As a parent, I know firsthand how challenging it can be to come up with dinner ideas for 2 year olds. They are at that age where they are starting to develop their taste preferences, and it can be tough to find meals that are both nutritious and pleasing to their palate.
That’s why I’ve compiled this list of 32 dinner ideas for 2 year olds. These meals are not only easy to make but also include a variety of flavors and textures that will keep your little one happy and healthy. So, let’s dive in and discover some delicious recipes that your toddler will love!
Best Plates for 2 Year Olds
Toddlers at this age are becoming more independent and want to do things on their own, which means they need plates that are easy to handle and promote self-feeding. But with so many options available in the market, finding the best plates for your little one can be overwhelming.
Choose BPA-free and non-toxic materials that won’t break easily if dropped or thrown. Look for plates with suction cups on the bottom to prevent them from sliding around on the table during meal times. You’ll also want to look for plates that are dishwasher-safe and easy to clean, as toddlers tend to make a mess while eating.
Favorite Toddler Dinner Ideas for 2 Year Olds
It’s not easy to come up with new and exciting meals that will keep them interested and nourished. However, it’s important to remember that toddlers are still developing their taste buds and need a variety of nutrients for healthy growth. Here are some of our favorite family-friendly toddler dinner ideas for 2-year-olds. If your toddler is 1 year old check these 40 Easy Toddler Dinners for 1-2 Year Olds
English Muffin Pizza
English muffin pizza is a delicious and easy-to-make dinner idea for 2-year-olds. This simple dish involves toasting an English muffin, spreading tomato sauce over it, and topping it with shredded cheese and any other desired toppings like sliced pepperoni or chopped vegetables. Then, bake in the oven until the cheese is melted and bubbly.
Not only is this recipe quick and easy to make, but it’s also a great way to get children involved in cooking. Let your little ones help spread the tomato sauce or sprinkle on their favorite toppings. They will love having a hand in making their dinner! Plus, English muffin pizzas are customizable so you can cater to even the pickiest of eaters by letting them choose their toppings.
Pasta salad is a great dinner idea for 2-year-olds. It’s easy to prepare and can be made in advance, which makes it perfect for busy parents who want to have a healthy meal on the table in no time. Additionally, pasta salad is versatile and can be customized to suit your child’s taste preferences.
To make a basic pasta salad, cook your preferred type of pasta according to package instructions. Then, toss it with some chopped vegetables like cucumbers, tomatoes, or bell peppers. You can also add some protein such as chicken or tofu cubes if you’d like. Finally, mix in some dressing such as Italian or ranch and chill the salad until ready to serve.
If your child has specific dietary needs or allergies, there are many alternatives that you can use. Gluten-free pasta is widely available and can be substituted for regular pasta if needed.
Deconstructed Chicken Fajitas
Deconstructed chicken fajitas are a perfect dinner idea for 2-year-olds. These delicious and healthy meals can be prepared quickly, and they allow children to explore new flavors and textures. By deconstructing the fajitas, you can make it easy for your child to pick and choose what they want to eat, which is especially important if they’re a picky eater.
The first step in making deconstructed chicken fajitas is to cook the chicken breast until it’s no longer pink inside. Then slice the cooked chicken into small pieces that are easy for your child to manage. Next, cut up some red and green peppers and onion into bite-sized pieces. You can also add other vegetables like mushrooms or zucchini if your child enjoys them. Separately warm up some tortillas on a skillet or in the microwave.
Chicken Stir Fry
Chicken stir fry is a great dinner option for 2-year-olds. It’s easy to prepare, packed with veggies and tastes delicious. Plus, it’s a versatile dish that can be customized to your little one’s taste preferences.
To make chicken stir fry for your 2-year-old, start by cooking some diced chicken in a pan until it’s browned on all sides. Then add in sliced carrots, bell peppers, and broccoli florets and sauté for a few minutes until the veggies are tender but still crispy. Next, add in some garlic and ginger for added flavor before pouring in some soy sauce and sesame oil to bring everything together. Serve the stir fry over rice or noodles for a complete meal.
If your little one isn’t a fan of certain vegetables or spices, feel free to swap them out or omit them altogether.
