Teaching kids to be healthy eaters isn’t always the easiest task, especially if they’ve decided the only two things they’ll eat are hot dogs and macaroni and cheese. However, with a little patience, a good strategy, and this kid-friendly grocery list, your kiddos can expand their horizons and learn to enjoy healthy foods, too.
When I was trying to get my grade-schooler (now a teenager) to eat more vegetables, I would make sure to introduce them to her when she was nice and hungry. I’ll never forget the time I was sauteeing mushrooms on the stovetop and she asked me for a bite because they smelled so delicious! That’s when I realized being hungry helps the veggies go down! And so does preparing kid-friendly foods in a tasty way—a little butter and garlic go a long way.
This kid-friendly grocery guide is your first step toward getting your kids to eat more vegetables — by having them in the house!
ULTIMATE GROCERY GUIDE
Baby spinach (great for putting in smoothies)
Bell peppers (red, orange, yellow)
Sugar snap peas
BEANS, LEGUMES & SEEDS
Chia seeds (for chia pudding)
MEAT & FISH
Bone-in chicken drumsticks
Ground chicken or turkey
GRAINS & BREADS
Dry cereal (less than 5g sugar/serving)
Whole-grain or corn tortillas
Sweet potato fries
CONDIMENTS & SAUCES
Jelly or jam
Corn tortilla chips
Nut butter (peanut butter, almond butter, etc.)
Unsweetened apple sauce
DAIRY & DAIRY ALTERNATIVES
Nut and seed milk (almond, soy, coconut, and other nut or seed-based milks)
KID-FRIENDLY SHOPPING STRATEGIES
- Leave the kids at home (or order ahead for curbside pickup) to avoid impulse purchases.
- Keep them busy in the store with coupon hunting and managing the grocery list. Kids love to cross items off the list!
- Have kids help bag the groceries.
- Let the kids choose the vegetable or protein they want to eat. This helps during dinnertime when they see the food they chose on the table!
- Shop the perimeter of the store to avoid going down aisles full of processed foods (or at least save that for later in the trip when the cart is already full of healthy items.)
KID–FRIENDLY MEAL IDEAS
Not sure what to make? Here are some kid-friendly meal ideas using recipes from the MyFitnessPal recipe collection. Try them out and see what your kids enjoy. Then you can add these into your usual rotation.
Breakfast: Cookies for breakfast? Not usually, but these Peanut Butter Breakfast Cookies are perfect for a busy morning. These Roasted Strawberry Breakfast Parfaits are also kid-pleasers. Need a fun smoothie recipe? Try this Mandarin-Ginger Smoothie.
Lunch: Looking for a little lunchtime inspiration. Take a look at this infographic.
Snack: Get 15 healthy, quick and easy snack ideas for kids with this infographic.
Dinner: Check out these 7–10 ingredient kid-friendly dinners as well as 11 kid-friendly meals and snacks
THE BOTTOM LINE
You can make healthy meals that are also kid-friendly. It just takes a little trial and error and a great grocery list. With this kid-friendly grocery guide, you’ll have everything you need to create healthy family favorites to add to your menu rotation. Keep exposing the kiddos to healthy foods and over time they’ll learn to love them — and expect them — in addition to the occasional hot dog or mac and cheese!
Ready to take the next step? Unlock MyFitnessPal Premium to access custom goal settings, quick-log recipes, and guided plans from a registered dietitian. Premium users are 65% more likely to reach their weight loss goals!
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