While we’ve always tried to eat healthy, I’ll admit that my house used to see a lot more frozen pizza and boxed mac and cheese come through the door on shopping day. When I started trying to steer away from these pre-packaged foods as a rule, I have to admit I really missed them. It felt really burdensome to have to make everything from scratch…until I realized that I don’t have to. Here are the top ten healthy convenience foods for kids we eat at our house:
Raw veggies:I think it’s luck, but my kids are pretty happy to munch away on raw carrots, grape tomatoes, and sugar snap peas, and what could be more convenient than taking them out of the fridge, washing them, and serving them? We also eat cukes and peppers which require just a little more prep.
Self-serve fruit: My 5- and 3-year-olds can get themselves an apple and wash it for a snack. Bananas, clementines, and grapes are easy too.
Cheese sticks or cubes: So easy to grab out of the fridge and serve.
Leftovers: These are my favorite. I always try to make extra so that we get one or two easy, low prep meals after the original.
Hard-boiled eggs: Peel, eat. Protein and convenience, it doesn’t get any better than that!
Nuts: Another good quick hit of protein
Pitas, tortillas, naan, crackers: We don’t eat a lot of carbs, but sometimes I’ll offer these alongside the other foods.
Granola: We very rarely buy cereal, but I occasionally make granola as a solution to the morning rush. I like that I can control how much it is sweetened and with what. Of course, this isn’t quite as convenient as foods you don’t have to prep at all, but with about 20 minutes of actual work, you can have breakfasts ready for over a week!
Yogurt: Quick and easy. Goes great with granola and my kids love it!
Anything you can put in refillable pouches: For more ideas on this, check out Katrina’s post here. Truly grab and go. Heading to a picnic? Freeze a couple and when you stick them in with the rest of the food they act as ice packs!
I usually serve the kids these foods in a six-well muffin pan. I find it helps me focus on variety and it’s fun for them. All of them also work great for an impromptu picnic, and it’s getting to be that time of year! Sometimes we still have Kraft dinner for a treat–everything in moderation, right?–but we hardly miss it anymore.
What are your favorite tricks for getting healthy food on the table quickly and easily?