Quesadillas are a perfect dinner idea for 2-year-olds. They are quick and easy to make, and they can be customized to suit any taste preference. Quesadillas are also a great way to sneak in some extra veggies or protein into your child’s diet without them even noticing.
To make a basic quesadilla, all you need is a tortilla, cheese, and your child’s favorite filling. You can use anything from chicken or beef to beans or vegetables. Simply place the filling on one half of the tortilla, sprinkle with cheese, and fold the other half over. Cook in a pan until the cheese is melted and the tortilla is crispy.
Quesadillas can be served as is or with some sides such as salsa, guacamole, or sour cream. They are also easy to cut into small pieces for little hands to handle.
Hamburgers are a classic meal that most children love. Not only is it easy to make, but it can also be customized to suit your child’s taste buds. Here are some dinner ideas for 2-year-olds that involve hamburgers.
To start with, try making mini hamburgers by using small buns and patties. This will not only be easier for your toddler to hold but will also make the meal more fun for them. You can add some cheese or veggies such as lettuce and tomatoes to increase nutritional value. Another idea is to serve the burger alongside sweet potato fries or roasted vegetables such as carrots and broccoli.
For a healthier twist, you can substitute beef with turkey or chicken. This will reduce the amount of fat in the meal while still keeping it flavorful. You can also add some mashed avocado instead of mayonnaise which is rich in healthy fats and vitamins.
Beef Bulgogi Bowl
Beef Bulgogi Bowl is a perfect dinner option for 2-year-olds who love to explore new flavors. This dish is packed with nutrition and flavor, which will make your toddler’s mealtime enjoyable. Beef Bulgogi Bowl is a Korean-style dish made with marinated beef, rice, vegetables, and sauces.
The secret behind the deliciousness of this dish lies in the marinade. The beef is marinated in soy sauce, sesame oil, garlic, ginger, and other spices that give it a sweet and savory flavor. You can adjust the spice level according to your toddler’s preference. Serve it over steamed rice with some cooked vegetables like carrots or broccoli on the side. You can even add an egg on top for extra protein!
Chicken nuggets are a popular choice for dinner among 2-year-olds. They are easy to prepare, bite-sized, and delicious. However, it is important to ensure that the chicken nuggets you serve your little one are healthy and nutritious.
Instead of opting for frozen chicken nuggets, try making them at home using fresh ingredients. You can use boneless, skinless chicken breast or thigh meat to make the nuggets. Cut the meat into small pieces and coat them in a mixture of breadcrumbs, Parmesan cheese, and spices before baking them in the oven until golden brown. Serve with some steamed vegetables or sweet potato fries for a healthier meal.
For an even healthier version of chicken nuggets, try coating them in almond flour instead of breadcrumbs. Almond flour is high in protein and healthy fats which will keep your little one feeling full for longer periods.
Bacon & Spinach Orzo
This dish is not only delicious but also packed with nutrients that your little one needs. The combination of bacon, spinach, and orzo pasta creates a balanced meal that will keep your child satisfied until bedtime.
Start by cooking the orzo according to package instructions. Meanwhile, cook the bacon in a pan until crispy. Remove the bacon from the pan and leave behind some of the fat. Add chopped garlic and onions to the pan along with a generous handful of baby spinach. Cook until wilted before adding in the cooked orzo. Crumble in the bacon pieces and stir everything together.
Your 2-year-old will love this flavorful dish – it’s an excellent way to introduce them to new flavors while still providing a familiar texture they’ll enjoy.
Turkey & Cheese Melt
The Turkey & Cheese Melt is an easy and tasty option for your little ones. This recipe includes protein-rich turkey slices and calcium-packed cheese, making it a well-rounded meal for growing toddlers.
To make the Turkey & Cheese Melt, start by toasting some whole wheat bread slices until they are golden brown. Then, arrange some sliced turkey on top of the bread and sprinkle shredded cheddar cheese over the turkey. Next, broil in the oven until the cheese is melted and bubbly. Serve with some fresh fruit or veggies on the side for added nutrients.
