17 toddler recipes for 1 year olds and above – including Asian ones!

Remember the first time you introduced food to your baby? The magical moment when he opened his mouth eagerly for the first time for the puree or porridge you’d lovingly made or for the fruit and vegetable wedges you have prepared?

Time really flies in a blink of an eye! From that wide-eyed baby who’d eat everything on his plate, you now have a picky toddler in your hands!

To make things easy for those who are looking for recipes for 1-year-old babies (and above!), we have 17 tried-and-tested meal ideas, including Asian toddler recipes like mee sua, yours will be sure to like at least a few!

(The writer’s own toddler and older boys eat all of these and especially loves 1, 3, 4, 13 and 17!)

Asian toddler recipes

1. Onigiri

credit: My Meal Box

You can make these onigiri for your baby or toddler as adorable as you want – think pandas, cats and bears! But at the heart of this is a really simple concept: mix veggies or meat into sushi rice and make them into easy-to-pick-up balls.

Our favourite tip? Cook the rice with a little bit of rice wine vinegar and soya sauce for that little flavour kick. Be sure to use Japanese rice so that the balls hold well together.

Another thing you’d want to do is to wet your hands before shaping the rice balls to help the balls stick tighter. Mix in corn, steamed edamame, carrots, tuna, shredded chicken or salmon to make these a complete meal for little ones. Itadakimasu!

Ingredients you’ll need:

  • Cooked Japanese rice
  • Chopped and cooked veggies of choice (such as diced carrots, steamed corn, steamed edamame or sweet potato)
  • Shredded and cooked meat of choice (such as tuna, salmon or chicken)
  • Toasted nori seaweed to wrap and decorate to your heart’s content!

2. ABC Soup

Perhaps it is named as such because cooking it is really as easy as ABC! This is one of the simplest Cantonese soups you can make at home that even the fussiest of toddlers will eat.

Made from potato, carrot and tomato with pork bones as the soup base, little ones love this for the colour in the soup and sweet taste! Marinade some pork in dark soy for about 15 minutes prior to cooking and pop it into boiling soup just 5 minutes before serving so the meat is tender and soft.

You can also add corn for an even sweeter soup that will be sure to put a smile on your toddler’s face – eating corn right off the cob is one of my kids’ favourite foods! Serve this soup with rice for dinner.

Ingredients you’ll need:

  • Potato
  • Carrot
  • Tomato
  • Corn (optional)
  • Pork Bones
  • Soft pork ribs
  • Dark soy sauce

Read the full recipe here.

3. Fried Rice

Credit: The Asian Parent

We all have those days where we have no idea what to cook. But toddlers still need to be fed so thank goodness for fail-proof dishes like fried rice!

Making this Chinese food for my toddlers is also one of my favourite ways to clear out my fridge, for when I have random veggies or meat that need to be eaten before I get anything new.

The secret to making it tasty? Using overnight rice so that the individual grains are dryer! Fry some fragrant shallots and garlic in a hot wok of oil, add the veggies (I liked to use diced French beans and carrots), fold the rice in, and here is the important bit – make a well in the middle of the rice and crack your eggs in there.

Give the egg time to set before scrambling it up with the rice and other ingredients – and voila, you get a fluffy golden egg in your rice!

As for the meat, shredded chicken or pork is always safe, but sometimes, I slice up some salmon and fry that in my rice, to shake things up a bit.

Ingredients you’ll need:

  • Cooked rice, preferably overnight or cooked earlier in the day
  • Veggies of your choice (you can use carrots, diced French beans, peas)
  • Meat of your choice (shredded chicken or pork or sliced salmon are great)
  • Eggs
  • Garlic, minced
  • Shallots, finely chopped
  • Soya sauce or sesame oil, for seasoning if you want

4. Baked honey soy chicken

Credit: Chew Out Loud

Honey and soy is a winning combination with kids and adults alike, and glazing this yummy mix over succulent chicken thighs and baking them in the oven is one of the best ways to enjoy this awesome mix of flavours.

The kids love it when the chicken skin turns golden brown and crispy from the honey soy glaze and will literally fight for every last piece of the skin when we make this for dinner.

I usually complete the meal by making another tray of vegetables (think carrots, broccoli, onion, potato and sweet potato) and sliding both trays into the oven to bake simultaneously. So easy and so yummy!

