Top 10 Recipes for One-and-a-Half- to Two-Year-Olds

Not totally ready for big kid meals quite yet? Catherine McCord shares her top 10 totally toddler-approved meal ideas from her book, Weelicious. These will get your eater on the right track, no matter how picky she is.
ByKylie McConville
May 29, 2019
mom making a recipe in her kitchen with her toddler girl
Image: Getty Images
10 slides

Not totally ready for big kid meals quite yet? Catherine McCord shares her top 10 totally toddler-approved meal ideas from her book, Weelicious. These will get your eater on the right track, no matter how picky she is.

Image: Catherine McCord,

“Sushi” Sandwiches


  • 3 pieces of whole wheat sandwich bread
  • 1 can of tuna (i use albacore in water)
  • 1 teaspoon capers, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon mayonnaise (plus more for spreading on the bread)
  • 1/2 teaspoon dijon mustard
  • 1 cucumber, cut into long, thin sticks
  • 1 carrot, grated


  1. Cut the crusts off of each slice of bread and roll out as thin as possible with a rolling pin.
  2. Place the tuna, capers, mayonnaise and dijon mustard in a bowl and stir to combine.
  3. Place the long side of the rolled out bread closest to you.
  4. Spread a thin layer of mayonnaise on each slice of rolled out bread.
  5. Thinly spread 1/3 of the tuna mixture onto half of the bread lengthwise.
  6. On top of the tuna mixture, arrange some of the cucumber sticks and grated carrot making sure not too over stuff the roll (a little goes a long way).
  7. Starting at the side closest to you (the filled end) tightly roll the tuna/cucumber/carrot mixture up and press to seal into a roll (I dab a bit of mayonnaise across the end of the roll to act as a glue sealing the roll).
  8. Cut the roll into 4 even pieces and repeat with remaining bread and tuna mixture.
  9. Serve.
Image: Catherine McCord,

Refrigerator Oatmeal


  • 1 cup uncooked old fashioned oats
  • 1 cup whole milk, rice, soy or almond milk
  • 1 cup plain greek yogurt
  • 3 tablespoons honey


  1. In a bowl, stir together the oats, milk, yogurt and honey. Pour into small mason jars and stir in desired accompaniments.
  2. Cover and refrigerate overnight or up to 3 days. Serve chilled.
Image: Catherine McCord,

Chicken Parmesan Meatloaf Bites


  • 1 pound ground chicken
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 cup bread crumbs
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup marinara sauce
  • 1 teaspoon italian seasoning
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt


  1. Preheat oven to 375°F.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together all Ingredients: to thoroughly combine.
  3. Pack greased mini muffin cups with the mixture. Fill to the top as they will shrink a bit during cooking.
  4. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until golden and cooked through.

Note: For a full size meatloaf, press mixture into a 9x5 loaf pan and bake for 50 minutes.

Image: Catherine McCord,

Mexican Rice Balls


  • 1 cup short grain rice
  • 2 1/4 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder*
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup cheddar cheese cubes (i use 4 cheese sticks cut into 6 pieces each)


  1. In a pot, combine all of the Ingredients:* except the cheese, and stir to combine. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, cover and cook for 45 minutes, or until the rice has absorbed the water and is cooked through. Leave pot covered and allow it to sit on the stove, off of the heat, for about 10 minutes.
  2. When rice is cool enough to handle, take about 2 tablespoons of it with moist hands (to avoid sticking), place a cheese cube in the center, and roll into a ball. Continue with remaining rice and cheese.
  3. Place rice balls in the microwave for 10-15 seconds to melt the cheese. Alternatively, place the rice balls in a steamer pot over boiling water for 1-2 minutes.
Image: Catherine McCord,

Brainy Breakfast


  • 1 cup greek yogurt (0 or 2 %)
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 small apple, cored and chopped
  • 1/2 cup mixed berries
  • 2 tablespoons chopped walnuts
  • 2 tablespoons flax seeds (ground or whole)
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon


  1. Place all Ingredients: in a bowl and stir to combine.
Image: Catherine McCord,

Cinnamon Roast Butternut Squash


  • 2 cups peeled and chopped butternut squash (about 1 small squash)
  • 2 teaspoons canola or vegetable oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup


  1. Preheat the oven to 425°F.
  2. Place the butternut squash on a baking sheet, drizzle or spray with oil and toss to coat well.
  3. Bake for 40 minutes or until fork-tender. Remove from oven, sprinkle with cinnamon and drizzle with the maple syrup. Toss to coat, return to oven and bake an additional 5 minutes.
Image: Catherine McCord,

Mexican Muffins


  • 1/3 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 large egg, whisked
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1/2 teaspoon honey
  • 1/3 cup mexican cheese blend (mozzarella, cheddar, monterrey jack)
  • 1/4 cup corn kernels, frozen or fresh
  • 1/2 cup cooked chicken, diced


  1. Heat oven to 375°F.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the first 7 Ingredients:.
  3. In a separate bowl, whisk together the egg, milk, tomato paste, honey, cheese, and corn.
  4. Mix the wet Ingredients: into the dry Ingredients: until just combined.
  5. Gently fold in the chicken.
  6. Pour batter into a well-greased muffin tin.
  7. Bake for 15 minutes, or until lightly brown.
  8. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Image: Catherine McCord,

Green Veggie Pancakes


  • 1 cup zucchini, broccoli, and/or cauliflower
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • canola or vegetable oil


  1. Place the vegetables in a food processor and pulse to chop fine.
  2. Add the chopped vegetables into a bowl along with the flour, salt, egg, basil and garlic powder. Mix to combine.
  3. Heat oil in a skillet over medium heat and place 1 tbsp of the batter into the pan for each pancake.
  4. Cook for 1-2 minutes on each side.
  5. Serve with marinara sauce or dip of your choice.
Image: Catherine McCord,

Homemade Animal Crackers


  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup old fashioned oats
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice or mace
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, chilled and cut into pieces
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla or lemon extract
  • 1 large egg


  1. Place the first 6 Ingredients: in a food processor and pulse to combine.
  2. Add the butter and pulse to combine.
  3. Add the vanilla extract and egg and pulse until the dough forms into a ball.
  4. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and chill in the fridge for 30 minutes.
  5. Preheat oven to 350 F.
  6. Roll out dough to 1/4 inch thick and cut out animal shapes.
  7. Place cut outs on a Silpat or parchment lined baking sheet.
  8. Bake for 15 minutes.
  9. Cool and serve.
Image: Catherine McCord,

Cucumber Cream Cheese Sandwiches


  • 1/4 cup cream cheese
  • 1 persian cucumber, thinly sliced (any variety of cucumber will work, but I like the persians for this sandwich)
  • 4 slices whole wheat bread


  1. Spread 1 tbsp of cream cheese on one piece of the bread and top with thin slices of half of the cucumber.
  2. On another slice of bread, spread another tbsp of cream cheese and then sandwich the two slices together.
  3. Continue to make the second sammie.
  4. Cut in half or quarters and serve.

More from The Bump:

15 Creative Toddler Meal Ideas

Best Toddler-Friendly Cookbooks

Is Your Toddler a Picky Eater?

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