Kids can be picky when it comes to food. My oldest daughter loved eating a wide variety of foods up until she was about two years old and then she decided to only live off chicken nuggets and yogurt. With three kids now, I’ve had to set some standards for lunch time to avoid creating different meals for each child or squabbles over the kids changing their minds about what they want to eat. I agree with parents who think kids should eat the food they are given and be thankful. Moms can also creatively encourage their kids to enjoy healthy foods. We never force the kids to eat a plate of peas, but their tastes have developed for fresh fruit, some veggies with ranch, and a good variety of meats and grains. I can help provide nutritious meals too by purchasing whole grain crackers, healthy cheese, Greek yogurt, and making smoothies that include spinach and carrots. I also give the kids a Probiotics supplement to help their little digestive systems. Here are some of my fun healthy kids’ lunch ideas!
Create Food Shapes
My kids love food shapes! Any sandwich can be cut into a shape with a cookie cutter. My girls also love pancakes shaped like teddy bears and snakes. Fruit is easy to slice up and turn into hearts and happy faces. Lunch time doesn’t have to be a battle if you make food fun and encourage your kids to try new things. These strawberry roses are super easy to make by cutting vertical slices on a rose and using the knife to fold back each petal. Strawberry roses are so cute and yummy!
Have a Tea Party
After nap time my girls love enjoying tea time. I set out our cute little secondhand tea pot and offer the kids a variety of healthy snacks. Raisins, nuts, prunes, and whole grain crackers with a square of cheese all make yummy snacks for kids. The occasional treat is fun too and totally fine alongside a well rounded diet. Afternoon tea time is a great way to spend some regular time with your kids and talk about what they did earlier in the day.
Magnolia & Pine Fashions
Of course a tea party requires dressing up. Magnolia & Pine Clothing offers a darling assortment of little girl dresses that are perfect for dress up and casual play. Even if we aren’t going anywhere my girls love wearing a dress to play around the house. It’s no wonder, these dresses are so comfy and pretty with ruffles and adorable patterns. This dress is decorated with a whimsical pink bow pattern that gorgeously contrasts with the soft dusty aqua cotton fabric. Even the sleeves have ruffles on them!
These dresses wash beautifully and are made with high quality fabrics and gorgeous details. Each ruffle edge is intricately surged and the whole dress is constructed with high quality craftsmanship.
Magnolia & Pine started as a way for two moms to find cute play and casual clothes for their kids without having to endure boutique shopping or worrying that the kids will ruin their play clothes. Magnolia & Pine encourages kids to be kids with clothes are meant to be played in; running, climbing trees, and enjoy popsicles on a hot summer day. Kids like these clothes because they are comfortable, but parents love the cute fashions that are easy on the budget. Shop the latest collection at magnoliaandpineclothing.com.
Healthy Food Alternatives – This / Not That
Smoothies / Soda – Swap out carbonated soda for healthy smoothies that are infused with fresh berries, yogurt, citrus juice, and banana. My kids love smoothies and I can mix up a differnt combination every time! Our favorite is a Berry Banana Smoothie made with 1 banana, scoop of frozen berries, scoop of Greek yogurt, handful of spinach leaves, shot of orange juice, and scoop of ice. Blend up your healthy smoothie and enjoy!
Crackers & Cheese / Chips – Replace processed chips that are high in sodium with whole grain crackers and a square of cheddar cheese. Crackers and cheese cover two of the food groups; grains and dairy! You can even introduce new cheeses to your kids such as Gouda, goat cheese, feta cheese, and Monterrey jack cheese.
Fresh Fruit / Fruit Snacks – Some sweet treats are fun, but you can encourage your kids to love natural sugar by putting out a plate of fresh fruit. My kids can power through a plate of berries, bananas, and apple slices. Kids will often eat anything that’s readily accessible, especially if it’s pretty and colorful. Keep healthy snack alternatives that are easy to grab and skip buying potato chips, pre-cut fruit in sweet syrups, and packaged snacks such as pudding or jello.
Homemade / Processed – Whip up some homemade meals such as fresh mac-n-cheese and grilled cheese sandwiches on whole grain bread. Mac-n-cheese is the easiest thing ever to make; simply boil noodles and make a quick cheese sauce with 1/2 tbsp. butter, 1/2 cup whipping cream, and 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese. Heat the sauce until fully combined and pour it over the cooked noodles. Yum! Your kids will never ask for boxed mac-n-cheese again!
Easily make fresh burritos by cooking a whole pan of ground beef lightly seasoned with taco seasoning. Keep it in the refrigerator to quickly toss a spoonful of cooked ground beef into a tortilla for an easy kids’ lunch. Microwave burritos can contain lots of sodium, preservatives, and chemicals. Homemade burritos are so easy to make it’s a no-brainer! You can also customize homemade burritos with chopped green pepper, onion, sour cream, and a spoonful of salsa. Incorporate every food group; meat, grain, vegetables, and dairy!
Do It Yourself Lunches
Let your kids help make lunch which will teach them skills in the kitchen and build excitement about eating their meal. Offer them a variety of wholesome ingredients (or plenty of fresh ingredients to offset some processed ingredients) when making their own homemade pizza, sandwiches, and paninis. My little girl loves helping in the kitchen. Maybe she will be a chef or just an amazing cook someday!
These colorful divided plates from Re-Play are perfect for serving up lunch for your kids. The three sections encourage you to give your kids a healthy variety of food for each meal and the plates coordinate with kids’ feeding utensils that are perfectly sized for their small hands and mouths. I usually include a meat such as ham or chicken, serving of fresh fruit such as raspberries or banana, and a side of kettle baked chips or bread. I have to sneak anything green such as spinach, cucumbers, or kale into a smoothie for my kids to eat it!
Related Post: Cute Food Shapes & Lunch Ideas for Kids »
How do you inspire your kids to develop healthy eating habits? Kids will appreciate having better a immunity and future good health from the lessons you teach them now. Healthy eating habits help kids to have healthy little bodies that will impact their future lives.
If you have young children, don’t miss checking out the spring collection from Magnolia & Pine Clothing. I love these ruffle dresses and beautiful muted patterns. Magnolia & Pine even has darling outfits for little boys too!
Katie has been married for 9 years, has 3 young children, and loves creative projects, photography, decorating, and encouraging others to pursue their ideas. She loves the Lord and feels blessed to be a stay-at-home mom with opportunities to enjoy creative outlets from home.