Finding healthy food recipes for kids can be a challenge.
Finding foods that are fun, nutritious, and still within a child’s comfort zone is not always an easy task.
Between meal ideas for kids, and healthy kids snack recipes, many stay at home moms become frustrated.
Read on to learn kids and toddler meal ideas.
Does your day go something like this?
Wake up, feed the kids cereal, let them watch TV, give them some juice and crackers for a snack, have them play outside, feed them boxed mac and cheese for lunch, have them play video games and then wait until dinner for a more well balanced meal?
Sometimes its just hard to figure out good, healthy food recipes for kids.
It’s hard enough to plan a dinner menu for the entire family!
But add in the creativity needed to figure out breakfast, lunch and snacks for kids too….ugh.
Planning healthy food recipes for kids is not just limited to those with preschoolers at home.
Many stay at home moms are with kids all day:
- Homeschooled Children
- Families with Toddlers or Preschoolers
- Home Daycare Providers
- Summer Break
- Weekends, or When Daddy or Mommy is Out of Town
There are two important rules when it comes to kid-friendly and toddler meal ideas: Make it Fun and Make it Easy.
Make it Fun
When planning kid and toddler meal ideas, its extremely important that you keep it fun. Find healthy food recipes for kids that are entertaining, as well as nutritious. Here are some tips for meal ideas for kids to get you started:
Captivate your child’s imagination with visually stimulating foods. Food coloring can be a great addition to many kid and toddler meal ideas. Add green food coloring to eggs and make Green Eggs and Ham. Make oatmeal yellow for a sunshine breakfast. Color biscuits blue or yogurt purple. Color is fun.
And shapes count! Use funny shaped pastas for Chicken Noodle Soup. Use cookie cutters to stamp out interesting shaped sandwiches. Cut veggie slices into star or moon shapes. Create smiley faces out of orange slices, grapes, and a banana.
The point here is to look at food that you place in front of your kids thorough a child’s eyes, and try to make it fun. Get creative!
Give your healthy food recipes for kids fun names. Peanut butter and banana sandwiches can become Monkey Tails. Nachos can become Cheesy Sharks.
Prepare Pigs in a Blanket by taking hot dogs (turkey dogs OK), covering them with a Kraft Cheese single, and then rolling them into a refrigerated croissant roll. Bake in the oven at 350 for 8-10 mins.
One of my all time favorite healthy kids snack recipes is Ants on a Log. Cut celery in 3-4 inch slices. Spoon peanut butter into the celery crevice. Top with a row of ants….raisins. Kids get a kick out of mommy being silly! Humor them.
Have the Kids Help
Nothing will make a child happier than helping mommy do grown-up stuff. It doesn’t matter if your child is 3 or 10, they love to help cook! Involve your kids, when possible. Find some age appropriate activity and have them assist.
Make it Easy
The second rule when it comes to meal ideas for kids is to make it easy…for you! The reason we moms turn to convenience foods so often is simply because we’re tired, not feeling creative, and they are so easy. So stick with these tips to resist the boxed meal urge!
It’s OK to have 3-5 breakfast and lunch ideas that you rotate on a weekly basis. Kids don’t necessarily love variety anyway. They typically have their favorite foods and want to stick to them. So keep to the basics.
If you have kids who are not too excited about eating their vegetables, it’s not too difficult to hide them in their foods. Chop up green peppers, onions, and carrots very fine and add them to pasta dishes such as spaghetti.
Substitute apple sauce for oils in baked recipes. One of my favorite healthy food recipes for kids involves adding in a jar of baby food (spinach, peas, etc) to casseroles or even brownies. The kids (and your husband) get the benefit of healthy eating and no one is the wiser!
The best way to keep it simple is to plan your children’s breakfasts and lunches the same way you plan their dinners. Write out a menu plan for the week, and shop for ingredients. Keep it simple, with basic ingredients, but don’t be afraid to vary those ingredients.
Money Saving Resources
Use the following resources to help you on your path towards frugal food.
1. More pages on Stay-a-Stay-at-Home-Mom.com:
- Meal Planning
- Grocery Coupon Online Classes
- Cheap Grocery Resources
- Freezer Cooking Tips
- Best Tupperware
- Budget Cooking Ideas
- Menus for Kids
- Start a Food Exchange
- Grow Your Own Vegetable Garden
- Raise Meat Rabbits
- Raise Chickens in Your Backyard
- Buying Organic Foods
- Order Groceries Online
- Frugal Grocery Shopping Tips
- Emergency Food Preparation
- Start a Grocery Price Book
- Printable Grocery Shopping Lists