This article is about kid-friendly meal ideas .
Sometimes my favorite posts to write are the ones that I would personally like to read about myself, which is how I feel about this post today.
While I originally thought the topic of our girls’ favorite foods was one of the more boring topics I’ve ever thought of, I then got to thinking about how I would click that headline in a heartbeat if I saw a fellow blogger share. As a mom, I’m all about talking with and gleaning ideas from others about all kinds of topics under the sun, so surely this is a post right up your alley if you’ve landed here on this page to read. 🙂
Kid-Friendly Meal Ideas
A few quick things to know about our girls:
Hadley is 6 and has been what we would call a “visual” eater forever. She pursed her lips and staunchly disliked many baby foods as an infant, which then bled into her eating habits as a toddler. As a first-time mom, I really struggled internally with what Hadley was (or wasn’t) putting in her body (long-time readers may remember).
Fast forward to Kindergarten, and she is somewhat of a better eater, mainly because she is a very obedient kid. If we ask (ahem… tell) her to eat something, she will do it. In my opinion, we are reasonable though. For example, she loathes broccoli, so if we’re having broccoli for dinner, we ask her to eat two small florets. That’s it.
She decides as soon as she sees her plate if she’ll eat something new or not, and trying new things is torture for her. I even gave her a Little Debbie christmas tree cake the other day because I thought that would be a welcomed seasonal treat, and she completely turned her nose up to it. She never took a bite, simply because it was something new. As you’ll see below though, she has come a very (!!!) long way with the list of foods that she eats and enjoys.
Sadie is 3.5 and a fairly good eater. Sadie actually likes most things, but the issue that comes into play with her is that she only wants to eat on her timetable. If she’s bored, she begs for snacks, but being told to sit down and eat breakfast or dinner as a family can be a struggle. She will sit with us and be her typical goofball self, but actually eating anything (even if it’s something she likes) isn’t her thing if she hasn’t decided she’s hungry.
We have a few strategies we use to tackle this, so it’s not as big of an issue as it used to be. This is the beauty of kids getting bigger. 😉
Okay! So here’s a list of kid-friendly meal Ideas that our little ones enjoy.
Pancakes (with syrup and sprinkles)
Scrambled eggs with cheese
Peanut butter toast
Apples and peanut butter
Banana with peanut butter
Oatmeal (Sadie only)
Strawberry Nutrigrain bar
Chocolate banana smoothie
Flavored yogurt (only if it has characters on it – *eyeroll)
Sides of fruit: Clementine, raspberries, strawberries, pineapple (They both really love fruit, so we serve it often!)
Lunch & Dinner:
Peanut butter sandwich (crunchy or creamy)
Ritz crackers with sliced cheddar cheese and pieces of ham
Grilled chicken with ketchup
Sweet potato fries
Carrots and ranch (served in this little plastic mini cup)
Pasta with ground beef and spaghetti sauce (They even love veggie pasta and have no clue it’s not the real thing!)
Chicken fettucine alfredo
The list of foods they enjoy is obviously a bit longer, but these were the things that came to my mind immediately, meaning they are their tip-top favorites.
How we do breakfast: The girls hate this so much, but we require them to eat something for breakfast or they aren’t going to school (we’ve thankfully never had to follow through with this threat, LOL). Because we have a short window in the mornings to eat, we let them pick what they want from the list above. They just have to finish it. We want them to be able to focus and play and learn and do all the things and not be distracted because they’re hungry.
Lunch: I make their lunches in this bento box container and have for four years. I send one main course (usually a sandwich or leftovers from dinner the night prior if they liked it), one fruit or vegetable (the only vegetable I know they’ll actually eat at school is carrots and ranch), and then one snacky “kid” food, like a chocolate chip granola bar, chips, Fruit Roll-Up, etc. We also just pack Camelbaks of water.
Dinner: I usually cook three times a week, and if I’m cooking, we’re all eating it. I will just try to give them a realistic portion that I know they can finish, so if it’s something that’s not a favorite of theirs (like how I add red and green diced peppers to our meat sauce the other night), I only require a few bites. If we are eating leftovers or frozen food, I will generally make them something they like (like frozen pizza or chicken nuggets) since we’ll all probably be eating something different from each other anyway.
In a nutshell, we aren’t winning any awards over here for our kids’ food habits BY ANY MEANS but are definitely trying our best to make sure they eat well-rounded meals weekly (not daily). We try our best to be reasonable but firm since we know as their parents we need to teach them to nourish their bodies well.
We also try to be realistic that “kid foods” didn’t kill us and won’t kill them. As long at they’re eating enough and continually trying new things (especially things that are good for them), then we are satisfied with them eating the things they enjoy as well.
It seems like every parent has different struggles or philosophies when it comes to feeding their young kids. If you’re up to it, please share what works in your home! What kid-friendly meal ideas do you love?
Hi! I’m Erica, and I absolutely adore sharing my life on this website with you! I come here almost daily to blab about all of the things related to being a regular wife and mother in today’s ever-evolving society. I share about our new home, what’s on our kitchen table, what we’re hanging in our closets, where we’re traveling to next, my crazy 5 a.m. work outs, how I make time for girlfriends, our faith, and much more. We always have a lot of balls in the air and somewhat thrive on the chaos. I believe in the power of story-telling as a form of inspiration and entertainment, so I’m here to do both! I was born and raised in north Alabama and recently re-planted roots here again after my husband transitioned out of the Army (he is now in the Reserve and it’s going so well!) I’m a super proud mom to three little girls (ages 7, 4, and 1) who seem to be the stars of the show around here (for good reason – they’re pretty great!) I’m so glad you found me and are here reading! I hope we can get to know each other here on the blog as well as Facebook and/or Instagram. xoxo