40+ Kid-Friendly Weekly Food Prep Ideas (perfect for school lunches + quick snacks)

These 40+ Kid-Friendly Weekly Food Prep Ideas will give you a ton of ideas on what healthy foods you can prep for your kids on the weekend to prepare for the busy week ahead. Great for breakfasts, school lunches or quick after-school snacks!

40+ Kid-Friendly Weekly Food Prep Ideas

I wasn’t that big into meal prepping a couple of months ago in the summer when it felt like I had all the time in the world to make a delicious breakfast for my kids. But when my kids started back to school this fall at two different schools that both have very early bell times, I quickly realized that eating a leisurely breakfast or making school lunches in them morning was no longer an option for me if I wanted to keep my sanity.

I was struggling with being able to make my kids healthy breakfasts and lunches, and to be honest I was just struggling with life in general.

It’s the classic mom problem - too many people in too many places with not enough time in the day.

Then I started meal prepping.

Well, not really meal prepping as I wasn’t prepping food items to make into a meal but rather food prepping for the week.

I was prepping healthy foods on the weekend that I could make into different breakfasts, school lunches or after-school snacks for my girls.

2 Hours in the Kitchen = 6 Kid-Friendly Meal Prep Foods

I usually do my food prep on Sunday with either a cup of coffee or glass of wine (depending on the tim ;) and it takes me less then 2 hours from start to finish. These are the 6 foods I always make -

  • 1 dozen hard boiled eggs

  • Cut 3-4 apples and store with lemon water

  • Cut 2-3 veggies for lunches or snacks

  • 1 batch of muffins (I usually go with mini muffins since I can use them for snacks as well as breakfasts)

  • Hummus or a dip for the veggies

  • Batch of granola or waffles to use for breakfasts or lunches

Over 40 Food Prep Ideas

With over 40 food prep ideas below, you will have a ton of ideas and recipes to get you started on food prepping for the busy week ahead.

Once you get started, I know food prepping will save your sanity during the hectic week as well! #yourwelcome

Did I forget anything? Comment below to let me know what you love to make ahead of time for your kids.

40+ Kid-Friendly Weekly Food Prep Ideas - Eggs

Hard Boiled Eggs

Hard boiled eggs are a great pre-made food to have on hand for breakfasts on-the-go, lunches or quick protein filled snacks. I make a dozen of hard boiled eggs every week for our family.

I usually make my hard boiled eggs in the Instant Pot using the 5-5-5 technique (5 minutes on high pressure, 5 minutes of natural release, 5 minutes in an ice bath). You can also use the stove top method, oven method or this fancy hard boiled egg maker.

How to Serve Hard Boiled Eggs During the Week to Your Kids:

  • cut in half and serve along side a piece of whole grain toast for breakfast (this is my kids favorite car breakfast)

  • finely chop the egg and sprinkle it on top of a piece of avocado toast (add a drizzle of hot sauce for adults)

  • cut in half and serve in bento lunch box along with crackers, cheese slices, grapes, apple slices and some nuts (if school is not nut-free)

  • cut in half and serve in a bento lunch box along with waffle sticks, maple syrup, berries, bacon and a side of yogurt

  • finely chop the egg and mix with a bit of mayo and mustard to make it into an egg salad sandwich

  • cut in half and serve with celery and peanut butter for a quick after-school snack

More Meal Prep Egg Ideas

When we get a little tired of hard boiled eggs, I will add these amazing egg recipes into the weekly rotation.

40+ Kid-Friendly Weekly Food Prep Ideas - Veggies

Pre-Cut Vegetables

Pre-cut veggies are everything in life!

I have found that when I pre-cut veggies on the weekend, I will serve them more during the week which makes my kids actually eat more veggies! #momwin

Another great way I use pre-cut veggies is when I am rushing to get dinner on the table and the girls are s-t-a-r-v-i-n-g for a snack but dinner is less than an hour away, I will plate up some pre-cut veggies and a pre-made dip and put it on the table for them to snack on before dinner. It’s a great way to get more veggies into them and it won’t fill them up enough for them to not eat their dinner. It’s the biggest win-win in my life right now!