Not only is this meal quick to make, but it’s also budget-friendly and will surely satisfy even picky eaters.
Fish with rice + broccoli
This meal is packed with nutrients that are essential for your child’s growth and development. Plus, it’s easy to make and can be prepared in under 30 minutes.
To start, choose a mild white fish such as cod or tilapia. Cut the fish into small pieces and season lightly with salt and pepper. Cook the fish in a non-stick pan over medium heat until it is fully cooked through. While the fish is cooking, prepare brown rice according to the package instructions. Once done, mix in steamed broccoli florets for added fiber and vitamins. Once everything is ready, serve a small portion of each component on your child’s plate.
Lasagna is one of the most popular dishes in the world and for a good reason. It is hearty, filling, and full of flavor. With its layers of pasta, cheese, and meat sauce, it can easily satisfy any appetite. But did you know that lasagna can also be an excellent dinner idea for 2-year-olds? Yes! Lasagna is not only delicious but also nutritious.
One of the best things about lasagna is that you can customize it to suit your toddler’s taste buds. You can add veggies like spinach or broccoli to make it healthier or leave out any ingredients that they don’t like. For picky eaters who are hesitant to try new foods, lasagna might just do the trick as they’ll love its cheesy goodness.
Pizza Crescent Roll
Pizza crescent rolls are a fun and easy meal that is perfect for dinner ideas for 2 year olds. They are also an excellent way to get your little one involved in the cooking process, as they can help you roll out the dough and add toppings.
To make pizza crescent rolls, start by rolling out crescent roll dough into triangles. Then, add your favorite pizza toppings such as tomato sauce, cheese, pepperoni, and veggies onto each triangle. Roll the triangles up into crescents and bake them in the oven until golden brown.
Not only do these pizza crescent rolls make a tasty meal for your child, but they are also great for leftovers or freezing for later use. Plus, with just a few simple ingredients and steps involved in making them, this is an easy recipe that even busy parents can enjoy making with their little ones. Read Fun Toddler Breakfast Ideas for One Year Olds
Mac & Cheese w/ Peas and Carrots
Mac & Cheese is a classic comfort food that many people enjoy. But did you know it can be a nutritious meal for your little one too? By adding peas and carrots to the dish, you’re providing your child with essential vitamins and minerals that they need for healthy growth and development. Plus, it’s a great way to sneak some extra veggies into their diet.
When preparing Mac & Cheese w Peas and Carrots for your 2-year-old, make sure to use whole-grain pasta and low-fat cheese. This will provide them with fiber and calcium without the added saturated fat. You can also add some protein by using chicken or turkey breast pieces or even tofu cubes. It’s important to introduce different flavors at this age so your child develops a diverse palate which will encourage healthy eating habits later on in life.
Rainbow Veggie Tacos
Make mealtime more exciting for your little one by introducing colorful dishes, such as Rainbow Veggie Tacos. These tacos are not only visually appealing but also packed with nutrients that your child needs for healthy growth and development.
To make these tacos, you’ll need a variety of veggies in different colors. Some great options include red bell peppers, yellow squash, green zucchini, purple cabbage, and orange carrots. You can sauté or roast the vegetables until they’re tender and seasoned with some taco seasoning for added flavor. Then warm up some mini tortillas or lettuce cups to serve as a base for the veggies and add some sliced avocado or guacamole on top for a creamy touch.
Chicken Parmesan is a classic and mouth-watering Italian dish that will have your toddlers asking for seconds. This dish consists of breaded chicken cutlets topped with tomato sauce, melted mozzarella cheese, and grated Parmesan cheese. It’s no wonder why it’s such a hit among kids!
To make this family favorite dish perfect for your 2-year-old, you can adjust the recipe by using smaller portions of chicken and cutting them into bite-sized pieces. You can also use homemade tomato sauce with less salt to ensure that your toddler is getting all the nutrients they need without the added preservatives. Lastly, swap out regular spaghetti with whole-grain pasta to add fiber to their diet.
Your little one will enjoy devouring this meal while also getting a healthy dose of protein, vitamins, and minerals.
