, bread, pepperoni, animal crackers, and fruit
  • Make-Ahead PB&J
  • Baked Zucchini Fritters and tomatoes
  • Pesto Pizza with sliced cucumbers

Calories: 157kcal, Carbohydrates: 4g, Protein: 9g, Fat: 12g, Saturated Fat: 8g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 3g, Cholesterol: 38mg, Sodium: 241mg, Potassium: 220mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 1g, Vitamin A: 3209IU, Vitamin C: 9mg, Calcium: 251mg, Iron: 1mg

Tried this recipe?Rate in the comments and tag @yummytoddlerfood on IG!

6 Methods for Easy Packing for Packing Easy, Healthy Meals

Take the fuss out of coming up with lunch box ideas for school or daycare with 6 simple methods to customize every which way for your kid’s preferences.

Healthy Lunch box Ideas

Coming up with daily ideas for packing kids lunch boxes is no easy feat, but narrowing the vast options down to five simple methods can go a long way towards making it easier. I hope these ideas help you pack nutritious school lunches that your kids enjoy eating!

Lunch Box Idea #1: Kid’s Cheese Plate

While it may be true that cheese plates are a staple of adult parties, the concept can also make packing school lunches easier!

Combine cheese, crackers, fruit, nuts, veggies, and/or sliced meats for an easy-to-eat lunch that toddlers will love. Vary the type of each component for endless variations on this idea to pack all year long.

Lunch Box Ideas #2: Yummy Sandwiches

If you are stuck in a turkey and cheese rut, try these ideas, either packed cold or warm in a thermos. You can pack them assembled or deconstructed with the elements side by side depending on the age of your kiddo and their chewing ability.

  1. Cream cheese and jam
  2. Cheddar cheese and apple butter
  3. Salami and cheese
  4. Hummus and sliced cucumbers
  5. Ham and cheese
  6. Sliced hard-cooked eggs and cheese
  7. Sunbutter and jam
  8. Chicken cutlets or tenders and lettuce
  9. Tuna or salmon salad
  10. Sliced meatballs with cheese

TIP: You never know what the kids will like so don’t “yuck” their “yum”. My oldest likes lettuce and cheese sandwiches—why not?!

Lunch Box Idea #3: Breakfast for Lunch

Who says breakfast foods can’t served for other meals? Not me! And they are often ones that kids love, and are easy to pack. Try these ideas for healthy school lunches:

  1. Overnight oats
  2. Leftover pancakes with maple syrup or sandwiched with nut or seed butter or cream cheese.
  3. Muffins with a side of fruit and cheese.
  4. Hard-cooked eggs with fruit, veggies, and crackers
  5. Egg muffins with simple sides
  6. A snack box with dry cereal, fruit, veggies, and a simple protein source like a cheese stick or turkey lunchmeat
  7. Banana bread with simple sides and milk
  8. Scrambled eggs with cheese in a thermos with simple sides
  9. French Toast Sticks with nut or seed butter and syrup
  10. Breakfast burrito

TIP: I love using a kids thermos to pack warm foods for school and preschool.

Kids Lunch Box Idea #4: Pasta

Pasta is easy to make ahead and in bulk, and it packs up so well in a thermos. Add whichever simple sides your kids like to these go-to lunch ideas for pasta. You can also swap in any other grains in place of pasta too!

  1. Pasta and Peas with Spinach Pesto
  2. Pasta with Broccoli Pesto
  3. Noodles with Peanut Sauce (use Sunbutter if needed for peanut-free)
  4. Cauliflower Mac and Cheese
  5. Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese
  6. Sausage Pasta with Green Beans
  7. Broccoli Pasta
  8. Stir Fry Noodles with Veggies
  9. Citrus Noodles with Shrimp
  10. Boxed mac and cheese with broccoli or peas

TIP: I often set aside some dinner for the next’s days lunch, then simply warm it up and pack it for lunch in a thermos.

