Coming up with healthy breakfast, lunch, and dinner ideas for kids can be challenging. Calie Svoboda, studying Community Nutrition with extensive experience in childcare, shares 25 healthy meal ideas for kids that are fast, easy and kid friendly. Keep reading below to see 9 healthy breakfast, 7 lunch and 9 dinner ideas for toddlers!
Each meal below focuses on key ingredients that will leave your child feeling full, energized, and most importantly happy. These meals will taste like a treat to your kids, but they are actually full of protein, fat, fiber and low in processed sugar.
Plus, these meals can be tailored to your child’s specific needs, whether they are gluten-free, dairy-free, or just a picky eater.
9 healthy breakfast meal ideas for kids
1. Overnight oats
Combine ½ cup rolled oats with ½ cup unsweetened apple sauce and leave in the refrigerator overnight. The next morning, add a thin layer of a yogurt of your choice on top, then add sliced bananas.
Optional: A drizzle of honey* (only if over the age of 1) or peanut butter is always a hit and can be a healthy way to sweeten up breakfast!
2. Banana pancakes
Whisk eggs and set aside. In a separate bowl, mix the mashed banana, vanilla extract, cinnamon, and rolled oats. Once combined, add the eggs. Spray the pan with an oil of your choice (avocado oil is a great option) and cook until pancake consistency forms.
Note: These will not look pretty but will definitely taste great! Add toppings of choice and your kids will be happy!
- 2 bananas (mashed)
- 1 cup of oats
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- Optional toppings: maple syrup, fruit, peanut butter
3. Yogurt parfait
Start with a base layer of yogurt mixed with honey or maple syrup, then add granola, berries, bananas, and repeat! Add peanut butter on top for a boost of protein and fat.
- Unsweetened greek yogurt or yogurt of choice
- 2 tbsp honey or maple syrup
- ½ cup berries
- ¼ cup granola
- Peanut butter (to taste)
4. Breakfast bars
Mash bananas, then add almond butter and rolled oats to a bowl and mix. Add chocolate chips, then place in an 8×8 baking pan and bake at 350 ℉.
Note: These are great to have on hand for breakfast or for a late night treat.
5. Green smoothie
This recipe might be my favorite of the bunch! It helps fuel your body with tons of nutrients at the start of the day and tastes amazing!
Combine all ingredients and blend until smooth!
- 1 pear or 1 mango
- ½ frozen banana
- 2 tbsp unsweetened almond butter
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- Handful of greens (spinach is a great option)
- ½ cup unsweetened almond milk
6. Egg bites
For this recipe, you will need a mini muffin tin. Cook veggies with olive oil in a frying pan. Distribute veggies into muffin tin, add cheese, then pour in the egg mixture. Bake at 350 °F for 20-25 minutes.
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 small white onion
- 1 medium green bell pepper
- 1 medium red bell pepper
- 12 large eggs
- 2 tbsp milk
- ⅔ cup shredded cheddar cheese
7. Almond butter & banana toast
This classic recipe can be made on the fly or more fancy if you want to surprise your kiddos! Almond butter is an excellent source of protein.Opt for whole grain bread to add a little extra fiber into their diet.
Toast bread, then add almond butter and toppings of your choice.
- 1 slice whole wheat toast or seed bread
- 2 tbsp almond butter
- ½ banana sliced
- Optional toppings: honey drizzle, coconut flakes, granola
8. Strawberry and banana fruit kabobs with frozen organic waffles or banana pancakes
Fruit kabobs are an easy and fun way to start the day. I recommend building your kabobs with fresh berries, bananas, watermelon and cantaloupe. Serve with turkey sausage, mini waffles, or the healthy pancakes listed above for a fast breakfast.
9. Scrambled or hard boiled eggs with turkey sausage and berries
Not everyone loves hard boiled eggs, but if your kid does, they are a great option for meal prepping to save you plenty of time in the morning. If hard boiled eggs won’t make the cut with your kids, try scrambled instead. Of course, eggs are an excellent source of protein and vitamins. Serve the eggs with berries, turkey sausage or sliced avocado to add extra fats into their diet.
