Feeding + Meal Prep for Kids
I get questions all the time about feeding kids, and though I don't feel like I'm an expert on the topic, I do have some thoughts and suggestions for how we keep our kiddos (mostly) happy when it comes to meal times, and how I keep it all organized as a mama.
I received two questions in particular on Instagram the other week and I wanted to address them here, so you can have this as an ongoing reference. I also did a Facebook live video and will be adding that to the end of this post for you if you want to watch :)
1. WHAT DOES A NORMAL WEEK LOOK LIKE FOR BREAKFAST, LUNCH, DINNER AND SNACKS FOR YOUR KIDS?
Scrambled eggs, fruit, toast and peanut butter, kiefer, oatmeal with coconut milk and flax seeds, overnight oats, egg cups.
Sliced deli meat, quesadillas, hummus and veggies, cucumber and carrots (steamed carrots for baby), dried sugar free fruit, peanut butter sandwich, Applegate hot dogs, hard boiled eggs, yogurt + flax seed, apple sauce, string cheese.
The kids eat the same thing as us. At this point, Everett is 21 months and is more willing to eat our food. Reaghan, at almost 4 years, isn't as willing. She pretty much refuses dinner every night. This is completely normal for her age though, so it doesn't bother me a ton. Our game plan with dinner is to offer the kids the same food we make for us, and they can choose to eat it or not. If they choose not to, then that's it for food for the night. Enforcing that is tough, because I hate seeing my kids hungry. But I also don't want to start the habit of making individual meals for every person in our family. I can't sustain that and I don't think it's a good lesson for them. I try to add something to their plate I know they will like (usually fruit) and then keep offering the good food we make for mom + dad so they can at least try it. I remember my parents offering their dinner food to me as a child and thinking it was disgusting. Eventually, though, I got curious, tried some things and ended up loving it! I think that's why I have such a broad pallete now ;) So, that's our dinner strategy.
Paleo muffins, fruit bowls (berries mixed together in a bowl), apple sandwiches (see FB live for those), ants on a log, smoothies, string cheese, pb sandwich, etc!
2. WHAT DO YOU PREP AHEAD FOR KIDS?
Here are some ideas of food I will prep for the kids. Not all on any given week, of course...just some ideas for you! Also, these would work well for any meal!
- Strawberry muffins
- Cheesy Spinach Egg Cups
- Overnight oats
- Apple spice muffins
- Beet and yogurt pouches
- Protein packed energy bars
- Road trip food for kids
- My kids food Pinterest board
- Yummy Toddler Food recipes are always a hit for the kids!
HOW DO I ORGANIZE IT ALL?
Since sitting down to write this post out, I'm realizing how much work goes into feeding kids! Ha! Add the rest of us and it's...A LOT. In the Weekly Planning section of the Seasonal Meal Planner you can write down meal prep. I write out everything I need to prep ahead, and if I'm making anything for the kids, this of course goes here too. Keeping the kids meal prep along with ours has been so helpful. They are the ones whining for a snack all day, so when I have something ready to offer them, I feel great!