Grocery List of Healthy Foods for Toddlers

Transitioning your child from baby food to big-kid food can be a bit overwhelming for a first-time parent. Since these early years can initiate the development of unhealthy eating habits, you’ll want to pack healthful foods into your toddler’s daily diet. With a specific shopping strategy, you can stock your fridge and pantry with foods that satisfy not only your tot’s nutritional needs, but also his taste preferences.

Fruits & Veggies

Fill your toddler's diet with vitamins and minerals by stocking your cart with fruits and vegetables. The “Parenting” magazine website considers blueberries a “superfood” for toddlers. Packed with antioxidants, blueberries can be eaten alone or mixed into muffin batter, smoothies, oatmeal and yogurt. Other popular fruits include:

  • strawberries
  • bananas
  • apples
  • watermelon
  • cantaloupe
  • kiwi
  • pears

Veggie ideas include

  • slightly softened baby carrots
  • peas
  • avocado
  • broccoli florets
  • cauliflower
  • bell peppers

Refrigerated Section

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Stock up on protein-packed eggs; the versatile food can be scrambled for breakfast or mixed with diced veggies for an omelet lunch. Low-fat yogurt is a nutritious option for meals or snacks. Just watch the sugar content. Low-fat cottage cheese is another snack option for toddlers -- it can be used as a dip for pretzels or veggies. Round out your trip to the refrigerated section by grabbing some milk. The creamy beverage is packed with calcium to keep bones and teeth strong. Start serving whole milk at 12 months of age, but ask your pediatrician if you should switch to a reduced-fat version when your toddler reaches 24 months.


Skip cholesterol-laden red meats and choose ground turkey and chicken instead. Use it for meatloaf, spaghetti and chili. These lean meats are good sources of protein and iron. Reduce the fat content even further by draining and blotting the meat with paper towels after it’s browned. Starting your kids on seafood early might help encourage love of the fishy flavors. Salmon contains a healthy dose of omega-3 fatty acids, which help power the brain and support the immune system.

Dry Foods

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Beans, brown rice and whole wheat pasta are full of fiber and are healthy options for every family member, so it shouldn’t be difficult to incorporate them into your tot’s diet. Beans can be added to quesadillas, formed into patties or mashed into dips. Serve whole wheat pasta with steamed veggies. For picky eaters, add pureed veggies to your sauce. Versatile brown rice can be served with nearly anything. Use it as a foundation for chicken, salmon or veggies or mix it with ground turkey and seasonings for a treat called “porcupine balls.”

Snacks & Cereal

Although your toddler might reach for the colorful boxes of sugary cereals, try to steer him toward the oatmeal instead. Plain oats are full of fiber, helping to keep his belly full for hours. Sweeten the flavor of oats with fresh fruits and cinnamon. If your toddler turns his nose at oatmeal, choose a cereal made from whole grains with at least 3 grams of fiber and less than 8 grams of sugar.


As you browse the bakery section, opt for items made from whole grains. Whole wheat bread is perfect for toast and sandwiches, while whole wheat tortillas make lunch wraps and quesadillas a cinch. Wheat pita bread is another good fiber-filled option; use it either as a foundation for individual pizzas or as a dipper for guacamole and hummus.