Toddler Daycare Food

These days I am constantly brainstorming a list of good, healthy finger foods that I can send with my 15-month-old daughter to daycare.  It seems that all the parents I know are in the same boat, so I thought I would write down my current list of daycare foods.  My daughter eats breakfast, lunch, and an afternoon snack at daycare on the 3 days she goes, so I need to pack a lot of food.  Here is my list of ideas, though on any given day, I usually send only a small handful of things from the list.

  • Butternut squash – boiled
  • Spaghetti squash – baked
  • Carrots – steamed
  • Broccoli – steamed
  • Green beans – steamed
  • Asparagus – broiled
  • Potatoes – boiled
  • Sweet potatoes – boiled
  • Yellow squash – steamed (not a huge hit)
  • Zucchini – steamed
  • Eggplant – steamed
  • Cucumbers
    • Cucumbers with hummus for special days, though it’s messy!
  • Tomatoes
  • Avocado
  • Mushrooms, raw
  • Peas – I pull them out of the freezer and dump them right into her daycare container the night before, next day lunch they’re thawed
  • Veggies from random leftovers, like soup
  • Beans – softened in saucepan
    • Black beans
    • Cannellini beans
    • Garbanzo beans
  • Falafel, cut
  • Sliced almonds
  • Shredded chicken – made in crockpot
  • Shredded beef – made in crockpot
  • Meat from random leftovers – like taco meat or chili meat
  • Salmon, grilled
  • Cod, grilled
  • Shrimp, stir-fried and sliced
  • Meatballs – Baked and cut up (I have a recipe I need to post that uses a lot of spinach)
  • Homemade waffles – torn into pieces
  • Homemade pancakes – torn into pieces
  • Whole wheat bread – torn into pieces
  • Whole wheat pasta – boiled
  • Veggie enriched pasta – boiled
  • Kiwi, cut
  • Strawberries, cut
  • Raspberries
  • Blueberries
  • Blackberries
  • Oranges, peeled, pulled into slices, and cut
  • Grapefruit, peeled, pulled into slices, and cut
  • Cheese – pretty much every kind that exists including goat cheese

As of right now, this is my list.  I keep trying to brainstorm more ideas, so if you have them, please comment and share!


2 thoughts on “Toddler Daycare Food

  1. Liza loves green beans right from the can! Her favorites are also quesadillas (always with cheese, sometimes I add peas or chicken), she will eat pasta all day er’ry day. Spinach muffins are easy to bring along places (recipe on Pinterest). We found a great wild caught canned salmon on Amazon that she likes also. Kodiak cakes made with whole milk are a big hit too. She is getting pretty good at eating Rice Krispies and milk from her own bowl with a spoon! Not a whole food but one of the better cereals in my opinion. She also loves any and all cheese. You have a great list here Cayla! I’m always looking more more easy veggie ideas. Thanks for posting!


    • These are great ideas! Thanks for posting! I keep looking for more things I can keep on hand that are canned or frozen for when I don’t get to the store, so the salmon and green beans are good options! I forgot to list steamed green beans on my list, but I’m going to try canned too. I’m going to look into these muffins too 🙂 That’s awesome that Liza is getting good with a spoon. G loves using her fork and spoon, but the fork only works if I stab the food for her and the spoon only works for super thick and sticky foods that don’t fall off when the spoon goes on a roller coaster ride on its way from the bowl to the mouth 🙂 I think 2 veggies I forgot to mention were grilled asparagus and raw mushrooms. G actually likes raw mushrooms, which is awesome since it doesn’t get much easier than handing her a couple out of the pre-sliced package!


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