In need of a few new ideas for your kiddos lunch or a quick and easy dinner? Here are several I’ve saved throughout the last few months that I *hope* will be something new for you to mix things up a bit for your little ones and bless you AND them!
A few simple ways that I keep things exciting and engaging when it comes to meals for C mean I let her have (some) choice… this is usually deciding between two items. I don’t do this every meal time with her, because an important lesson we want to instill in our children is that not every time (whether that’s meal time, playtime, a reward, an activity, etc.) means getting what they want or having choices. We want them to learn that sometimes they might not eat their favorite thing every meal, but they can still enjoy it with a grateful heart and maybe have something they like better the next day or for the next meal!
Another simple way I keep her engaged is, by letting her help! She absolutely loves helping me in the kitchen, and a fun way that motivates her to eat is by allowing her to help me make meals! Lunch time might not necessarily mean making the actual meal, but for other meals, I try to involve her as much as I can, so she can be apart of what she’ll be eating later. I’ve found she’s much more receptive to trying new foods that way or eating foods she’s had in the past that aren’t necessarily her favorite!
Finally, I try to make it fun and give her a variety! Even if that means just a different type of veggie I swap out during one of our typical lunches, or giving her meal to her on her own special plate. I keep the plates as colorful as possible also to keep things fun and exciting looking! I will usually keep an item she loves the “best” for the end, which is also motivating for her to finish up the rest of her necessity items on her plate. These tips may not all work well with your little ones, but hopefully they are some new ways you can at least test out!
So below are several images of different meal ideas you can do with your kiddos. Let me know if there’s any questions on any you see below, or if you just have any other questions in regards to getting your little ones motivated to eat!
Lunch idea: Hard salami, grapes, Way Better sweet potato chips, carrots, yellow bell pepper, and our fav black bean hummus to dip veggies and chips in! It’s spicy, but she loves it!
Dinner idea: (warm) spaghetti squash, shredded chicken, crushed turkey bacon, diced spinach, avocado… anything that I can add spinach too that will be masked by the other flavors, I do it! Smoothies, eggs, Mac and cheese… I always try to add some greens at every meal for her!
Leftover lunch idea: from the other nights dinner (above picture) spaghetti squash, shredded chicken, mixed fruit, carrots, and spicy black bean hummus for carrots… and hey Tommy boy in my tummy! (Taken this past summer!)
Lunch idea: Hard salami, bell pepper, carrot, black bean hummus for veggies, blueberries, corn tortilla chips + guac!
On the go lunch idea: veggie straws, sugar snap peas, AB+J sandwich! (Almond Butter)
Breakfast idea: protein pancake, almond butter + 100% pure maple syrup, mixed berries
Lunch idea: Shredded Turkey, red bell pepper, carrots, 1/2 banana, Way Better sweet potato chips, Annie’s graham cracker bunnies
Dinner idea: 100% pure beef hot dog, ketchup… lots of that ;), green beans + corn, brown rice + quinoa mix, purple + green grapes
Breakfast idea: overnight oats with toppings of choice! C loves these!! Great for busy mornings on the go- see full recipe on my previous post!
One last lunch idea: Shredded Turkey, sliced apple, omega trail mix (peanuts, walnuts, pumpkin seeds, dried cranberries, dried mango, almonds), sugar snap peas, red bell pepper.
As you can see, we keep things simple. I love anything she can eat independently without a ton of mess in case I get hung up with nursing the baby or need to tend to him. I rotate out certain items to keep things fresh while still having similar meals! I like meals that are easy to prep and serve (especially lunch if we’ve been out and about during the morning and she’s hungry + I want her to get a good lunch in before nap!). Nothing fancy, but well rounded and filling! It takes a little longer to get the food groups covered each meal, but totally worth it!
I hope these meal ideas bless you this upcoming week and inspire you to use what you already have in the kitchen or add a few new grocery list items to freshen things up for you and your kiddos!