Non-Cook Vegetables that are Great to Pre-Cut for Kids:

  • carrots - cut into strips, coins or spiralized

  • celery - cut into strips

  • cucumber - peeled and sliced

  • peppers - cut into strips or chunks

  • broccoli - cut into florets

  • cauliflower - cut into florets

  • cherry tomatoes - washed, not cut

  • snap peas - trimmed

  • green beans - trimmed

  • beets - spiralized or cut into strips, washed until water is clear and dried (my kids will eat raw beets but this one might not be for anyone)

I will usually pick 2 or 3 of the veggies from the list above and pre-cut them for the week.

My kids LOVE spiralized carrots, beets, apples, sweet potato and will happily eat them raw in there lunches. This is the spiralizer we have and love!

To store, I will gently wet a paper towel and wrap the pre-cut vegetables in the paper towel before placing it in an air-tight container. I have found this method will help keep the pre-cut veggies good for 4-5 days.

How to use the Pre-Cut Vegetables:

  • School Lunches - serve in bento lunch box along with your kid’s favorite dip

  • Snacks - serve with hummus, dip or peanut butter for a fast after-school snack

  • Dinner - great to add to our dinners - either in the meal itself or on the side

Plan Ahead and Prep Veggies for Dinners as Well:

Prep enough veggies for dinners as well! If you know you are going to make fajitas for dinner on Wednesday night, then while you are cutting your kids veggies for the week, prep some extra veggies to make your dinner time routine even easier.

40+ Kid-Friendly Weekly Food Prep Ideas - fruit

Pre-Cut Fruit

Having pre-cut fruit on hand during a busy week is key to not losing your mind!

Between breakfasts, lunches and snacks, my kids go through a lot of fruit during the week. I try to prep as much fruit for them on the weekend as possible to cut down on the number of times I have to get out the cutting board and slice them up an apple.


Fruits that are Great to Pre-Cut for Kids:

  • apples - tossed in lemon water to keep fresh

  • pears - tossed in lemon water to keep fresh

  • oranges - cut or just peeled

  • grapes - washed and de-stemed

  • pineapple

  • watermelon

  • cantaloupe

  • honeydew

  • mango

  • kiwi

I will usually pick 2-4 of the fruits above and pre-cut them for the week. I have found that berries are best to wash right before serving or packing in lunches.

How to Store Fruit to Keep it Fresh:

To keep apples and pears fresh, I will cut them into slices, place them into an air-tight container and then gently toss them in a combination of 2 tablespoons of fresh lemon juice and 2 tablespoons of water, drain any excess water/lemon before storing in the fridge.

The rest of the fruit in the list above can be store in air-tight containers for 4-5 days. For wetter fruits (watermelon, mango, kiwi, oranges), I usually place a paper towel at the bottom of an air-tight container to soak up any liquid from the fruit.

How to use the Pre-Cut Fruit:

  • Breakfast - use the fruit as a topping in cereal, yogurt, oatmeal or cottage cheese. You can top whole grain toast with almond butter and pre-sliced fruit. Or serve with a side of whipped cream cheese to use as a dip.

  • Lunch - serve as a healthy side in bento lunch boxes or on their plates.

  • Snacks - this is probably the #1 reason I prep fruit for the week - snacks. At home, you can serve with a side of peanut butter or yogurt to dip the fruit in. On-the-Go, you can serve the pre-cut fruit along with some graham crackers and nuts for a quick nutrient dense snack to fill up your kids before their next activity.

  • Dinner - I always serve fruit with dinner, so I will always toss some extra pre-cut fruit on their plates to keep them happy.

40+ Kid-Friendly Weekly Food Prep Ideas - baked goods

Muffins/Baked Goods/Granola Bars

This is sorta a general category, but I will always try to have some type of healthy baked goods on hand for the week - muffins, breads, waffles, pancakes, granola bars or even cookies

That way during the week I can grab a healthy carb to pack in lunches or as a snack. The best part is if we have any leftovers, I will freeze them to use during a week I wasn’t able to prep any baked goods. That way I always have a stash of yummy baked goods on-hand.