Many recipes suggest eating this with white rice but our family’s personal favourite is to cook up a pot of couscous and drench the fluffy little grains with the sticky honey soy sauce.

Important note: Remember that honey is a strict no-no for children below one due to the possibility of botulism, a rare but potentially fatal illness that may affect infants below one if they consume honey. If you have a toddler aged one and below, remember to take the honey out of this Asian food recipe.

Ingredients you’ll need:

  • Chicken thighs or drumsticks
  • Honey
  • Dark soy sauce
  • Sea salt, for seasoning to taste
  • Olive oil, for drizzling over the chicken before baking

5. Baked teriyaki salmon

Credit: Munchery

Salmon is one of those foods you really want your toddler to eat more of, because of all its reported benefits. Omega-3 fatty acids, EPA and DHA… all good brain food!

Baking salmon in the oven with a gentle dollop of teriyaki sauce for flavour is one of our family’s favourite ways to eat this wholesome fish. I like to spread some minced ginger over the fillets to cut through the sweetness of the teriyaki.

Steam some asparagus, sweet peas or broccoli, and enjoy this over a bowl of fragrant Japanese rice. Make some extra sauce to drizzle over your rice too! Win-win-win!

Ingredients you’ll need:

  • Salmon fillets
  • Teriyaki sauce
  • Ginger, minced
  • Sea salt, to sprinkle over

6. Meat dumplings

Credit: Healthy Little Plate

This is one of those things you always end up making a big batch of and freezing more than what you actually intend to eat for the meal! Toddlers love helping to wrap these babies up and we say why not!

You can get wonton wrappers from most grocery stores (or you can make them from scratch at home if you wish), and the most prep you’ll have to do is chopping garlic and onions to add them into the meat mixture.

Mix the meat mixture up with sesame oil and light soy and you’re ready to wrap! Seal the wrappers with a slick of water. Steam or boil those you mean to eat for your day’s meal and freeze the rest for another day!

Our favourite way to enjoy these babies is to slurp them up with a comforting bowl of yellow egg noodles in a clear broth – sooooo comforting!

Ingredients you’ll need:

  • Minced meat (pork or chicken works)
  • Garlic, minced
  • Onion, minced
  • Sesame oil
  • Light soy
  • Wonton wrappers

7. Chicken macaroni soup

Credit: Noob Cook

Hands up if you remember eating this as a kid! This was one of my all-time favourite meals as a kid, and I love it now as comfort food even as an adult. Easy to prepare and even easier to slurp down, your toddler will (hopefully) love this as much as we did!

Cooking this is simple, with the soup probably needing the most time and work. Make your own chicken broth minus the MSG by boiling whole chicken bones and chicken thighs over the stove in a pot of water (after doing your due diligence and blanching them in hot water prior to this, of course), add celery, carrots and bay leaves, and let simmer for 2 hours.

Shred the chicken meat from the thighs, add some bak choy or xiao bai cai, and ladle over a bowl of cooked elbow macaroni.

The broth freezes wonderfully, so if you intend to do so, sieve the particles out and freeze the broth for the next time you want to serve macaroni again!

Ingredients you’ll need:

  • Chicken bones
  • Chicken thighs or drumsticks
  • Water
  • Carrots
  • Celery
  • Garlic, bruised
  • Bay leaf
  • Bak choy or xiao bai cai
  • Elbow macaroni

This recipe works beautifully!

8. Mee sua soup

Credit: Roti n Rice

Mee sua, also known as longevity noodles, are wheat vermicelli noodles that many Singaporean children will remember eating in their growing up years. The thin, pale coloured noodles are distinctive in looks and taste, and are a comfort food for many!

Again, the hardest part of cooking this dish is the soup, which is often made from ikan bilis (dried anchovies) as a base. I like adding minced pork meatballs or boiled quail eggs (and omitting the regular egg) to this dish for my kids to make a heartier meal. They love slurping the yummy noodles up (and so do I!)

Ingredients you’ll need:

  • Mee sua
  • Ikan bilis, washed and cleaned
  • Bak choy
  • Minced pork
  • Eggs (or quail eggs, but choose either and not both or this will be a cholesterol bomb!)

Check this recipe out if you’re unsure about how to make the soup base!

Other toddler recipes

9. Meat, veg and cheese patties

meat-veg-and-cheese-patties
Credit: Little Grazers

Making these patties are so easy and toddlers love these for their taste and texture! You can even use the leftover vegetables from your soup from the night before for the veggies in these.

