Say Goodbye To Chicken Nuggets: Healthy Meal Ideas For Kids
Some Links In This Post Are Affiliate Links, See Disclosure For More Details
Here we are again, embarking on the busiest time of the year, the time when shopping and wrapping gifts take the place of lounging on the couch watching TV, and the time that cookies and candy take the place of healthy fruits and vegetables in our diets. With all of the hustle and bustle that comes with the season it becomes even more important to plan ahead when it comes to meals to ensure that you have something nourishing to eat every day without having to resort to fast food and freezer items all month long! Now, just a disclaimer.... my kids are in fact kids and they love chicken nuggets and junk food... and by no means do I deprive them from this! Chick-Fil-A is eaten on the regular at our house! But I also try and provide other healthy meal choices throughout the week in hopes that my kids learn to enjoy a healthy and balanced diet. And yet another disclaimer, my kids are picky eaters, so just because I suggest and serve them the following meals that you will see does not necessarily mean they eat it all, but it’s all about exposure at this age and I have to remind myself that on the daily. So today I have for you some of our meal staples for my little ones and I’m hoping this will provide you with some inspiration when you have run out of ideas for your own kiddos. There is nothing necessarily ground breaking here... I just know how a mom's brain can be fried with all the daily tasks at hand and it helps to have something to look at and plans meals without having to think much, am I right??!
And before I get to those meals, let me talk to you for a moment about the Re-play brand. I was recently introduced to them through the wonderful world of Instagram and was instantly attracted to their variety of bright colors (imagine that, me loving color LOL)! Well after I researched their company a bit more I was ten times more impressed with them and their products. The company Re-Think It, Inc. is a family owned company and highly values five qualities in their products: Sustainability, Safety, Durability, Functionality, and Affordability. All Re-Play products and even packaging are made from recycled products that are recycled weekly by environmentally conscious families. These plastics are then sanitized and formed into the products that you see today! The materials are thick and meant to withstand the test of time, they are all even third party tested to ensure that they meet FDA safety guidelines in regards to food consumption. These products also offer many wonderful kid friendly features such as divided plate compartments, no-spill cup valves, and did I mention bright friendly colors!? The last amazing feature I will mention is their commitment to affordability, head HERE and check it out for yourself, but you can also take my word for it that you can buy a three pack of divided plates for under $10! These products can be purchased directly online or from Wal-mart, Whole Foods, Target, Kroger, HEB, and Amazon to name a few major carriers.
Okay now on to the meal suggestions, hope you find some staples to add into your little one's meal rotations!
Hard Boiled Eggs & Berries (my girls only like the whites LOL)
Whole Grain Waffles With Peanut or Almond Butter
Peanut Butter Toast With Bananas
Steel Cut Oatmeal (Pictured Here is an Apple Cinnamon Flavor, I will have my recipe up on my blog soon, until then THIS one is similar from Garnish With Lemon )
Lunch & Dinner
Shredded Chicken, Cranberries, Carrot Sticks, Sliced Cucumbers, Hummus For the shredded chicken I cook raw, defrosted chicken breasts in the crockpot with chicken stock, ranch seasoning, and water (enough so the liquid mostly covers the chicken) and cook on low for 6-8 hours. You can then use this shredded chicken throughout the week for meals!
Mild Flavored Chicken Sausage Slices, Green Beans, Pear or Apple Slices
Butternut Chili served With Cornbread or a Dinner Roll This delicious recipe is found HERE from Spend With Pennies although I will let you know that we do add cooked ground turkey or hamburger to increase the protein and we omit both peppers. The end result is so flavorful that even the girls love it!
Macaroni and Cheese (we use Annie's Homegrown) with Cooked Rotisserie or Shredded Chicken Mixed In, Served With Peas and Strawberries
Cheese Ravioli With Marinara Sauce, Sliced Carrots, Bananas Slices With Peanut Butter
Ground Turkey, Spinach and Parmesan Cheese Tortellini, Orange Slices For the Tortellini Sauce I blend approximately 1/2 cup of Spinach with 1/2 cup of plain greek yogurt and 1/4 cup of grated parmesan cheese. If the sauce is too thick you can add milk 1 teaspoon at a time until your desired consistency is reached.
Homemade Chicken Nuggets, Broccoli Florets, Blueberries
- I often use THIS homemade chicken nugget recipe from Fit For Motherhood
Beef Taco Salad, Corn, Cheesestick
Bacon Chicken Ranch Sheet Pan Meal Served With Pear or Apple Slices This easy and delicious recipe can be found HERE from The Real Food Dietitians. This is one of those types of meals where I encourage my girls to try all the veggies and at least take a "no thank you bite" if they don't want to eat them all.
Baked Salmon, Orange & Cranberry Chutney, Greek Yogurt, Corn This salmon is one of my all time favorite recipes due to its ease of cooking, delicious taste, and healthy stats. You can find my post containing this oh so simple recipe HERE. The cranberry and orange chutney is a recipe I am working on posting to the blog until then you can check out this simple cranberry sauce HERE from Eat The Gains.
This salmon is one of my all time favorite recipes due to its ease of cooking, delicious taste, and healthy stats. You can find my post containing the simple recipe HERE. The cranberry and orange chutney is a recipe I am working on posting to the blog until then you can check out this simple cranberry sauce HERE from EatTheGains.
Apples & Cranberries
Deli Turkey Meat and Cheese Cubes
Cheese Stick and NutThin Crackers
Grapes and Annie's Cheddar Bunny Crackers
Cashews & Apple Slices
Greek Yogurt Single Serve Tubes
Peanuts & Raisins
Greek Yogurt Parfait With Berries and Granola
Peanut Butter Sandwich
Cucumbers & Carrots With Hummus
Homemade Smoothie My family's personal favorite smoothie recipe can be found on my blog post HERE, but you can make your own variety using milk or yogurt and frozen fruit of your choice.
Peanut Butter & Banana Chocolate Shake I use approximately 2 tablespoons of peanut butter, 1-2 teaspoons of cacao powder, and one frozen banana blended with about 1 cup of milk. These measurements are approximate as I typically don't measure as I go along, I will just add more or less milk at the end to reach the desired consistency.
Baked Apples and Pears This is, hands down, my girls favorite healthy snack. You can read the full recipe on my post HERE
I hope you enjoyed this first addition of Healthy Kids Meals, I will post another round in the future if it is something you all would like. Until next time, enjoy your holiday season!