Kids Lunchbox Concept #5: Snacky Lunch

You can assemble your little one’s favorite snacks into a nutritious and balanced lunch very easily if you cover the food groups. Try to include at least one carbohydrate and one protein, then 1-3 produce options.

  • Complex carbohydrates that we like include whole grain crackers, flat bread, toast, dry whole grain cereal, a granola bar, or whole grain pretzels.
  • Favorite proteins are sliced meat or poultry, hard-boiled egg, cheese, beans, edamame, nuts, puffed or roasted chick peas, seeds, or nut butter.
  • Good fruits for lunch boxes include strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, peaches, watermelon, cantaloupe, sliced kiwi, grapes, small bananas, dried fruit and freeze-dried fruit.
  • Easy veggies for kids lunches include cucumbers, snap peas, roasted zucchini, carrot sticks, Roasted Carrot Fries, cherry tomatoes, thawed frozen peas, thawed frozen corn, and whatever else your kids enjoy!

TIP: Halve grapes as needed for little kids.

Healthy Lunch Box Ideas #6: Leftovers

If you have a kids thermos and pack leftovers with simple and yummy sides, it’s a great way to use up the food you have and nourish the kids. Try not to pack foods that the kids didn’t eat the first time around and check in with them when packing to make sure the lunch sounds good to them! Some leftovers we love to pack:

  • Quesadillas
  • Pasta
  • Chili
  • Pasta and meatballs
  • Chicken soup
  • Pancakes or waffles

P.S. Here are my best lunch boxes for kids.

I’d love to hear what your kids like to take for school lunch so please comment below to share!


Baby Food Recipes - 10 Answers

For dads and moms who are in awe of their children, nutrition is one of the main parental instincts, and it's great that advanced technology allows you to cook healthy and tasty with minimal time. For example, I often cook in the oven from ready-made Tyoma children's meat purees. I’m not a chef, to be honest, but I can watch Jamie Oliveira or Hell’s Kitchen with inspiration, flip through books about how French children don’t spit food, and even tried delivery of grocery sets with step-by-step recipes.

But most of the time we have simple, idle food on our table, which I try to give a little "raisin". If you have favorite recipes with baby food, please share))))

There are a few of our dinners in the picture.

In the summer they have become more satisfying, in the winter after dinner we have an hour and a half after dinner, and now they walk for another three hours, so calories are consumed, and at night we eat milk and pastries, or a sandwich with raspberry tea.

These are the foods I often cook with:

  1. Cutlets from children's puree - beef and oatmeal.

You will need:
50 gr. milk
½ can of mashed meat (I use Tema, but it's up to you)
½ carrots
¼ onions

3 tbsp. Spoons of oatmeal

½ egg

salt to taste
sometimes chopped parsley or dill

Grate onions and carrots, on a coarse grater, add oatmeal, meat puree, then add milk and beaten egg, mix. Then I put cutlets on a silicone pizza mold with a spoon (I get 3 things from these products), bake for 15 minutes at 180 degrees.

  1. Potato casserole with meat.

Boil potatoes, smash them into puree, add milk and an egg, then send them to a silicone mold in the same way, laying out: a layer of potatoes, a layer of meat) I bake for 10 minutes at 180 degrees.

  1. Meat puree and semolina soufflé

You will need:

1 jar of any homogeneous baby meat puree

2 tbsp. spoons of semolina

4 tbsp. spoons of milk

1 egg


I mixed the puree with semolina, poured in milk, beat the egg and added it in the same way, mixed everything, leave it to infuse for 15-20 minutes, then pour it into silicone molds I can add broccoli or cauliflower for baking (after boiling it), and you can add whatever your heart desires) we just now have our cabbage ripened, before that I added a piece of carrot.

  1. Pate with vegetables.

You will need:

BANK MAREM with an offal
½ carrots

½ zucchini

½ egg 9000 900 Preparation:

Cut carrots and zucchini into pieces, grated onions, add vegetables to canned meat, add salt to your taste, add olive oil and also on a silicone mold and in the oven for 10-15 minutes.

Learn more