Fun Food For Kids
It’s not surprising that kids love chicken nuggets. The morsels are small, easy to eat, and taste good. While the versions you find at McDonald’s and frozen in grocery stores aren’t very healthy, you can easily make your own that are much better.
Most homemade chicken nuggets rely on chicken breasts that are breaded in a homemade breadcrumb mixture. These can be deep fried, but more parents bake the nuggets instead to make them healthier (and less likely to cause night terrors!).
You can even turn to gluten-free breadcrumb alternatives.
Another trick is to cook your chicken breast, then blend it with an egg and a little salt. You can then coat and fry like normal. This approach breaks up the chicken, making it easier to chew. Plus, the chicken is malleable before it has been fried, so you can easily make the nuggets into interesting shapes.
Food on a Stick
Serving food on a stick always seems to make it that much more exciting. Perhaps that’s because the idea is just that little bit different. Food on a stick is more portable too. Kids can easily wander around with it, which is perfect for parties.
As for what you can put on the stick – the options are almost endless.
Most soft foods will work fairly well. Just make sure the food is firm enough that it won’t slip back off the stick again. For example, meatballs are perfect on the end of sticks and can easily be dipped in sauce. On the other hand, trying to put jello on a stick wouldn’t make much sense at all.
Some fun foods to try include:
- Cherry tomatoes
- Fried food
- Cake pops
You don’t need to stick to a single item either. Try adding multiple different foods to the same stick, like fruit, meat, and cheese. You can even build mini hamburgers on sticks (with or without the buns) if you feel like it.
Zucchini fries are much healthier than French fries, especially if you don’t deep fry them (most recipes call for baking your fries or air frying them anyway). The idea is easy enough. You’re taking sticks of zucchini, coating them with flour, egg, and then a breadcrumb mixture, then cooking them.
When they’ve just been cooked, zucchini fries are fresh, crisp, and delicious. They might seem like an odd choice for kids, given that the fries are mostly zucchini. Even so, many children love them. After all, they taste good and have a fantastic crunch.
Plus, you don’t need to stress about how many ‘fries’ your kids eat, as these are a very healthy snack. Try serving them with a dip or two to make the zucchini fries even more appealing.
Mac and Cheese Balls
Okay, a word of warning, this particular food choice isn’t healthy at all. That’s probably not surprising, as you’re taking small portions of macaroni cheese, rolling them up, and then deep frying them.
This is a great way to make macaroni and cheese even more appealing, as the balls have this amazing crunch on the outside, while the interior remains soft.
Chicken Waffle Sliders
Chicken waffles are a delicious breakfast, so why not take the same flavors and serve them at a different time? That’s exactly what’s happening with these little sliders.
They’re made using two small waffles, along with a small piece of fried chicken and some maple syrup. You’ll need to use a blunt stick to hold the sliders together. Keep wet wipes or something similar on hand too, as these sliders can get messy fast.
Who doesn’t love popcorn? It can be incredibly simple, with just the popped kernels and a little salt.
Or, you can make popcorn much more complicated by using various seasonings, toppings, or other ingredients. We’re not just talking about simple flavors either. Some possibilities include Starburst, root beer, cinnamon red hots, cotton candy, caramel, and many many more.
Most can be created without using any artificial flavors or colors. All you need is to do a little searching online to find some fantastic new recipes to get the kids excited. Many of them are even healthy.
Sweet muffins might be delicious, but they’re often packed with sugar. Sometimes their nutritional value is similar to cake. Savory muffins, on the other hand, are different.
They don’t just use less sugar. The muffins also include more healthy ingredients, like roasted peppers, olives, and sundried tomatoes.
The brilliant thing is just how versatile they are. You can easily add or remove ingredients to match the flavor preferences of your kids. Plus, if you’re putting cheese in these muffins, they should be delicious enough that kids don’t even notice any veggies you include.
Try making these in a mini muffin pan. You’ll end up with bite-sized treats that no one will want to pass up.
Making frozen yogurt treats is beyond simple. You just need to take regular yogurt, put it in molds, and freeze it.
While many people use popsicle molds to make such treats, using ice cube molds or candy molds can be even better. You end up with small bite-sized frozen treats. This is perfect for keeping portion sizes in check.
Plus, there are many fun molds out there, including shapes like teddy bears, love hearts, and cars, to name just a few.
Using flavored yogurt is the easiest approach. Just watch out for the sugar content.