Healthy Baked Good Recipes my Kids Love:

40+ Kid-Friendly Weekly Food Prep Ideas - hummus

Hummus or Dip

My kids will usually only eat their veggies if they are accompanied by a dip of some kind. I get it, veggies and hummus or ranch are pretty much my favorite snack ever! So I usually try to make a batch of homemade hummus or a fun dip for them to eat throughout the week. I mean if it gets them eat more veggies, I am all for it.

Hummus and Dip Recipes my Kids Love:

40+ Kid-Friendly Weekly Food Prep Ideas - granola

Granola

We love granola in our home and it is a must-have food to have on hand for a busy week. I make a big batch of granola every couple of weeks to make sure we always have some healthy granola in our pantry.

How to Serve Granola During the Week:

  • sprinkle over yogurt and topped with fresh berries for breakfast or snack

  • serve in a bowl with warm almond milk and chopped peaches

  • by the handful as a snack

  • pack granola in a bento lunch box along with yogurt, berries, a hard boiled egg and some crackers for a school lunch

Granola Recipes my Kids Love:


 

Tools I Use for Meal Prepping:

 

Healthy Halloween Lunch for Kids (allergy friendly - NF, DF, GF!)

This spooky Halloween Lunch for Kids is a great way to surprise your kiddos with a fun (and yummy) school lunch. This lunch is also allergy friendly and is nut-free, dairy-free and gluten-free!

Healthy Halloween Lunch for Kids

Because I am that kind of crazy mom, my kid’s school lunches usually go along with whatever seasonal holiday theme is happing at the time. Right now it’s all about Halloween 👻🎃🕷!

It’s cool, you can totally 🙄 me right now, I like being on the side of crazy.

But seriously, this fun lunch is beyond easy to throw together and usually takes me roughly 4-5 minutes to make.

Plus it was such a big hit with both my 4 and 6 year old that I had to share it.

Reason I love this Halloween Lunch for Kids -

  • It’s easy to make (takes less then 5 minutes!!).

  • It’s halloween themed but in a totally kid-friendly way (nothing too scary).

  • It’s allergy friendly - nut-free, dairy-free, gluten-free!

  • It’s healthy and delicious and will be devoured by your kids.

The Bento Box we are Loving Right Now -

We mostly use the Rover Planetbox for school lunches for both my 4 and 6 year old, and we absolutely ❤️ it!

I will say that the Rover a little heavy for my 4 year old but her teachers help her out with getting it out of her backpack for lunch everyday. She can easily unclasp it and open it all by herself.

If you are looking for a bento for your kid, I can’t remember the planetbox enough! Plus, they have all a ton of holiday themed magnetics that go on top of your kids bento box. I would like to be the first one to formally welcome you to the crazy mom club.. trust me, the wine does taste better over here!

Healthy Halloween Lunch for Kids

Bat Turkey Sandwich - I made a simple turkey and dairy-free cheese sandwich on gluten free bread for one of my kids and then on regular whole grain bread for the other one, then I used a bat cookie cutter (from this ginormus bin of cookie cutters) to cut out the bat shape. I then attached some candy eyes to the bat with a little vegan mayo. This process took me all of 2 minutes to do. To get a really crisp shape, I think it helps to press down on the bread with the palm of my hand before using the cookie cutter. You can use this technique with whatever sandwich your kiddo loves in their lunch box.

Carrot Coins - I peeled a whole carrot and then instead of cutting it into strips, I cut the carrot into coins slices.

Pumpkin Oranges - I saw this on Pinterest and had to do it for my kid’s lunches. I peeled a cutie orange, then added an inch piece of green bean into the middle of the orange middle for a stem. You could also use a cucumber, celery or green pepper stick for the stem.

Ghost Chips - I found these ghost chips at chips Trader Joes but I also saw them in Target and Whole Foods this month as well. If you can’t find ghost chips you could use sweet potato chip or cheese crackers if you kid can eat those items.

Dried Mango ‘Pumpkin Fingers’ - Dried mango just looks kinda creepy and my oldest called them ‘shriveled pumpkin fingers’ so I am going with it. I got them in the bulk section of the super market but you can find dried mango in just about any health section of any store.

