From chicken nuggets and mac and cheese, to cheese crackers, chicken tenders, and fish sticks, I rounded up the best homemade kids food to help you DIY some of their favorites! These recipes are all kid-tested for flavor and vetted for straight-forward recipe methods.
The term “kids food” can be loaded and I think sometimes it makes us feel like there is a whole separate category of food that we need to be feeding our kids…which I don’t think is very helpful. To me, this idea actually means any food that tastes good, has nutrition, and is easy for the kids to eat.
Which is broad and so much more inclusive!
And since I know that our unique kids have their favorites, I wanted to put together a list of homemade versions of classic kids food to help expand accepted foods and to make it a little easier to make foods that the whole family will enjoy eating.
I rounded up 50 of my very favorite recipes for nutritious, easy, and fun recipes for kids. I hope that these give you some new ideas for what to cook for your kids to keep them both well nourished and happy at the table!
Find favorite breakfast foods including breakfast bars, toaster pastries, egg sandwiches, flavored milks, and more.
- Breakfast Burritos: With just 4 simple ingredients, these easy Breakfast Burritos can be made ahead and reheated, or made in minutes and served right away!
- Egg Sandwiches: You can stash these into the freezer!
- Breakfast Bars: With the flavors of PB&J (and no eggs or dairy), these are a favorite homemade jam bar.
- Strawberry Oatmeal Bars: These are like a Nutri-Grain bar, boosted by a dose of fresh fruit!
- Instant Oatmeal: DIY a store bought staple for less sugar and more nutrients.
- Chocolate Milk: This is so easy and you can customize the sweetness level.
- Strawberry Milk: This tastes so much better than the kind that comes in a carton and has a deliciously fresh flavor.
- Vanilla Milk: Just a hint of vanilla makes this homemade flavored milk super delish.
- Baked French Toast Sticks: These even have banana in them and reheat so well.
Lunch Ideas for Kids
Check out these homemade versions of lunch staples including quesadillas, Pizza Rolls, homemade Lunchables, Uncrustables, and more.
- Homemade Lunchables: Save money and customize the ingredients with these DIY Pizza Lunchables.
- Pizza Rolls: Like pizza, only easier to pack in a lunchbox.
- Uncrustables: I love this method so much because you can decide exactly what to put inside, they’re crazy fast, AND they freeze beautifully.
- Banana Peanut Butter Rolls: These wraps are easy and fun to make!
- Pizza Pockets with Broccoli: These are a super fun way to change up how you usually serve pizza AND are easier to make than you might think!
- Pizza Toast: You just need a few minutes to make this crazy delicious toast.
- Creamy Hummus: With just 5 minutes of your time, you can make homemade hummus from basic ingredients that’s perfect for dunking crackers or spreading on bread.
Nuggets, Tenders, & Tots
- Baked Chicken Tenders: You can coat these super crunchy tenders with gluten-free tortilla chips or panko.
- Homemade Chicken Nuggets: Simple and classic and perfect for dunking.
- Sweet Potato Chicken Nuggets: This easy (and egg-free) recipe has a veggie right in the mix.
- Tofu Nuggets: Crunchy and packed with calcium and protein.
- Veggie Nuggets: Add some veggies into these nuggets—which also boast quinoa.
- Broccoli Tots: Try this homemade version of a freezer aisle staple.
- Cauliflower Tots: These pair perfectly with ranch or ketchup.
- Homemade Tater Tots: Forget the kids, I’m making these for myself!
- Crispy Fish Sticks: These might just be the way to get the kids interested in fish…or renew your own interest!
Pasta, Pizza, and Burgers
- Cauliflower Mac and Cheese: The veggies blend right into the sauce.
- Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese: If your kids like orange mac and cheese, try this veggie-packed one.
- Sweet Potato Mac and Cheese: This Sweet Potato Mac and Cheese requires just 5 simple ingredients, zero prep work, and is just the yummiest pasta recipe!
- Spaghetti and Meatballs: And the meatballs have veggies inside.
- Spaghetti Os: A true classic!
- Personal Pizza: Use this whole wheat dough to make easy pizza at home.
- Bagel Pizzas: Easy and fun for any meal of the day.
- Pizza Rolls: Use pesto for the filling and get some greens into the kids the easy way.
- Zucchini Burgers: These are mini in size, but big in flavor and veggies.
Homemade Crackers, Granola Bars, Cookies, and More
- Cheese Crackers: Let the kids help to roll out the easy-to-work-with dough for a fun kitchen activity.
- Homemade Larabars: Press this dough into rectangles for a DIY take on the popular snack bar.
- Animal Crackers: These healthy sugar cookies can double as animal crackers if you use the right cookie cutters!
- Strawberry Chips: Skip the pricy bags of freeze-dried fruit and make an easy batch of these instead.
- Peanut Butter Cookie Dough: These Peanut Butter Energy Balls taste like peanut butter cookie dough. For real!
- Drinkable Yogurt: Skip the pricy little bottles and blend some up yourself with only 3 ingredients!
- Homemade Granola Bars: These are easy to make, require minimal added sweeteners, have a texture that even babies and younger toddlers can chew, and store SO well.
- Cereal Bars: Three ingredients and so crispy!
Favorite Desserts for Kids
- Loaded Chocolate Chip Cookies: Make these with M&Ms for a homemade monster cookie.
- Oatmeal Raisin Cookies: Just enough sweetness and plump raisins to satisfy.
- Chocolate Avocado Pudding: So much dark chocolate goodness (and those healthy fats).
- Chocolate Chip Cookie Cake: So big, so fun!
- Greek Frozen Yogurt: Creamy, fruity, and packed with protein.
- Homemade Gummies: A fun treat to make and share.
- Healthy Fudge Brownies: Plus, they have veggies tucked inside!
- Chickpea Blondies: Don’t tell the kids, these have chickpeas in them…but also chocolate!
- Instant Frozen Yogurt: You’ll be amazed at how two simple ingredients can taste so much like a treat.
- Fudge Pops: Chocolatey and packed with protein!
What did I miss? Chime in below in the comments with your kid’s favorite foods!
This post was first published April 2019.