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Quick, kid-friendly meal ideas

Get out of the kitchen fast

This article was last updated Aug. 10, 2023.

Most of us get tired of warming pre-cooked chicken nuggets in the oven and boiling spaghetti on the stove for our children. Add some excitement to the kitchen with these simple ideas, courtesy of Amy Palanjian of Yummy Toddler Food External Site, to help you get in and out of the kitchen quickly. They have the added benefit of being budget friendly, nutritious and delicious enough for parents to enjoy.

Create a snack box lunch

Think of this simple lunch like a kid-friendly cheese plate and then customize according to what’s fresh, in season and what your kids like. You can include snacks like:

  • Sliced cheese.
  • Rolled up deli meat or salami.
  • Whole-grain crackers, snap pea crisps, whole-grain mini muffins, or granola bars.
  • Fresh veggies like snap peas, cucumbers, cherry tomatoes, bell pepper strips, thawed frozen peas or edamame.
  • Fresh fruit like grapes, berries, clementines, mini apples, dried apricots, dried cherries.

Assemble at least one option from each category for balance and serve.

Easy and healthy recipes for kids

Are you looking for easy-to-make, healthy recipes that your kids will love? Find kitchen inspiration with these dishes.

Find a quick recipe for any meal of the day

No matter how much (or how little) time you have to prepare food, eating healthy can be easy. Find delicious, nutritious and time-saving recipes in our Quick and Easy recipes section.

Quick snacks for the road

"Always have a nutritious snack or two in your bag," says Palanjian. "It just might save the day when hunger strikes, or you're stuck somewhere without healthy food options."

Whether you’re headed to the pool for the afternoon, or going on vacation for a week, here are some of Palanjian’s go-to travel snacks:

  • Lara® bars, or any other bar that’s low in added sugars.
  • Plain Cheerios®, Kix® and Rice Chex®.
  • Trail mix (think almonds, raisins, roasted pumpkin seeds, sliced cashews, dried cranberries and dark chocolate chips).
  • Blueberries, bananas, apples or any other fresh fruit.

For more practical tips for road-tripping with young children, visit: External Site.