Dye-Free Gummy Worms - These worms are creepy! We have been trying to avoid all food dyes for the last couple of months and these dye-free gummy worms have been a huge hit with my kids! I got them at whole foods but all health food stores are now carrying many different brands of dye-free candy. My local Target even has a rather big selection of dye-free and ‘healthy’ candy in their halloween aisle - yet another reason to go to Target;)

What type of foods are you packing in your kid’s lunches these days?


Tools I used for this lunch -

Halloween Planetbox Magnetic (here)

 

Want more kids lunch inspiration? Then check out my best-selling cookbook Little Bento: 32 Irresistible Bento Box Lunches for Kids!

 

Roasted Broccoli Finger Food for Baby + Toddler

This flavorful Roasted Broccoli Finger Food recipe is a great way to add nutrient dense broccoli to your baby’s and toddler’s diet. This recipe can be served to babies 6 months and up and is perfect for both the finger food stage or if you are doing Baby-Led Weaning.

roasted_broccoli_finger_food_titleG2.jpg

Getting babies, toddlers or kids to actually eat broccoli is always somewhat of a stressful situation. You serve them this stalking yet shrubby green vegetable and then you hold your breath while secretly crossing your fingers and toes that it won’t be thrown right back in your face or pushed off of their high chair tray.

At least this is what always happened at my house when serving broccoli.

Then I discovered my secret weapon - roasting the broccoli!

Could it be that easy?

Turns out, yes it can!

One night for dinner, I roasted a pan of broccoli with a generous amount of garlic and olive oil drizzled on top. This broccoli was more for my husband and myself than for my baby girl. But when we all sat down to the table together, Ellie reached over her high chair tray and grabbed a handful of broccoli right off of my husbands plate before she shoved the entire fistful of broccoli right into her mouth with glee. It was at that moment when I knew I had something.

5 years later and I am still making this easy yet addicting broccoli recipe for my family.

And to this day, both of my girls still love broccoli served this way!

Who would have known all it would take is roasting the broccoli to get my kiddos to fall in love with it!

And it’s SO easy to make!

Broccoli florets are simply tossed with a little oil (avocado, coconut or olive depending on what you have on hand) and then sprinkled with a pinch of garlic powder and then roasted until crispy yet tender. I find that when roasted, the intense broccoli flavor simmers down a little leaving an earthy and almost caramelized flavor that baby’s delicate taste buds immediately respond to.

Roasted Broccoli Finger Food for Baby + Toddler

The Power of Broccoli

Broccoli - as a cruciferous vegetable, broccoli is seen as one of the healthiest foods on the planet. Filled with vast amounts of folate, mangaese and vitamins K, C, A and B6, Broccoli is known to promote bone, brain, teeth and gum health, as well as cancer prevention, liver protection and about 20 other amazing health benefits. Getting your little one to love broccoli from the start is key to an overall healthy diet.

Oil (olive, coconut or avocado) - using oils such as extra virgin olive oil, coconut or avocado oil in baby’s diet will provide baby with a good source of healthy fats that will help with brain development, heart health, protect against free-radicals causing cancer. Make sure you use high-quality oils that are not mixed with any other oils such as canola, soy or vegetable oils, which are not good for baby’s health.

Garlic - I used garlic powder in this recipe because I felt when I used minced garlic, the tiny pieces where just a little too intense for baby’s delicate taste buds. I use high quality garlic powder (this is the one I use) that still has a ton of health benefits to it. Garlic is known for helping prevent cancer and heart disease but it is also has antimicrobial, antiviral and antifungal properties can help relieve the common cold as well as other infections. When baby gets older, make sure to try real minced garlic in this recipe for even more health benefits.

How to Make Roasted Broccoli Finger Food for Baby + Toddler

There are 2 Ways to Serve Finger Foods to Baby

As you can see below in the picture, there are two common ways to serve finger foods to baby -

2-3” strips

or

Chopped into small ‘pea’ size pieces

Both of these ways are completely okay for babies 6 months and up to try. And while both the strips and chopped pieces are an excellent way for baby to self feed, babys’ themselves might have a way they prefer their foods served. One of my daughters wouldn’t touch finger foods unless it were chopped into small pieces while my other daughter loved her finger foods in both strips and chopped-up form. So try serving finger foods both ways to your baby to see which way, if any, your baby likes their food best.

