I don't know about the rest of you out there who are feeding toddlers, but mine seem to eat like it's their last meal one night and then pick at their food for the next three nights. I've been told this is typical, but it certainly makes meal planning a frustration at times. So, I don't plan for them much--just expect them to eat what the adults are eating for dinner.
That being said, there are a few meals that I know they won't eat (spicy/weird ethnic comes to mind) or times when we just want to order pizza (the younger two toddlers aren't up to pizza eating skill yet). So, what do I feed my toddlers when they've not eaten much lately, won't eat what I'm serving tonight, or just need a good dose/boost of veggies or protein (the two categories that seem to fall by the wayside during eating strikes)? Here's my list of guarantees--the foods I know they'll eat if at all hungry. If you have any guarantees, please share them!
Beans (black, pintos, etc.)
Eggs in any form
Chicken nuggets (yes, we have a big bag in the freezer)
Fancy Spinach (this is practically a complete meal with all the eggs and cheese in it; my kids LOVE this)
Cottage Cheese and Spinach Gratin--the easy version (again, practically a complete meal with the addition of a carb; my kids INHALE this....go figure)
Baked or Roasted Sweet Potatoes
Butternut Squash Souffle (only if I'm feeling extra generous with my time :) )
Steamed Peas or straight from the bag frozen (must feel good on those little teething gums)
Pumpkin puree stirred into yogurt
Quesadillas (anything works here: whole wheat tortillas, cheese, and anything else they might eat--including chopped cooked broccoli, chicken, beans, etc.)
Hot dog, cottage cheese, peas in a little divided plate--a staple for my older daughter when I was in the midst of a twin pregnancy
Creamy Peanut Chicken (with extra veggies mixed in)
Pumpkin Yogurt or smoothie