Get your baby off to the best start with free tips from Start4Life.

X

Pregnancy and baby

Baby and toddler meal ideas

If you need some inspiration to help you cook healthy and tasty food for your kids, try these meal ideas. 

They're not suitable as first foods, but fine once your baby is used to eating a wide range of solid foods.

When preparing food for babies, don’t add salt, sugar or stock cubes directly to the food, or to the cooking water.

Breakfast ideas for babies and children

  • Unsweetened porridge or cereal mixed with milk, topped with mashed ripe pear.
  • Wholewheat biscuit cereal with milk and unsweetened stewed fruit.
  • Toast fingers with mashed banana.
  • Toast fingers with a hard-boiled egg and slices of ripe peach.
  • Unsweetened stewed apple and breakfast cereal with plain, unsweetened yoghurt.

Children's lunch or tea ideas

  • Cauliflower cheese with cooked pasta pieces.
  • Mashed pasta with broccoli and cheese.
  • Baked beans (reduced salt and sugar) with toast.
  • Scrambled egg with toast, chapatti or pitta bread.  
  • Cottage cheese dip with pitta bread and cucumber and carrot sticks.
  • Plain fromage frais with stewed apple.

Children's dinners

  • Mashed sweet potato with mashed chickpeas and cauliflower.
  • Shepherd’s pie (made with beef or lamb) with green vegetables.
  • Rice and mashed peas with courgette sticks.
  • Mashed cooked lentils with rice.
  • Minced chicken and vegetable casserole with mashed potato.
  • Mashed canned salmon with couscous and peas.  
  • Fish poached in milk with potato, broccoli and carrot.

Snacks for babies and toddlers

  • Fresh fruit, such as small pieces of soft, ripe peeled pear or peach.
  • Canned fruit in fruit juice.
  • Rice pudding or porridge (with no added sugar or salt).
  • Plain, unsweetened yoghurt.
  • Toast, pitta or chapatti fingers.
  • Unsalted and unsweetened rice cakes.
  • Plain bagels.
  • Small cubes of cheese.

Getting your child to eat fruit and vegetables

Try these ways of increasing your child’s intake of fruit and vegetables:

  • Put their favourite vegetables or canned pineapple on top of pizza.
  • Give carrot sticks, slices of pepper and peeled apple as snacks.
  • Mix chopped or mashed vegetables with rice, mashed potatoes, meat sauces or dhal.
  • Chop prunes or dried apricots into cereal or plain, unsweetened yoghurt, or add them to a stew.
  • For a tasty dessert, try mixing fruit (fresh, canned or stewed) with plain, unsweetened yoghurt. You could also try tinned fruit in fruit juice, such as pears and peaches, or unsweetened stewed fruit, such as apples.

Your baby and cows' milk

From six months, keep giving your child mum's milk or formula milk, as well as introducing solid foods, but don't give cows' milk as a drink. Whole cows' milk can be used in small amounts in cooking or mixed with foods from the age of six months. You can give it to your child as a drink from the age of one.

Semi-skimmed milk can be introduced at two years old, providing your child is eating a varied diet and growing well for their age. From five years, you can give your child 1% or skimmed milk to drink.

Further information

Kids' food

Children talk about food, and life coach Debbie Lewis suggests ways to encourage your child to eat more healthily.

Media last reviewed: 11/07/2015

Next review due: 11/07/2017

Page last reviewed: 23/09/2015

Next review due: 23/09/2017

Ratings

How helpful is this page?

Average rating

Based on 42 ratings

All ratings

Add your rating

Image alt text

Get pregnancy and baby emails

Sign up for week-by-week emails about your pregnancy and baby, with advice from experts, mums and dads

Services near you

Get help with all aspects of your parenting from the NHS in your area