- Egg (hard boiled or scrambled)
- Turkey sausage or sliced avocado
7 healthy lunch meal ideas for kids
1. Turkey pinwheels
Add hummus, turkey, tomato, avocado, and cheese to the tortilla. Roll up and slice into one-inch wheels!
- Thinly sliced turkey
- ½ tomato (slices)
- ⅓ avocado
- 2 tbsp hummus
- 1 slice cheddar or provolone cheese
- 1 whole wheat tortilla
- Optional add ins: greens, cucumbers, peppers
2. Healthy pizza bagels
First, combine self-rising flour and non-fat greek yogurt and mix. Form the dough into bagels or mini pizza crusts and bake at 350°F for 15-20 minutes. Add sauce and cheese, and bake at 350°F for an additional 5-10 minutes.
Note: In a pinch I love to use pre-made gluten free bagels or mini bagels. Try to use pizza sauces that are low in sugar. Your kids won’t know the difference but the pizza will be much healthier.
- Pizza dough (¼ cup flour of choice combined with ¼ cup unsweetened greek yogurt)
- 2 tbsp pizza sauce
- ¼ cup shredded mozzarella cheese
3. Bento style lunch
These are great for picky eaters! On a platter add fruits, veggies, protein of your choice (egg bites are great because they can be made ahead of time), popcorn and cheese.
- 2 egg bites (recipe listed above)
- Celery with peanut butter
- Cheese stick
*disclaimer: The AAP recommends not introducing popcorn until your child is at least four years old. Use parental discretion for chocking hazards. Always consult your provider before introducing new food and appropriate bite sizes for your child.
4. Healthy PB & J
Peanut butter & jelly sandwiches can be healthy too! Mix it up with toasted bread. Add peanut butter or nut butter that just contains nuts and salt, then mash raspberries and spread onto each slice!
- 2 slices of whole wheat bread or seed bread
- 2 tbsp unsweetened peanut butter or nut butter
- Handful of raspberries
5. Healthy pigs in a blanket
Wrap a hot dog in dough (check out healthy pizza bagels recipe above for a healthy dough recipe) and bake at 350ºF for 15- 20 minutes. These are great for little ones and easy for a quick lunch or dinner!
- 1 turkey or grass-fed hot dog
- Healthy dough (see healthy pizza bagel recipe above)
6. Mac & cheese with a side of sliced apples, sprinkled with ground cinnamon
Not everything has to be homemade! There are so many great options now for mac & cheese that contain a lot of protein and are dairy-gluten-free as well. My favorite brands for mac & cheese are Annie’s Homegrown or Banza.
- Mac & cheese box
- Sliced apples
- Ground cinnamon
7. Hot turkey & cheese sandwiches with cucumbers and ranch
These are just a twist on your classic turkey sandwich! I love making these on an English muffin for a change of pace. Simply add the turkey and cheese to the english muffin, then wrap the sandwich in tin foil, and bake at 350ºF for 10-15 minutes.
- Thinly sliced turkey
- English muffins
9 healthy dinner meal ideas for kids
1. Pesto pasta with Italian chicken sausage and diced tomatoes
Boil water and add pasta. While the pasta is cooking, heat sausage. Drain cooked pasta, then add pesto sauce and diced cherry tomatoes and cook on low heat for 3-5 minutes, then slice and add the cooked sausage. This is a dinner adults will love too!
Note: Some kids shy away from combined foods so you can always serve the sausage and tomatoes on the side. This is a great way to make sure they get all their nutrients for the day without turning them off from the meal altogether.
- 1 cup brown rice pasta
- 1 Italian chicken sausage
- 2 tbsp pesto sauce
- Add handful diced cherry tomatoes
2. Chicken parm zucchini boats
First, in a large skillet, cook the ground chicken on medium heat. Then, slice zucchini in half, scoop out seeds and place on a baking sheet. Add cooked ground chicken, marinara sauce, and cheese, and bake at 400ºF for 25 minutes. These boats make it easy to incorporate veggies into your kids’ diets and — if you’re feeling creative — you could add a flag toothpick to give your “boat” a sail.