Or, you can use plain yogurt and flavor it yourself. Some mashed up raspberries and a little sweetener could be enough to create a delicious snack.
While we’re on the topic of healthy frozen foods, homemade popsicles are always fun for kids. You end up with something more natural than what you could buy in the local store.
You get to play around with the colors and flavors too. This lets you tweak the recipe to match your child’s preferences or the ingredients you have at home.
The popsicles in the image should show you just how much fun you can have. The base of the popsicle relies on mango, while the top section uses blackberries and blueberries. Stunning, right?
With kids, food often needs to look appealing before they’ll even give it a try. Sometimes you’ll need to get creative with how you serve food to get them eating it. This can be crucial for picky eaters or when you’re introducing a new ingredient.
Making sandwiches into shapes is an easy way to make them fun. You can often build them as normal and then use a sharp knife or cookie cutter to get the shape you want.
Consider open faced sandwiches too. These just have one slice of bread, so they’re lower in carbs than regular sandwiches. They can look better than normal sandwiches as you get the chance to pile up ingredients.
What kid doesn’t love pizza? There’s a problem though. Pizzas from fast food chains tend to be processed and are high in calories.
Making full pizzas at home can make family dinner time fun (and possibly quite messy), but what about trying mini pizzas instead? The small size makes these easier to manage.
You don’t need to bother with pizza dough either. Instead, there are many possible bases to try, like burger buns sliced in half or flatbread. You can even build tiny pizzas on zucchini slices.
With mini pizzas, kids get to choose their own toppings, so they get the perfect pizza for them. It’s much harder to tailor flavors and ingredients when you’re serving large pizzas to a whole family.
Veggies and Dip
Vegetable sticks and dip might be mostly an adult food, but don’t rule them out as a fun food for kids either. In practice, many kids will eat some vegetables without much encouragement.
Providing vegetables and dip makes that idea even easier, as kids can grab the sticks in their hands and dunk them. Finger food is always fun anyway, which is another advantage.
If the dip is delicious, you might convert all but the pickiest of eaters.
To change this idea up, make mini veggie dip pots. Here, you’re including some dip in the base of the container and then sticking cut up vegetables in it. This style makes the whole thing more portable and means that kids can double dip their veggies without any problems.
You use a simple dip in the pot or something more complicated. I’ve even seen mini pots of 7 layer dip.
Build Your Own Tacos
Tacos are fun and delicious as-is, but they get even more exciting when kids are able to build their own. This doesn’t need to be complicated. You can create a mini taco bar on your benchtop or the dining table.
Simply offer various ingredients in bowls and on plates, then give the kids their own taco shells or tortillas. They can add in whatever fillings they’d like.
If you’re worried about their choices, you could add some rough rules, like requiring them to include at least one vegetable or limiting them to a single handful of cheese.
While kids often turn their nose up at salads, the right salad can still win the day. The trick is to find salads that look good and have some appealing flavors.
This means that you shouldn’t just focus on leafy greens. Try to include a broad variety of ingredients, including some type of protein, cheese, and vegetables. Adding some type of fruit often works well, as the sweetness makes the salad feel like a treat rather than something healthy.
Pay close attention to the vegetables that you include and the size of the pieces. Many raw vegetables will be too tough for young kids to chew.
The way you serve the salad makes a difference. Rather than mixing everything together, consider serving the salad deconstructed, with the dressing on the side. Kids are often more likely to eat salad this way, as they can clearly see all the ingredients.
Banana sushi is such a fun idea. You can get the gist of it from the image. All you’re doing is adding delicious toppings to a banana. You could keep the banana whole or cut it into chunks. Chunks will be more fun for kids, as they’ll be just the right size for finger food.
As for the toppings, well, anything goes.
You’ll normally be looking at sweet options, like chopped pieces of chocolate or cinnamon sugar. You can even use cereal. Chia seeds or shredded coconut are perfect if you want something healthier.
First thing, you need to roll the bananas in something sticky. This keeps your topping in place. Whipped cream cheese, peanut butter, hazelnut spread, or almond butter all work perfectly.
If you want a more decadent approach, simply take the banana and dip it in chocolate. You could dip it in something else afterward, like nuts or sprinkles. Once the chocolate has hardened, you get a delicious treat that’s still pretty healthy. You can even use frozen bananas.
While we’re talking about dipping food, what about fondue? There are two main styles to consider – chocolate and cheese.
Chocolate fondue is a decadent treat, where kids can dip sweet foods into chocolate. Fruit works the best here, although you can offer crackers and marshmallows for dipping too.
