Working Moms

Meal ideas for 1.5 year old to take to daycare?

DS will start at daycare center Oct 1. We are to bring breakfast, lunch and snack. Any good ideas? I want to make easy meals but not count on PB&J everyday. Any good websites? Will take some planning on my part to get us out the door in time. So far he has been at in home sitters where everything is provided. TIA! :-)
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Re: Meal ideas for 1.5 year old to take to daycare?


    Somebody recommended that on my BMB awhile back. Great ideas and recipes.
  • We do flour tortilla roll ups with cream cheese and nitrate free turkey or ham, yogurt, gold fish trackers, pretzels, raisins, graham crackers, apple sauce, grapes, banana, (really all kinds of fresh fruit), cheese sticks, fruit leather, grape/cherry tomatoes, hummus, rice crackers and sometimes leftovers from the night before (like spaghetti or other noddles or rice and chicken).  
  • I used to work in the infant/toddler room at a daycare and popular items were all types of fruit, chopped veggies, cheese cubes/string cheese, applesauce, yogurt, crackers, cereal bars, and other typical snacky things.

    For a main course, lots of parents would send in leftovers from dinner, some would send twirly pasta with a simple sauce like itilian dressing, I've seen cheese quesadillas, and rice and veggies. Some parents send pancakes as a breakfast.

    That's all I can think of but parents have been so creative!



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  • I'd check to make sure your center allows peanuts and tree nuts.  Ours does not.

    I'm REALLY bad at coming up with ideas, but DS loves the Gerber lil' entrees.  I'd keep a couple of those on hand in a pinch.  That's what I use when we need to go grocery shopping or don't have leftovers.

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  • Our restrictions are no peanuts, and no access to fridge or micro. So, when I pack cold lunches I use an ice pack and when I pack her hot lunches, I use a thermos to keep things warm until lunchtime.

    Popular lunches in our rotation (she is 16 months) include the following. I always include a fruit on the side - we love the squeeze pouch ones for convenience's sake.

    -Ham (or turkey) & cheese roll ups cut into slices

    -Mac-n-cheese with turkey meatballs mixed in

    -Rotisserie chicken, mixed veggies, pasta

    -Ravioli (no sauce) and butter / cheese

    -Hummus & breadsticks


    Breakfasts we commonly bring to school include:

    - Mini waffles with butter & a banana or applesauce

    -Yogurt & pancakes

    - Scrambled cheesy eggs & a fruit

    -String cheese & a fruit

    -Mini bagel & cream cheese

    - Cereal (add milk once you arrive)

    Daycare provides snacks but they give us a list so we know what will be served on what day. Popular snacks are:

    -Fig Newtons

    -Goldfish or other small crackers (throw in a string cheese if you want)

    -Raisins & pretzels

    -Graham crackers & applesauce


    Big Sister ~ Little Brother

  • I make a lot of pasta stuff and freeze it in muffin tins. It fits perfectly into our tupperwear. I pull one two (we have twins) the night before and it's ready to go.
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  • Breakfast: he usually has a frozen whole wheat & blueberry waffle from Trader Joes while I'm packing lunches and the car. Then on the way he snacks on a little cup with Kashi cereal in it. Once at school, he gets a banana.

    Lunch: frequently leftovers like chicken/rice/veggie mix, mac & cheese with veggies mixed in, sandwich with sunflower nut butter and jelly, toasted sandwich with cream cheese, english muffin pizza sliced and crammed into the thermos, etc.  He always has diced cheese and fruit on the side, sometimes yogurt too.

    Snacks: no sugar added applesauce, string cheese, whole wheat gold fish or crackers, steamed carrot sticks, apple slices, etc. 

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  • I don't make anything special for DD.

    For breakfast - she normally has a bagel thin, waffle or cinnamon swirl bread/toast and milk.  Sometimes banana/grapes or piece of cheese.

    Lunch - cut up ham or turkey and cheese w/ a piece of bread or some pretzels, black beans and rice w/a sprinkle of cheese, turkey or beef meatballs, cheese ravioli homemade spinach pesto, and any kind of leftover chicken/tacos/spaghetti, pork chops, etc. steamed brocolli or cauliflower, carrots, watermelon, strawberries, grapes, oranges, etc.

    I've neve sent snacks, but generally her snacks are something starchy - like pretzels, tortilla chips, goldfish and some fruit or a piece of cheese.

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  • This post has some good ideas:

    I get stuck in such a rut with lunches.  Some of the things I do for DD's lunches are:  cheese quesadilla with ham or turkey and a veggie in it (corn or peas, etc.), mini ravioli, hot dog & mac 'n cheese, chicken noodle soup, PB&J sandwich or other sandwich, and of course, leftovers.  Now that I write the list out, I see why I would feel stuck in a rut!  Not a lot of variety there, but these are things she loves.  I always send a fruit and yogurt with lunch too, and keep extra snacks (like fruit cups) in her cubby as a back-up in case she doesn't like what I send for lunch.  Daycare wouldn't let her go hungry, but I'd rather she not eat goldfish for a meal either.  I've tried the Gerber toddler meals, but DD is not a fan.


  • Thanks everyone for your great ideas! I'm sure I will put a lot of these idea into rotation. I did check the rules again and no peanut butter. Also no fruit with skin or hot dogs. (Choking hazards...) I'm sure as heck not trying to impress, just want to start out on the right foot. @/
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