Kid friendly food doesn't have to break the bank. Most kids don’t want a fancy restaurant and a fussy meal. They want something that tastes good and looks good, too. Healthy kids' meal ideas don’t have to be hard to come up with either, from quesadillas to super tasty soups, they’re all good! We've come up with the best kid friendly meals on a budget.
Get the napkins ready spaghetti
Healthy, kid friendly meals on a budget don’t have to be complicated. Spaghetti is a kid favorite! You can make a quick homemade sauce that is loaded with nutrients and inexpensive. Saute some ground turkey or protein of your choice, add chopped mushrooms (hidden veggie #1), onion or garlic. Pour in crushed tomatoes or tomato sauce, add grated carrots for sweetness (hidden veggie #2). Add your favorite herbs and spices, such as oregano or basil. This sauce can be made in large quantities and frozen for busy nights. Looking for an even quicker option? Try this bowl full of “yays”!
Cheesy, easy, quesadilla
Quesadillas are a great quick meal that can be customized to your liking and ready in a flash. They are easy to make ahead and if your little one likes them cold, they make a great healthy food for your kids lunchbox. Using a whole grain tortilla, for a fiber boost, top with shredded cheese. Add black beans, corn, bell pepper, carrots, pears, apples, tuna, chicken, or your own favorite combination of flavors.
Float away on zucchini boats
When zucchini is in season in the summer months, you can pick it up for as low as .50 cents! You can also grow your own from seeds for a fun family project. When you have a few medium/large zucchini, slice them in half lengthwise, scoop out the seeds and get ready to fill. You can fill your zucchini with italian sausage, tomato sauce, and cheese for a pizza boat. You can fill it with black beans, corn, salsa and cheese for a taco boat. You can fill it with just about anything- chicken, cheese, alfredo sauce….you call the shots. Healthy foods for kids can be easy to try when the flavors are similar to some of their favorite foods, like pizza or tacos. Bake it in the oven until the zucchini is tender and the cheese is bubbling (about 40 minutes).
Healthy kids meals can be hard to find. They are often filled with sugar, added fat, and added salt. Packaged frozen nuggets are some of the worst. They are also a food kids love and are easy for parents to get on the table. Where to meet in the middle? DIY nuggets. Using ground chicken, egg, and a little salt, you can form your own nuggets to the perfect size for your child. You can dredge them in flour and egg and dip them in crunchy corn flakes or panko breadcrumbs and then bake until the inside reaches 165F. These nuggets are another great make ahead food that can be frozen and reheated whenever you need. Just heat them in the oven or microwave for a few minutes. If that timeline just isn’t realistic for you, we feel you. This nuggets with mac & cheese is a healthy (and fast) kid pleasing favorite.
Classic, comfy casseroles
Casseroles are a staple in any budget cookbook and for good reason. They are easy to customize, stay as leftovers well, and don’t make a ton of dishes. This stove-top tuna casserole is a reminder of the tuna noodle casserole from your childhood. It also packs important omega-3 fatty acids which can support children’s brain development. You can use whole wheat noodles (any shape), low sodium chicken broth, and add veggies (try carrots or corn) to make this dish your own.
No matter what you’re making there are a few great staples to have on hand to make any meal a bit more nutritious. Canned or frozen fruits and vegetables are just as nutritious as fresh! If you’re concerned about sodium or added sugars, you can drain and rinse the item well to reduce about 40% of added salt or sugar from canned foods. While you're planning your meals for the week, think seasonally. Produce that is in season is much less expensive. You can prep it and freeze it or try your hand at canning and make tasty homemade jams! For an example, think strawberries in January versus fresh strawberries in June. Keep brown rice, whole grain noodles, canned beans, and canned tomatoes on hand for quick, easy, inexpensive meals.
In between stretching your food dollar, convenience and time is king. When you need healthy foods for kids in a hurry, check out the Yumble menu. A kids meal delivery service, Yumble Kids provides variety, convenience, and nutritious meals made just for kids. The best part? The meals are full of healthy ingredients you feel good about!
Looking for an easy way to get healthier lunches ready during the week? Yumble is the children’s healthy meal planner that does the hard work for you. We deliver fresh, delicious, fully prepared kids’ meals right to your door. Pick a plan that works best for your family, choose your weekly meals, and Yumble takes care of the rest. No cooking required! Ready to save time & serve nutritious meals? Visit https://yumblekids.com/