/

Menu
General

4 Fast Lunch Ideas for Picky Kids

posted: 07/21/15
by: Blythe Copeland

Lunch seems like it should be the easiest meal of the day: You aren't fighting the craziness of the morning routine or the hectic after-work rush, and what could be simpler than throwing together a sandwich? But for parents of picky eaters, it's not always that fast. If your kids are turning down your go-to midday meals, change up the routine with these kid-friendly ideas to get them eating again.

1. DIY Lunchables

crackers with heart-shaped cheese
Read more Read less
Heart-shaped cheese on crackers.
iStock

2. Breakfast for Lunch

If you're used to making quick breakfasts for hurried mornings getting out of the house, then you already have a stockpile of recipes that are perfect for a fast lunch (and that you know your kids will eat). Serve up yogurt with granola and fresh berries or bananas; a bowl of cereal with fruit and a side of peanut butter toast; scrambled eggs (with or without diced veggies); and frozen waffles, pancakes, or muffins toasted and topped with nut butter and fruit or jelly.

scrambled eggs on toast
Read more Read less
Scrambled eggs on baguette toast.
iStock

3. Muffin-Tin Meals

Picky eaters may not be willing to try foods that are out of their comfort zone -- but if you make mini versions of grown up favorites in a muffin tin, the kid-friendly size might just make them change their mind. Try meatloaf, cheeseburgers, pizzas, taco macaroni and cheese, sloppy joes, baked potatoes, or chicken pot pies (all on this list from I Heart Arts 'n' Crafts). Though these aren't exactly quick to throw together at the last minute, they are easy to make in bulk ahead of time and reheat in just a few minutes throughout the week when you need them.

baked zucchini muffins
Read more Read less
Savory, lunch-worthy muffins.
iStock

4. Healthy Dips

Some picky eaters are the type to refuse all sauces -- but many other kids will eat just about anything if they have the opportunity to dip it. Keep a stock of healthy dips in your fridge to make routine meals a little more interesting: Hummus, low fat salad dressing, or Greek yogurt for vegetables, pretzels, or crackers; plain yogurt for fruit slices; tomato sauce (instead of ketchup) for chicken fingers, roasted potatoes, or grilled cheese triangles; salsa or black bean dip for quesadillas or corn chips. Just don't be surprised if your little one makes up his own combinations that sound a little unappetizing to you (like a chicken quesadilla dipped in strawberry yogurt or pretzels in pasta sauce).

veggies arranged around a dip dish
Read more Read less
Veggies with a kid-worthy dip.
iStock