Baked beans are a versatile and nutritious food that can be enjoyed as a side dish or main course for dinner. For parents looking for dinner ideas for 2 year olds, baked beans are an excellent choice because they are easy to make, budget-friendly, and packed with protein and fiber.
To make baked beans at home, start by soaking dried beans overnight in water. Drain the water and place the beans in a pot with fresh water. Add chopped onions, garlic, tomatoes, and your choice of seasonings such as paprika or cumin. Bring the mixture to a boil and then reduce heat to simmer until the beans are tender.
Once the baked beans are cooked through, you can serve them alongside grilled chicken or fish for a balanced meal that your little one will love. Alternatively, you can mix the baked beans with cooked pasta or rice to create a tasty vegetarian entree.
Corn dogs are a delicious and easy dinner option for 2-year-olds. These classic carnival treats are made by dipping hot dogs into cornmeal batter and deep-frying them until golden brown. The result is a crispy, savory snack that even the pickiest eaters will love.
To make corn dogs at home, start by heating some vegetable oil in a large pot or deep fryer. While the oil is heating up, mix some cornmeal, flour, salt, sugar, and baking powder in a bowl. In another bowl, whisk together an egg and some milk before adding it to the dry ingredients to form a thick batter. Dip each hot dog into the batter until it’s fully coated before carefully placing it into the hot oil to fry.
Serve your homemade corn dogs with ketchup or mustard for dipping and watch as your little ones devour this tasty meal.
Deconstructed Greek Bowl
Deconstructed Greek Bowl is an excellent dinner idea for 2 year olds, as it offers a colorful and nutritious meal that is easy to prepare. It consists of a variety of ingredients such as cooked rice, cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, avocado slices, feta cheese crumbles, and grilled chicken or tofu cubes. The ingredients are arranged in separate bowls or plates to allow children to explore tastes and textures while encouraging independent eating.
The Deconstructed Greek Bowl is packed with nutritional benefits that can help support your child’s growth and development. Rice provides essential carbohydrates needed for energy while proteins from chicken or tofu promote muscle growth and repair. Tomatoes offer important nutrients like vitamin C and potassium that aid immune function while avocado slices provide healthy fats necessary for brain development. The combination of these ingredients makes this meal both delicious and healthy for your little ones.
Spaghetti squash is a delicious and healthy vegetable that is perfect for dinner ideas for 2 year olds. Not only is it low in calories, but it’s also high in fiber and vitamins A and C. Plus, its unique texture makes it a fun food for little ones to explore with their fingers.
One easy way to prepare spaghetti squash is by roasting it in the oven. Simply cut the squash lengthwise, remove the seeds, brush with olive oil, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for about 45 minutes or until tender. Once cooked, use a fork to scrape out the “spaghetti” strands from the inside of the squash.
Another great way to serve spaghetti squash is by tossing it with tomato sauce or pesto. These sauces not only add flavor but also provide additional nutrients for your child.
Tomato Soup + Grilled Cheese
Tomato soup and grilled cheese are a classic combination that makes for the perfect cozy dinner. This meal is not only delicious, but it’s also easy to make and kid-friendly, making it an excellent dinner option for families with two-year-olds.
Tomato soup is loaded with vitamins and minerals that are essential for growing toddlers. Tomatoes have high levels of vitamin C, potassium, and antioxidants which help boost their immune system while protecting their body from harmful radicals. Grilled cheese provides calcium and protein which are necessary building blocks for healthy bones and muscles in young children.
Preparing this meal is quick and straightforward; all you need is some bread slices, cheese slices of your choice, butter or margarine spread on bread slices toasting in a skillet or grill pan until golden brown on both sides while heating canned tomato soup on the stove.
This meal is quick, easy to make, and sure to please even the pickiest eaters. Plus, it’s packed with protein and healthy fats that will keep your little one fueled all morning long.
To make a breakfast quesadilla, start by heating a tortilla in a frying pan. Then, add some scrambled eggs and shredded cheese on top of the tortilla. You can also add in some diced veggies or cooked bacon if you like. Once everything is heated through and the cheese is melted, fold the tortilla in half and serve hot with some fresh fruit or salsa on top. Your 2-year-old will love this tasty twist on traditional scrambled eggs!