Cheese fondue is more versatile. There are many potential foods to dip, including fruit like apples and pears. Vegetables work well too, such as broccoli, cauliflower, bell peppers and even roasted potatoes.
Try serving some meat at the same time. This helps to fill your kids up faster. Meatballs are an easy choice or perhaps strips of cooked chicken. Don’t forget about bread either. This might be the best possible choice, as the bread soaks up the cheese.
To make fondue safer, try heating it in a slow cooker, rather than over an open flame. This way you can keep it at the perfect consistency, without any risk of burns.
Pull Apart Bread
Pull apart bread is one of those dishes that’s simply fun to eat. After all, kids get to use their hands. What could be more enticing than that?
There are two main styles to choose from. One involves combining lumps of dough together, much like you do with monkey bread. Of course, the bread doesn’t need to be sweet. You can use savory ingredients instead, like cheese, garlic, and ham.
The other approach goes by the name crack bread. Here you’re taking a loaf of bread that’s already been cooked and making cuts into it. Those cuts can then be filled with whatever deliciousness you would like. Cheese and garlic work well, but don’t be afraid to get creative.
These treats are a fantastic way to make waffles that much more interesting. The waffles are a popular Hong Kong street food, but you don’t need to go to Hong Kong to enjoy them. Bubble waffle irons can now be found locally (or on Amazon).
These aren’t just waffles in a different shape either. They’re known as egg waffles because of the eggs used in the batter. This gives them a sweet and somewhat custard-like flavor. Don’t worry though, your kids will love them.
Curly fries are a reminder that food often tastes better when it’s in a fun shape. After all, curly fries aren’t that different than regular fries, but they seem to taste much better.
If you make them at home, the fries can even be healthy. You just need some type of tool to cut them. A spiralizer works well if you don’t mind skinny fries. For thicker fries, look for a tool that’s designed for curly fries. These are easy to pick up on Amazon.
To make these healthy, you bake the fries rather than deep frying them. You could even use sweet potatoes rather than white potatoes for a different flavor.
Loaded Waffle Fries
While we’re talking about alternatives to fries, what about these beauties? They’re waffle fries, which have then been loaded with cheese and bacon. This snack mightn’t be the healthiest option, but it is certainly delicious.
The main challenge is making the waffle shape. But, this isn’t as bad as you might expect. You simply need a crinkle cutter or a similar tool for a mandolin. The trick is to slice the potato once, rotate 90 degrees and do so again. It will take some trial and error to get the perfect width for your fries, but once you get the hang of it, you’ll never look back.
Waffle fries are normally deep fried. For a healthier option, try baking them instead. Baked fries are still delicious and crispy. Your kids mightn’t even know the difference.
Almond Butter Cups
Peanut butter cups are often popular, but they’re highly processed and aren’t very healthy. Why not make homemade versions instead, using almond butter and darker chocolate? You could use peanut butter if you prefer. Any type of nut butter will work well.
While this is still a high calorie treat, it’s much better for your kids than anything from the store. Besides, there’s no need to cut out all the sweet things.
Hot dogs are a classic American food for kids and adults. They can be a little boring on their own, but it’s easy to jazz them up.
One trick is to make a hot dog toppings bar. So, you’d serve hot dogs in their buns like normal, but devoid of toppings. Kids get to add their own toppings from different containers and bottles.
The idea works even better at a party. This way, everyone gets a meal that they actually want to eat. You could even offer multiple types of hot dogs, like turkey dogs and vegetarian alternatives.
Bento boxes have become the Pinterest version of lunch boxes. They’re originally a Japanese approach, but you can easily make a version that uses familiar foods instead.
Most bento boxes contain many small compartments. The idea is to fill each compartment with easy-to-eat finger foods. You might even decorate some of the foods to make faces or something similar.
If you just have a large lunch box, you can use cupcake liners to separate the ingredients. You might include sandwiches in the boxes, but sandwiches are just one of many options. The main goal is to be creative. Look online for ideas, foods that your child already loves, and new flavor combinations.
Boiled Egg Animals
These little treats would be perfect in a bento box or on their own. You’re simply using a couple of peppercorns and some sausage to make hard boiled eggs look like little piglets.
The style is a great way to make boiled eggs more attractive. After all, let’s face it, eggs aren’t that exciting on their own.
Making a little piglet is just one example. There are plenty of other styles too, like making an owl or a mouse. Why not experiment a little? See what you can come up with.