5 Quick Toddler Lunch Ideas – Minimal Time Required!

We all have them, those manic days where you feel like you try to do a thousand things at once. Washing, tidying, cooking and cleaning. Throw in a toddler and four cats and before you know it, you feel like throwing the towel in. I feel like this when tidying up after little b. He is this little whirlwind of destruction at the moment, creating mess and mayhem pretty much wherever he goes. Anyway the point of this post is to share some of my tips for making healthy lunches (or teas) super quick and easy.

The trick for me is to go with whatever I have in the fridge or cupboard and not overthink things too much. I find these meal ideas work really well for post-nursery tea. B typically eats well all day so he doesn’t need much in the eve, but he does want something. I find a selection of picky food works really well.

Mini Ploughman’s

Grab some crackers, bread, wraps, rice cakes – whatever you have in and add something veggie. I typically go with whatever we have – cucumber, tomato, pepper, carrot, celery. Add in some cheese or ham and there you go -super quick and easy mini ploughman’s lunch.

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Now if you have time of course, making them from scratch is always going to be the better option. However, I appreciate that not all of us have time for whizzing up hummus and pesto et al from scratch. I find a lot of supermarkets stock the mini packs of hummus now and these work really well when in a rush. Add in your breadsticks and veggie sticks for a very quick lunch, tea or snack.


Always a winner for a quick and easy lunch. Experiment with different fillings – hummus and salad, ham and coleslaw, egg and tomato, any nut butter. I know I get bored with the same old cheese and chutney or ham salad. And for variety, use a cookie cutter to shape them into something cute. Or simply cut into small squares and skewer them on cocktail sticks. Anything “bite-size” works well here I find.

Kebab Sandwiches

Fruit Fondue

Chop up whatever you have to hand and pop a yogurt in the middle for dipping. If you want to try and reduce sugar intake then opt for a natural yogurt. I know B can be a bit fussy though. We did try a plain vanilla and he absolutely refused to eat it. I realised what the issue was then he told me “I don’t like caterpillar“. Hmm.

Fruit Fondue DipsFruit Salad Healthy Dips


Eggs are always super quick and easy to prepare. Scrambled, omelette, boiled, poached – any egg option doesn’t take too long. My favourite egg prep at the moment is “egg in the hole” which I learnt about on a Coursera nutrition course with Maya Adam. Maybe it’s an American thing or maybe I just haven’t lived… Anyway, it’s great because you just make a “hole” in your bread, lightly toast the bread in the pan and crack an egg in the middle. Done. For egg cupcakes, check out this post here – super quick and easy to prep!

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lunchbox ideas for school kids toddlers


    • Thanks Chloe – super easy way to get the little ones to try different fruit. My boy loves using a cocktail stick/food pick and dipping fruit in the yogurt. Emma x

  1. I so needed to read this – I\’ve been struggling to vary Taylor\’s lunches at the moment. Love the idea of the cocktail sticks, I can see how the novelty aspect of it would really help. Also that egg in the hole sounds ace – I definitely need to give that a go x #coolmumclub

  2. I don\’t like caterpillars!! Ha ha. At the moment my boy will only eat food that resembles a snake, don\’t ask! So spaghetti, bread cut into strips, celery is all good, kids are weird. Love the mini ploughmans, I might just make that for me, I like miniature food, I pretend I\’m a giant. #CoolMumClub

  3. Love all these ideas! Especially the dippy yogurt one! Going to try some of these out to see if I can get my fussy boy to eat something xx #coolmumclub

  4. This is a great list (: Eggs are my go-to with my 13-month-old. He\’s a picky little guy, and eggs are one thing that he will shovel into his mouth, so they\’re made pretty often haha. The yogurt dip is going to be my next attempt though, I really think he\’d like that one. Thanks for sharing <3 #coolmumclub

  5. Oh I really like the fruit fondue. We do mini ploughmans\’ most days (laziness, nothing more nothing less) and sometimes it\’s bread and cheese and nothing else. The yoghurt is inspired as a fondue dip … thanks for posting it! #fortheloveofBLOG

  6. Great post and boy did I need to read this after 2 full days of my lttle one refusing to eat anything I make. I think she may have reached a bit of an independent phase of wanting to feed herself. Such great ideas, love the fruit fondue one! #fortheloveofBLOG

  7. These are great ideas Emma, and all really simple and quick to put together. Sometimes I find I open the fridge, have loads of food in, but can\’t think of anything to make with it. Part of the problem is that my little one who\’s 9 months old is not really very good at eating things with her hands, unless I spoon feed her. But, your post has given me inspiration on what to prepare for my little one once she is a bit older and home from nursery. I really like the idea of yogurt fondue, it\’s a fun way to get fruit into their diet, and chopping the food into fun size pieces makes it so much more appealing for children. Thank you so much for joining the party at #fortheloveofBLOG, we hope you come back next week. Claire x

  8. As always, all looks amazing! Sandwiches are very popular here, but mini ploughmans is a good idea. The fruit fondue is brilliant – must try that as mine love fruit & yoghurt! #fortheloveofBLOG

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