- 1 lb. ground chicken
- 3 zucchinis, medium
- 2 cups marinara sauce
- 1 cup shredded parmesan cheese
- 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
3. Healthy chicken tenders and sweet potato fries
Chicken tenders: Cut chicken lengthwise, tender-style. Whisk eggs in a bowl. In a separate bowl, combine garlic powder, paprika, salt and pepper, and finely smashed crackers. Coat chicken in egg batter, then in dry mix. Bake at 425 ºF for 12-15 minutes.
Sweet potato fries: Cut sweet potatoes into fries, mix with olive oil and add seasoning of choice. Bake at 425ºF for 15-20 minutes.
- Free range chicken breast or thighs
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup crushed crackers
- ½ tsp garlic powder
- ½ tsp paprika
- Salt and pepper to liking
- 2 large sweet potatoes
4. One-pot chicken and rice
This an easy one pan dinner that always hits the spot! In a large skillet add olive oil, veggies, and minced garlic. Saute, then add chicken and cook for about 8-10 minutes. Next, add chicken broth and rice, then stir in parmesan.
- 1 ½ pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- 3 tbsp avocado oil or extra virgin olive oil
- 1 medium yellow onion
- 2 carrots
- 2 celery stalks
- 1 tbsp minced garlic
- 1 ½ cup brown rice
- 2 cups chicken broth
- ½ cup shredded parmesan cheese
- Salt and pepper to taste
5. Cauliflower rice fried rice
Whisk eggs in a bowl and set aside. In a medium-sized pan, heat olive oil, then add finely chopped cauliflower, whisked eggs, and veggies. Once cooked, add soy sauce or coconut aminos. Coconut aminos are a great alternative to soy sauce because they contain less sodium and the difference is almost unrecognizable!
Note: This pairs well with orange chicken or grilled chicken.
- ½ head cauliflower
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 2 cups chopped white onion (chopped)
- 2 large carrots (diced)
- ½ cup frozen peas
- 2 large eggs
- 2 tbsp soy sauce or coconut aminos
6. Mini quesadillas & spanish rice
Put cheese on tortillas and fold in half. Heat on a skillet for three minutes, then flip.
- 2 corn tortillas
- Mexican style shredded cheese
- Optional add-ins: beans, tomatoes, peppers, diced chicken or steak, guacamole, salsa, greek yogurt or sour cream
7. Turkey burgers & sweet potato fries
Combine ground turkey, onion powder, dijon mustard, and garlic in a bowl. Separate evenly into four patties. Add butter and olive oil to the skillet on medium to high heat. Lastly, cook turkey burgers for 7 minutes on each side.
- 1 pound ground turkey
- ½ tsp onion powder
- 1 egg
- 1 tbsp dijon mustard
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp butter
- 2 tbsp minced garlic
8. Grilled chicken & sweet potato fries
Grilled chicken is always an easy go-to healthy meal! Grill your chicken or cook it on the stove top, then serve with the sweet potato fries recipe listed above (#19) and serve! These fries are great because you can make a large batch to serve with for quick meals throughout the week.
- 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
- 2 large sweet potatoes
9. Grilled cheese with a side of fruit and vggies
Grilled cheese never goes out of style. Switch out white bread for whole grain or seeded bread and use grass-fed cheese to make it healthier. Serve with fruit and veggies or, on chillier days, a side of tomato soup.
- Whole grain bread or seeded bread
- Grass-fed cheese
- Side: fruit & veggies or tomato soup
Other helpful blog posts:
- Simple purees for beginners
- 10 healthy snack ideas for babies and toddlers
- Baby led weaning for beginners
- Why learn CPR
- 5 easy finger foods for beginners
**This post is educational and not meant to take the place of your provider. Always consult your provider before introducing new foods, for allergen concerns, and all matters concerning meals and nutrition. Bumblebaby makes a small commission on some of the items listed above.