I’ve been a die-hard Trader Joe’s fan ever since I first discovered the magical grocery store when I lived in New York City. Back in those days, Trader Joe’s was like the hottest club. If you went during peak time, you’d literally have to wait in a line to get in (and I’m talking about pre-COVID days). Once inside, you’d join the checkout line as you shopped, since it snaked through the entire store.
Eventually, I moved out of NYC, and though I was sad to leave, when people asked about the positives of leaving the city, I remarked that one of the best things was how much easier the Trader Joe’s experience is—literally anywhere else.
And thank goodness because now, in addition to shopping for myself and my husband, I’m also shopping for a surprisingly hungry toddler. She doesn’t eat quite as much Trader Joe’s goodness as I do, but her food does take up a big chunk of my shopping cart. I’m sharing what a typical Trader Joe’s grocery list and meal plan look like for my 1-year-old.
A few notes before we jump in. I’m not a nutritionist or toddler feeding expert, but this is what works for us, and hopefully, it will give you some new ideas for your own family. Also, I often make meals for my husband and myself that my daughter can eat with us or the next day. I don’t like to waste and also don’t force my child into the clean plate club. Whatever is left on her tray at the end of the meal goes back into the refrigerator, and we try again at the next meal.
You’ll also notice some repetition. I do want to expose my daughter to new flavors and textures (how else would I have discovered she loves sauerkraut?), but every meal doesn’t need to be a whole production. Simple is sometimes best. And finally, sometimes what I provide is fully rejected and lunch ends up consisting of blueberries and cheese, but that’s a toddler for ya.
With all of that in mind, here is a basic meal plan Monday through Friday and our Trader Joe’s grocery list to go along with it.
- Breakfast: Bowl of Greek yogurt + almond butter, 1/2 blueberry waffle
- Lunch: 1/2 blueberry waffle (whatever is leftover from breakfast), scrambled egg with cheese
- Dinner: Roasted zucchini and broccoli, roasted chicken slices, applesauce
- Breakfast: Bowl of Greek yogurt + almond butter, sliced blueberries
- Lunch: Leftover roasted zucchini and broccoli, raspberries, avocado, cut up cheese stick
- Dinner: Piece of bread with almond butter and jelly, side of blueberries and raspberries
- Breakfast: Blueberry waffle, sliced blueberries
- Lunch: Sauerkraut, roasted chicken slices, avocado
- Dinner: Tuna salad (canned tuna, avocado, mustard), sauerkraut, blueberries
- Breakfast: Scrambled egg with cheese, avocado
- Lunch: Leftover tuna salad, sauerkraut, sliced blueberries
- Dinner: Pasta with kale pesto sauce, applesauce
- Breakfast: Avocado toast, whatever berries are left
- Lunch: Leftover pasta with pesto sauce, applesauce
- Dinner: Silver dollar pancakes (breakfast for dinner!), blueberries
My Trader Joe’s Toddler-Focused Shopping List
- Whole Milk Greek Yogurt, Plain
- Raw Creamy Almond Butter
- Naturally Flavored Blueberry Waffles
- Organic Silver Dollar Pancakes
- Mild Cheddar Cheese Snack Sticks
- Sauerkraut with Pickled Persian Cucumbers
- Fresh Zucchini
- Fresh Broccoli
- Unsweetened Applesauce
- Fresh Blueberries
- Fresh Raspberries
- Fresh Avocado
- Columbus Rotisserie-Style Chicken Breast (deli-style)
- Organic Reduced Sugar Blueberry Preserves
- Ezekiel Bread
- Albacore Tuna (no salt added)
- Vegan Kale, Cashew, & Basil Pesto
- Brown Rice & Quinoa Fusilli Pasta