Chop up carrots, potatoes, onions and basically any vegetable you wish your toddler to eat – and mix in minced meat and grated cheese and form them into little patties. Coat the patties with egg wash and cover them thoroughly in bread crumbs and more grated cheese (panko crumbs are especially yummy!) Pan fry these goodies with some olive oil and serve them up!

Your toddler will love the crunch and you’ll love that they love these. You can freeze any uncooked patties in the freezer for up to a month and simply take them out to cook the next time you want to serve these up.

Ingredients you’ll need:

  • Chopped up vegetables (carrots, onions and potatoes are great choices)
  • Minced meat
  • Bread crumbs or panko crumbs
  • Grated parmesan or cheddar cheese
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • Olive oil for frying

You can read more about this recipe (the version shared here is meatless, ours has meat for a more complete meal) here.

10. Pizza muffins

Credit: Weelicious

Now the question is, who doesn’t like pizza? And then the next question is, should my toddler be eating pizza?

These homemade pizza muffins are the answer to that question! All you need is some pizza dough (you can make your own, or you can order ready-made packs from any supermarket), some pizza sauce and the toppings of your choice.

Assemble in mini muffin cups, brush some olive oil over for a nice sheen, and bake these babies. Your own baby will love them!

Ingredients you’ll need:

  • Pizza dough
  • Pizza sauce
  • Mozarella cheese, shredded
  • Toppings of your choice: chicken breast, chopped capsicums, olives, ham, pineaple
  • Olive oil to brush on

You can read more about this recipe here.

11. Pasta with bolognese sauce

Spaghetti-Bolognese
Credit: Yummy Mummy Club

This is a personal life-saver for many meals here at our home minus the guilt of the jarred sauces readily available at the supermarkets!

The bolognese sauce is home-made and adjusted to suit our kids’ taste preferences (more sweet than savoury here!) and they can choose between spaghetti or other types of pasta. Having this bolognese sauce recipe at my fingertips really helps with meal prep.

We use whatever minced meat we have in our freezer (either pork or beef, or both), and a combination of carrots, potatoes and celery to meet our veggie quota. Stir-fry it all with diced onions, garlic and sliced mushrooms, and let it simmer over the stove with half a glass jar of passata or puree. For added zest, pour in tinned diced tomatoes or diced fresh cherry tomatoes.

Serve up the portion for the meal and freeze the rest for the next!

Ingredients you’ll need:

  • Onion, diced
  • Garlic, minced
  • Veggies chopped or diced (our favourites include carrots, potatoes, celery)
  • Mushrooms, sliced
  • Minced meat (beef or pork works well)
  • Tomatoes (fresh cherry tomatoes or tinned tomatoes)
  • Passata or tomato puree
  • Fresh herbs
  • Olive oil for frying
  • A small amount of salt and sugar, only if needed and to tasteYou can read more about the recipe here. 

12. Baked Rice

Baked rice
Credit: Noob Cook

The real beauty of this meal is you can literally put in anything that you want your toddler to eat, under that blanket of beautiful, yummy melted cheese!

The basic idea is the same, whatever ingredients you decide to use for the day: mix in your desired ingredients for the meal, sautee everything together over the stove, drizzle some sauce over, pour into a baking dish and cover with shredded cheese, then bake it.

This is my personal favourite recipe that yields a dish that tastes almost like the sinful and tasty baked rice at Swensen’s. But for the kids, I replaced the Campbell mushroom soup used for the rice sauce with chicken stock and cooking cream. Everyone’s happy!

Ingredients you’ll need:

  • Knob of butter for frying
  • Garlic, minced
  • Mushrooms, sliced
  • Meat or fish (salmon or shredded chicken thighs are our favourites)
  • Cooked rice
  • Chicken stock
  • Cooking cream
  • Mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • Cheddar cheese, shredded
  • Parsley, for garnishing

13. Mac and cheese

mac and cheese
Credit: Live Well Mom

Macaroni and cheese isn’t only yummy out of a box – you can easily make it from scratch for your baby or toddler to enjoy! The most challenging part is making the sauce, but even that is a 4 ingredient, 5-minute affair.

Melt a stick of butter over the stove, stir in 1/3 cup of flour and slowly add 3 cups of milk. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium heat, stirring continuously for 3 minutes. Pour in the shredded cheese and stir till it has all melted evenly. This is your cheese sauce mixture and you’ve done the hardest part of the dish!

