granola for kids

5 Kid Friendly Meals

Who would have thought that finding kid-friendly meals would be so complicated? Some days I feel like I’m packing sixteen different snacks and thirty-two different meals for a family of five.

After plenty of trial and error, I’ve finally found a few kid-friendly meals and snacks!

5 Kid Friendly Meals

With school back in session (then not), the uncertainty and the rest of the mumbo jumbo parents have to deal with, kid-friendly meals are a must. But they can’t just be any kid-friendly meal, they should be convenient and easy.


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Breakfast Ideas

Breakfast is one of my favorite meals. Breakfast for dinner is even better! First I’ll share a few kid-friendly breakfast meals to make sure bellies are full before jumping on the next Zoom call.

Homemade Granola

One of my favorite homemade granolas is an adapted recipe from Forks Over Knives Family Edition. Why do I enjoy it so much? Figs.

Do you love fig bars? I do!

I use pecans in this, rather than walnuts as originally suggested.

How do you make a meal out of granola? Top your favorite coconut yogurt with it or make a smoothie bowl. Hint: smoothie bowls are a great way to sneak in greens!

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups GF rolled oats
  • 1 cup medium dried figs, trimmed and finely chopped (you can usually find these in the bulk sections at grocery supermarkets)
  • 1 cup Pecans finely chopped
  • 2 TBS chia seed
  • ¼ cup unsweetened raisins
  • 1 tsp ground Cinnamon
  • ¼ ground Allspice
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 cup unsweetened Applesauce
  • 1 cup date paste
  • 1 tsp Vanilla

Instructions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F. Line two baking trays with parchment paper.
  2. In a large bowl add the oats, figs, pecans, chia seeds, raisins, cinnamon, allspice, and salt. Toss with your hands to mix.
  3. In a small bowl, stir together the applesauce, date paste, and vanilla until well combined.
  4. Add the applesauce mixture to the oats. Mix together until well combined.
  5. Spread the oats evenly on the parchment-lined baking sheets.
  6. Bake until the mixture is dry. The oats will be lightly brown and pecans crisp. About 1 hour to 75 minutes. Stir every 20 minutes to make sure the oats bake evenly. (The granola will crisp up after it cools.)
  7. Remove from the oven and let cool on the sheets. Once the granola is cool, store in an airtight container. Will store in an airtight container for 7-10 days.

Potato Pancakes

breakfast pancakes

Here’s a different take on pancakes. Switching from sweet to savory, and you can take these pancakes on the go which makes for a perfect kid-friendly meal when you’re running from practice to errands.

(Makes 6-8 four-inch pancakes)

Ready is about 30 mins.

Ingredients:

  • ½ cup chickpea flour
  • ½ cup Oat Flour
  • 1 TBS Nutritional Yeast
  • 1 tsp Baking Powder
  • ¼ tsp Baking Soda
  • ½ tsp Onion Powder
  • ¼ tsp Sea Salt
  • 1 cup unflavored, unsweetened Plant Milk (you can substitute water if you don’t have this on hand)
  • ½ Russet Potato, finely grated (about ½ cup)
  • 1 Garlic clove, minced (about ½ tsp)
  • 1 TBS Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 2 tsp Tamari or low sodium Soy Sauce

Instructions:

  1. In a large bowl place both flours, nutritional yeast, baking powder, baking soda, onion powder, and salt. Whisk until well combined. Set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl place the milk (or water), potato, garlic, vinegar, and tamari. Whisk to combine.
  3. Create a well in the center of the dry mixture. Pour in the liquid mixture. Gently mix to form a batter.
  4. Heat a non-stick skillet over medium-low heat. For each pancake pour about ⅓ cup batter onto the skillet. Cook for 6-8 minutes, until the tops of the pancakes, appear dry and the pancakes release easily from the pan.
  5. Use a spatula to gently lift and flip the pancakes over. Cook for another 4-5 minutes then remove to a warmed serving plate. Repeat until all batter is used.
  6. Serve warm, with ketchup (optional).

Cinnamon Apple Couscous

kid friendly breakfast

This has become one of my absolute favorite kid-friendly meals for breakfast. Apples are always on hand at our house. This nontraditional dish switches things up when the kids get bored with oatmeal and cereal.