Sheet Pan Chicken
Sheet pan chicken is an easy and delicious way to feed the pickiest of eaters. This dish requires minimal effort and can be customized to suit any taste preference. Dinner ideas for 2 year olds can sometimes feel like a challenge, but sheet pan chicken is sure to please even the most discerning palates.
To make sheet pan chicken, simply toss some seasoned chicken breasts with your favorite vegetables such as potatoes, carrots, green beans, or broccoli. Roast everything on a baking sheet in the oven until the chicken is cooked through and the veggies are tender-crisp. This meal can be made ahead of time and reheated later for busy weeknights when cooking from scratch isn’t an option.
Sheet pan chicken offers plenty of nutritional benefits too. The lean protein from the chicken helps build strong muscles while the colorful assortment of veggies provides important vitamins and minerals for optimal growth and development.
Mexican Rice Bowl
Mexican Rice Bowls are a great dinner idea for 2 year olds. This dish offers a variety of flavors and textures that can introduce your little one to new tastes in an exciting way. It is also easy to customize, so you can make it as mild or spicy as you like.
To make this dish, start with cooked rice and add black beans, diced tomatoes, corn, and shredded cheese. You can also add some grilled chicken or beef if you want to give it some extra protein. To finish it off, top the bowl with fresh avocado slices and cilantro leaves for added nutrition and flavor.
The beauty of this meal is that each ingredient provides essential nutrients for your child’s development without compromising on taste. Black beans are high in fiber while tomatoes provide vitamin C and antioxidants. Corn is packed with vitamins A and B6 while cheese adds calcium to strengthen bones.
Turkey & Cheese Pita
This quick and easy meal is perfect for busy weeknights when you don’t have much time to spend in the kitchen. Simply toast a pita bread until it’s warm and crispy, then fill it with slices of turkey, cheese, lettuce, and any other toppings your child enjoys. You can even add a dollop of hummus or ranch dressing for some extra flavor.
Not only is this dish tasty and satisfying, but it also provides your toddler with essential nutrients such as protein from the turkey and calcium from the cheese.
Cheese crisp is a perfect dinner option for 2-year-olds. It is an easy-to-make recipe that can be customized according to your toddler’s preferences. You can add vegetables or fruits to make it healthier, or simply stick with plain cheese.
To make a cheese crisp, all you need is shredded cheese and a non-stick pan. Preheat the oven to 400°F and sprinkle the shredded cheese onto the pan in small circles. Bake for 6-8 minutes until it turns golden brown. For added nutrition, you can add some tomato slices, avocado slices, or diced bell peppers on top of the cheese before baking.
Cheese crisp is not only delicious but also healthy as it provides calcium for strong bones and teeth. It’s also an excellent source of protein which promotes growth and development in toddlers.
Mini Taco Salad
Mini Taco Salad is a great dinner idea for 2 year olds that is easy to make and will have your little ones begging for more. This dish is packed with nutrients from the vegetables, protein from the beans, and healthy fats from the avocado. Plus, it’s a fun way to get your child involved in mealtime by letting them assemble their mini taco salads.
To make this dish, start by chopping up lettuce and tomatoes into small pieces. Drain and rinse black beans and corn before mixing them in a bowl. Next, cut an avocado in half and remove the pit. Scoop out the flesh with a spoon and mash it up until smooth before adding lime juice to taste.
Now it’s time for assembly! Use mini taco shells or tortilla chips as the base of each salad.
KidFresh Pizza is a delicious and nutritious option for parents who want to provide their 2-year-olds with a healthy dinner. With a variety of flavors and toppings available, KidFresh Pizza provides an excellent opportunity for children to explore new tastes while also getting the nutrients they need.
One of the greatest advantages of KidFresh Pizza is its use of high-quality, natural ingredients. The pizza is made with organic flour, vegetables, and cheese, ensuring that your child gets only the best nutrition possible. Additionally, each pizza contains a full serving of vegetables, which can be difficult to incorporate into meals for picky eaters.
Not only is KidFresh Pizza healthy and flavorful, but it’s also easy to prepare. Simply pop it in the oven or microwave for a quick meal that will satisfy even the pickiest of eaters.