Mix in cooked elbow macaroni, lay it all out in a baking dish and sprinkle breadcrumbs, some melted butter and if you want, even more shredded cheese over. Bake till breadcrumbs turn golden and crisp and the cheese bubbles. This makes a serving for 12 so half the recipe accordingly to suit your family’s size!

Ingredients you’ll need:

  • Butter
  • Flour
  • Milk
  • Shredded cheese
  • Breadcrumbs
  • Elbow macaroni

Read the full recipe here. 

14. Beef Stew

recipes-for-toddler-beef-stew1
Credit: The Taste Place

This one-pot dish is flavourful and a very tasty way to introduce your little one to beef. I take care to get the right cut of meat for this – I like to use beef chuck – so that the beef is tender and falls apart in the mouth. The veggies that I use are cooked thoroughly in the stew so the kids can’t tell them apart (I use celery and carrots).

The tricky thing about making a mean beef stew is ensuring depth of flavour and my personal secret is this: tomato paste, and beef stock cubes.

My kids love eating this stew with flatbreads and crusty baguettes alike! They say children ought to be exposed to all sorts of tastes from young, and this beef stew is certainly a cornucopia of flavours for young ones to explore!

Ingredients you’ll need:

  • Beef Chuck
  • Celery
  • Carrots
  • Tomato paste
  • Beef stock (I like to use bouillon cubes but broth will work as well)
  • Onions, finely chopped
  • Garlic, minced
  • Flour
  • Olive oil, for frying

This is a recipe I personally love but I omit the wine for the little ones.

15. Vegetable cream soup

vegetable-cream-soup
Credit: Annabel Karmel

I’ll admit, I make this on days when I am trying to avoid mealtime arguments about picking out vegetables and eating them. I sometimes make this a complete lunch by adding in small pieces of shredded chicken too.

I add potatoes, celery, broccoli, carrots, sweet potato, pumpkin – whatever veg I find in my fridge sometimes – and blend it up. Saute some onions and garlic in melted butter, and pan fry these lightly together with the chopped veggies.

Stir in some flour, and add the blended veggies, milk and chicken stock to the mixture. If you are adding shredded chicken, you can do so here. Stir till there are no discernible lumps.

What my kids really like is to dip toasted bread fingers or crusty baguette into the creamy soup for some crunch.

Ingredients you’ll need:

(Feel free to omit or add any vegetables to tweak this recipe according to your toddler’s preferences!)

  • Carrots
  • Celery
  • Broccoli
  • Sweet potato
  • Potato
  • Pumpkin
  • Onion, finely chopped
  • Garlic, minced
  • Vegetable or chicken stock
  • Milk
  • Flour
  • Olive oil, for frying
  • Butter

16. Breakfast banana cupcakes

breakfast-banana-cupcakes
Credit: Epicurean Escapism

Just two ingredients and you’re good to go – that’s how easy this breakfast dish is! My kids both unanimously love this for breakfast and I feel like such a winner when I make this and they eat every crumb on their plate.

Simply mash up one ripe banana, crack an egg in and mix it all up, melt some butter (or use some olive oil), and ladle the mixture into a flat non-stick pan over low heat. Serve and enjoy your little ones reaching out for more of these babies!

I simply repeat the same steps if they ask for more, and I get another plateful of piping hot beauties for my kids ready in under five minutes.

Ingredients you’ll need:

  • Ripe bananas
  • Eggs
  • Butter or olive oil

17. French toast with berries

french-toast-with-berries1
Credit: Super Healthy Kids

I love making French toast but I’ve found it a challenge getting toddlers to eat this – until I discovered that slicing the bread up into finger-sized portions made a huge difference! Toddlers love to be able to pick up their food using their hands, so making the toast this way let them pick the bread fingers up easily for them to chomp into.

Soak the sliced bread in a bowl of beaten eggs, melt some butter over the stove, and pan-fry the toast as you usually would!

I serve this topped with fresh blueberries and strawberries and a drizzle of maple syrup. Needless to say, we have clean plates with this breakfast winner!

Ingredients you’ll need:

  • Bread, sliced into fingers
  • Eggs, beaten
  • Butter or olive oil
  • Fresh blueberries and strawberries
  • Maple syrup

 

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