Ingredients:

  • 1 ½ cups unsweetened, unflavored Plant Milk
  • ¼ cup maple syrup
  • 1 tsp Vanilla extract
  • 1 cup Couscous
  • 2 medium apples, cored and cut into ½ inch dice
  • ½ cup unsweetened Apple Juice OR ¼ cup unsweetened Apple Sauce + ¼ cup water
  • ¼ tsp ground Cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp ground Cloves
  • 2 TBS slivered Almonds for serving (optional)

Instructions:

  1. In a medium saucepan, mix together the milk, maple syrup, and vanilla. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Remove the pan from the heat, stir in the couscous. Cover with a lid and let stand until the liquid is absorbed 5-10 minutes. Then fluff with a fork.
  2. While the couscous is sitting, place the apples in a sauté pan. Add Apple juice, cinnamon, and cloves. Cook uncovered over medium heat until softened, 5-10 minutes.
  3. Add the cooked apples and any remaining juice to the couscous and mix well.
  4. This can be served warm or chilled. Garnish with slivered almonds before serving.

Can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3-4 days.

Lunch or Dinner Ideas

Again with kids sometimes we need meals that are both convenient and approved by both kids and parents! I’m sharing a few of my favorite easy lunch and dinner ideas that my entire family approves of!

Homemade Cashew Cheese

This is one of those prepared foods to have on hand when the day gets crazy and you forgot to prep dinner.

Cashew cheese can be used in a variety of kid-friendly meals; quesadillas, grilled cheese sandwiches, or topped on your kid’s favorite pizza!

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup Raw Cashews (soaked at least 2 hours, if short on time boil water and pour over cashews in a medium bowl)
  • 1/4 cup Water
  • 1/4 cup Nutritional Yeast
  • 1 TBS Lemon Juice
  • 2 Garlic cloves
  • 1 TBS Apple Cider Vinegar

Instructions:

  1. Add all ingredients into a high-speed blender and blend until thick and creamy.
  2. The consistency will be like a smooth, thick hummus
  3. Taste for flavor. If you or your family have a flavor preference, you can add some heat to this by simply adding peppers or Chile powder. Add salt to keep it simple, more nutritional yeast for extra cheese flavor, or sun-dried tomatoes for pizza!
  4. Store in the refrigerator for up to 5-7 days.

Vegetable and Tofu Stir-Fry

I’ll admit stir-fry was never one of my favorites growing up, but I think a lot of it has to do with the lack of flavor and the variety of vegetables included in the meal.

I suggest trying to include your kid’s favorite vegetable to make it more appealing. Some options include; edamame, peas, corn, mushrooms, broccoli, squash varieties. Don’t be afraid to experiment to make this kid-friendly meal work for your house.

Ingredients:

  • 1 – 14 oz package Firm Tofu, drained
  • 1 TBS Ginger, grated fresh or powder
  • 6 Garlic cloves, minced (about 1 TBS)
  • 1 tsp ground Coriander
  • 1 tsp Paprika
  • 1 TBS Tomato Paste
  • 1 – 24 oz bag frozen stir-fry Vegetables (about 5 cups)
  • Sea Salt
  • 2 TBS finely chopped Basil and/or Cilantro (optional)
  • Steamed Brown Rice, for serving

Instructions:

  1. Wrap tofu in a clean towel or paper towel. Place tofu in a colander set on a plate. Fill a bowl that is slightly smaller than the colander with water and set on top of the tofu to weigh it down. Let stand for 20 minutes, then cut tofu into 1-inch cubes and set aside.
  2. In a sauté pan, place the ginger, garlic, and ½ cup water. Cover and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Add the coriander and paprika and simmer for 2 minutes.
  3. In a small bowl, place the tomato paste and ¼ cup water and stir until combined. Add the tomato water, frozen vegetables, and salt to taste to the pan with the ginger and spices. Increase heat to medium-high and cook the vegetables until softened, stirring frequently, 3-5 minutes, adding water 1-2 tablespoons at a time as needed to keep the vegetables from sticking.
  4. Add the tofu to the pan and gently stir to coat. Cook until the tofu is heated through and has absorbed the spices, 5-7 minutes.
  5. Serve garnished with basil/cilantro. Service hot with brown rice.

Simple and Nourishing Meals

These five kid-friendly meals are some of my favorites. They’re versatile, simple, and nourishing. Who would have thought that feeding little humans would be so complicated?!

Keep an open mind when trying new ingredients. With how picky kids can be, it’s hard not to get discouraged. Remember, kids, don’t know what they like until they try it. These kid-friendly meals are meant for the entire family to enjoy!

Did you try one of these recipes? Let us know what your favorite is!

Lacy Catao

Lacy Catao is a certified Holistic Nutritionist, former paralegal and Army veteran. Motherhood inspires Lacy to share her knowledge of nutrition and optimal wellness, while also providing lifestyle insight as a mother striving to parent with grace and patience. This California native planted her roots in northern Nevada with her husband in 2016. She contributes her love for country living to Idaho, which is where she spent most of her school-age years. Lacy is the mother of three girls and two stubborn Bulldogs.