Kid-friendly menu ideas - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 7 Old 02-28-2003, 04:11 PM - Thread Starter
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Hello everyone.
After months of lurking, I've finally decided to post...
I recently opened a small home daycare after being laid off of my previous job. So far, it has been absolutely wonderful. My dream job is to be a SAHM, but since I don't have kids yet this is the next best thing.
I am serving a mostly vegetarian menu here at the daycare- milk and eggs are okay as well as the occasional fish- but am having trouble finding things that the kids really want to eat. Menu planning is also complicated by the fact that I will soon be joining the federal food program (remember your school lunches?) meaning that I HAVE to serve "nutritionally balanced" meals. Unfortunatly, their idea of a healthy meal is very mainstream, meat-and-potatoes, KWIM?
Yesterday I made some baked beans with sliced veggie hot dogs- and not a single kid would even touch it! The only things that they've eaten well have been Annie's Mac and Cheese and good ol' peanut butter sandwiches, but I can't feed this to them EVERYDAY!
Anyone have other kid-friendly, kid-approved suggestions?
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#2 of 7 Old 02-28-2003, 06:04 PM
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grilled cheese?
something like spagetti os?
pasta with sauce
vegetable soup?
a tame veggie chili?
Turkey burgers?
french toast
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#3 of 7 Old 02-28-2003, 06:13 PM
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french toast (maybe french toast cassarole would be easier)

add veggies to the mac and cheese

cut up bites of chicken and raw veggies with dipping sauces

abc pasta and tomato sauce

yogurt with sliced fruits/veggies/and crackers to dip in the yogurt

individual pizzas on bagels or english muffins
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#4 of 7 Old 02-28-2003, 08:55 PM
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how about some make-your-own stuff for example:

Warm tortillas and let them make "pizzas" or burritos. We like bean spread, diced tomatoes, olives, grated carrots, shredded cheese, rice.

Rice cakes - let them put on peanut butter or cream cheese, then top with raisins or sliced bananas

Get mini pitas and let them put in tuna salad, egg salad, cheese, grated carrots, sprouts, cucumbers, tomates, etc.

Also, how about soup - especially with noodles in it. My kids just love split pea for some reason . . .

Cathe Olson, author The Vegetarian Mother's Cookbook, Simply Natural Baby Food, and LIck It! Creamy Dreamy Vegan Ice Creams Your Mouth Will Love.  
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#5 of 7 Old 02-28-2003, 09:48 PM
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My girls - and I'm sure all kids - go through food phases, so don't lose heart, they may come around to those beans one day. BTW, beans have been a hard sell at my house too and RICE for some reason! Even potatoes for a while. I remember when dd #1 wouldn't eat potatoes, even mashed, and I thought, "WHO doesn't like potatoes?!" Well, now she does. A lot of times I think it's a texture thing for kids too.

ANYWAY, here are some more ideas:

Cheese quesadillas w/salsa, veggies on the side, and fruit. (You could also try sneaking broccoli or carrots that have been processed in the food hider, er, I mean food processor in them too, but that doesn't always work w/my girls - sometimes yes, sometimes no - ALWAYS a roll of the dice! Also, for variety (but the same food) is shredded cheese on the tortilla and just warmed in the microwave for a few secs and rolled up - "cheesaritos."

Any breakfast food, as mentioned in some of the other posts. Don't forget oatmeal if the kids like it.

Cheese ravioli or tortellini with butter, salt, pepper, and parmesan is a favorite at my house.

Tomato soup with: grilled cheese, or biscuits w/butter or jelly, or potatoes

Baked potatoes - pick your own toppings

Pizza (veggies can be processed, again, and hidden under the cheese)

Veggie and cheese sandwiches

My girls like frozen peas w/lunch or for a snack. And corn on the cob is fun. We even like it raw and that travels well for picnics too!

We also eat veggie burgers (you could make homemade ones or frozen), veggie dogs, "chick" patties and nuggets, and veggie corn dogs. These are our "junk food" I think. I realize they are not the best - and may be cost prohibitive to you if you are doing daycare - but they are sure winners and I'll use them once a week or so.

We also do "cold platters." I just load up a sectioned platter that I have with raw veggies, fresh and dried fruit, cheeses, nuts, w.w. crackers, or different chunks of bread and let them have at it. My children get really excited about these for some reason - probably because they get to pick their own and eat as much as they want. I'm usually pretty relaxed with this meal because everything on it is a good choice for them.

Veggie chili, veggie burritos.

How about casseroles or shepherd's pie?

Fruit smoothies - with or without yogurt - are good drink alternatives w/added nutrition boost that can be served with sandwiches. Or smoothie popsicles or juice popsicles are good snack/dessert items too.

Eggs? We like those occasionally for lunch. Scrambled, omlette, or hard boiled (they like to peel theirs) Quiche goes over well too. I like to make my own pie crust, but a premade one would work just as well and then the quiche would be really fast to make.

Fruit salads. Pasta salads. Egg salad sandwiches? (Don't know TOO many kids who really like these though).

Spanish rice - other casseroles with rice. These are the things I can't make yet... but the things I miss.

Well, that's all I can think of now. I'll add more if I think of more. Good luck!
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#6 of 7 Old 03-01-2003, 02:06 AM
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I got this kid friendly recommendation from a member her at MDC.

Sliced apples, with almond butter mixed with maple syrup to dunk.
serve chunky pretzel sticks with, to dunk as well.
strawberries to round it out, along with chocolate milke (or

like another mom posted, quesidillas are another favorite, and now i add black beans, and he eats it! amazing for my son.
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#7 of 7 Old 03-01-2003, 04:20 PM
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My son's favorite of the moment is steamed Broccoli with Parmesan cheese sprinkled on it........ he'll eat that by the TRUCK load.........
He is a strange eater to say the least, he only wants to eat ONE thing per meal - like ONLY broccoli, or some nights its CARROTS... (he likes those "crunchy" so we don't even need to cook em)

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