Deconstructed Cobb Salad
This classic American salad is full of nutritious ingredients that are perfect for little ones. Plus, by serving it deconstructed style, you can give your child more control over what they eat and encourage them to try new flavors.
To make a deconstructed Cobb salad, start with a base of chopped lettuce and spinach. Then, add in some diced chicken or turkey (cooked and cooled), hard-boiled egg, avocado slices, cherry tomatoes (halved), and crumbled bacon. Offer each ingredient separately on a plate or in small bowls so your child can assemble their salad. You can also provide some healthy toppings like shredded cheese or a drizzle of ranch dressing.
Annie’s Bernie O’s pasta
Annie’s Bernie O’s pasta is a delicious and nutritious dinner idea for 2 year olds. This pasta dish is made with organic ingredients, including wheat flour, tomato paste, and cheese. It is also free from artificial flavors, synthetic colors, and preservatives.
The cute O-shaped pasta pieces are sure to capture your little one’s attention and make mealtime more enjoyable. Plus, the fun shape makes it easier for toddlers to pick up with their fingers or use a spoon to scoop it up. Not only that but with its rich tomato sauce flavoring mixed in with cheesy goodness it will have your kid wanting more!
Overall, Annie’s Bernie O’s pasta is an excellent choice for parents looking for quick and easy dinner ideas that are both tasty and healthy for their little ones. It’s an ideal way to introduce new foods into their diet while also encouraging them to enjoy mealtime.
White Chili Chicken
White Chili Chicken is a great dinner idea for 2-year-olds. This recipe is not only delicious but also healthy, and it’s perfect for the whole family to enjoy. It’s an excellent way to introduce your little one to new flavors and textures that they may not have tried before.
To make this dish, you’ll need chicken breast, white beans, corn kernels, diced tomatoes with green chilies, onion, garlic powder, cumin powder, and chicken broth. First, cook the chicken in a pan until it’s no longer pink inside. Then add the remaining ingredients and let everything simmer on low heat for about 30 minutes or until the vegetables are tender.
Once everything is cooked through and tenderized properly pour into bowls and serve hot to your little ones. You can even customize this recipe by adding more vegetables like carrots or zucchini if your child likes them!
Hummus is a versatile and nutritious food that can be enjoyed by people of all ages, including 2-year-olds. Hummus plates make great dinner ideas for 2-year-olds because they provide a balanced meal with a variety of flavors and textures. Hummus is made from chickpeas, which are high in protein and fiber, making it a filling and satisfying dish for little ones.
To create a hummus plate for your 2-year-old, start with the base of hummus spread on a plate or bowl. You can use store-bought hummus or make your own at home by blending chickpeas, tahini, lemon juice, garlic, and olive oil until smooth. Next, add some colorful vegetables such as cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, carrots, or bell peppers to the plate. Read 16 Realistic Toddler Dinner Ideas for 12-18 Months.
Toddler Dinner Side Ideas
With these toddler dinner side ideas, you can ensure that your little one is getting plenty of fruits, veggies, grains, and more.
First up are fruits! Toddlers love sweet and juicy fruit, making it an easy addition to any meal. Try serving sliced bananas with warm oatmeal or yogurt in the morning for breakfast. For lunch or dinner, add some diced pineapple or mandarin oranges to stir-fry dishes or serve sliced apples as a side for chicken nuggets.
Next on the list are veggies! While not always a crowd-pleaser for toddlers, there are ways to make them more appealing. Roasted carrots with a sprinkle of cinnamon might just do the trick! For something savory, try sautéing green beans in garlic butter or roasting broccoli with parmesan cheese.
Conclusion: Toddler Dinner Ideas
I hope these 32 dinner ideas for 2 year olds have helped give you some inspiration. From simple pasta dishes to flavorful vegetable stir-fries, there are plenty of options that are both healthy and tasty. Remember, feeding your child doesn’t have to be stressful or complicated. With a little creativity and planning, mealtimes can become a fun experience for the whole family. So go ahead and try out some of these recipes tonight – your little one will thank you!