Ultimate Grocery Guide: Kid-Friendly Foods

Danielle Omar, RD
by Danielle Omar, RD
Share it:
Ultimate Grocery Guide: Kid-Friendly Foods

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.

THE STRATEGY

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

VEGETABLES
Avocado
Baby carrots
Baby spinach (great for putting in smoothies)
Bell peppers (red, orange, yellow)
Broccoli
Cauliflower
Celery
Cucumber
Corn
Green beans
Peas
Romaine lettuce
Sweet potato
Spaghetti squash
Sugar snap peas
Cherry tomatoes
Zucchini

FRUIT
Apples
Bananas
Blueberries
Clementines
Grapes
Kiwi
Mango
Oranges
Pineapple
Strawberries

BEANS, LEGUMES & SEEDS
Black beans
Chia seeds (for chia pudding)
Edamame
Garbanzo beans
Refried beans

MEAT & FISH
Bone-in chicken drumsticks
Chicken thighs
Chicken breast
Cod
Ground chicken or turkey
Ground beef
Salmon
Shrimp
Tilapia
Tuna

GRAINS & BREADS
Brown rice
Dry cereal (less than 5g sugar/serving)
Oatmeal
Whole-grain bagels
Whole-wheat bread
Whole-grain crackers
Whole-grain or corn tortillas
Whole-wheat pasta

FROZEN FOOD
Broccoli
Cauliflower rice
Corn
Edamame
Fish sticks
Fruit blends
Green beans
Mixed peppers
Mixed vegetables
Sweet potato fries
Veggie burgers
Whole-grain waffles

CONDIMENTS & SAUCES
Jelly or jam
Ketchup
Maple syrup
Olive oil
Pasta sauce
Pesto
Ranch dressing
Salsa
Soup

SNACKS
Corn tortilla chips
Dried fruit
Granola
Hummus
Nut butter (peanut butter, almond butter, etc.)
Pickles
Popcorn
Raisins
Trail mix
Unsweetened apple sauce

DAIRY & DAIRY ALTERNATIVES
Butter
Eggs
Milk
Nut and seed milk (almond, soy, coconut, and other nut or seed-based milks)
Parmesan cheese
String cheese
Tofu
Yogurt

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!

About the Author

Danielle Omar, RD
Danielle Omar, RD

Danielle is an integrative dietitian, culinary nutritionist, author and consultant, frequently lending her love of creating to high-profile food and nutrition media outlets. She’s a regularly featured blogger and founder of foodconfidence.comwhere she inspires men and women on their journey to become their healthiest self. Connect with her on Instagram and Facebook.

Related

Never Miss a Post!

Turn on MyFitnessPal desktop notifications and stay up to date on the latest health and fitness advice.

Great!

Click the 'Allow' Button Above

Awesome!

You're all set.

You’re taking control of your fitness and wellness journey, so take control of your data, too. Learn more about your rights and options. Or click here to opt-out of certain cookies.