Roasted Broccoli Finger Food for Baby + Toddler

Roasted Broccoli Finger Food for Baby + Toddler

Roasted Broccoli Finger Food for Baby + Toddler

Age: 6 months and up
Prep Time: 2 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 6 servings
Storage: store in air-tight contain in the fridge for one week

1 cup broccoli florets
1-2 teaspoon oil (olive, avocado or coconut)
1 pinch garlic powder

Instructions
1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or silicon mat.
2. Place the broccoli florets onto the baking sheet. Drizzle the broccoli with the oil and sprinkle with a pinch of garlic powder. Toss the broccoli with your hand or tongs until the broccoli is well coated in the oil.
3. Place the baking sheet in the oven and roast for 20 minutes or until tender when pricked with a fork.
4. Let cool.
5. You can serve the broccoli to baby and toddler in 2-3” strips or chop them into small ‘pea’ size pieces.


 

5 Pumpkin Baby Food Purees

These 5 Pumpkin Baby Food Purees are a fun and healthy way for baby to enjoy the flavors of the fall season!

5 pumpkin baby food purees

I know your tummy is full from all the pumpkin themed foods rights now -

Pumpkin Spiced Latte ✔️
Pumpkin Pancakes ✔️
Pumpkin Oatmeal ✔️
Pumpkin Donuts with Maple Glaze ✔️
Pumpkin Pasta with Browned Butter ✔️

This list could seriously go on for days 🎃 🎃 🎃

So while you are loving on all of your pumpkin themed foods this month, let’s not forget about baby!

These 5 Pumpkin Baby Food Purees are the perfect way to introduce baby to the magical flavor of pumpkin.


 

New to making purees? Then check of my guide on which kitchen tools you actually are going to need. Hint, it's not many!

 

Baby's First Spinach Smoothie

Baby’s First Spinach Smoothie is packed with spinach, avocado, mango, banana, oats, chia seeds and coconut milk. This nutritious and delicious smoothie is easy to make and perfect for babies (and toddlers) 9 months and up!

Baby's First Spinach + Avocado Smoothie

My goal - to put every nutrient dense food that baby needs in order to thrive into one delicious smoothie.

The result - this amazing spinach smoothie that will get sipped up by baby in mere minutes.

Made with spinach, avocado, mango, bananas, oats, chia seeds and coconut milk, this flavorful smoothie is naturally sweetened and is a perfect way to introduce the world of smoothies to your baby.

I actually made this recipe for both you and baby! The idea is that you can pour baby their portion of the smoothie into their sippy cup and you will still have enough leftover smoothie for a small snack/treat/lunch/meal for you;)

I know you will ask, so here are some general FAQs about smoothies and your baby. If you have more questions, comment below and I’ll answer them for you.

When can baby start drinking smoothies?

Babies can start drinking smoothies as soon as they can suck out of a straw sippy cup (this is our favorite straw sippy cup), which is usually around 9 months of age. You can also put a thin smoothie into a regular sippy cup but I have found, from personal experience, this gets real messy real quick.

Are all foods safe to use in a smoothie for baby?

All the food in this smoothie are perfectly safe for baby of any age to drink (or eat). If using another smoothie recipe, make sure you omit added fruit juices, processed protein powders, honey and cows milk.

Can smoothies be used as meals for my baby or toddler?

Yes! Especially this smoothie. It is jammed packed with essential nutrients for baby’s and toddlers and can be used for any meal or snack during the day.

Baby's First Spinach Smoothie

Let’s take a peek at what is inside this nutrient dense baby smoothie -

Spinach - the powerhouse vegetable that is loaded with vitamin K, vitamin A, folate and vitamin C that helps protect bone, eye, brain and heart health.

Avocado - one of the healthiest foods on the planet, avocados are loaded with healthy fats that are essential for baby’s brain, bones, eyes and skin growth and development.

Mango - mangos do more then just sweeten this smoothie, they are great for increasing immunity as well as relieving constipation.

Banana - loaded with potassium, manganese, vitamins B6 and C and are great for digestive health as well increasing energy and boosting baby’s mood.

Oats - filled with fiber, complex carbohydrates, fat and protein, oats help baby relieve constipation as well as promote a healthy gut.

Chia Seeds - are super seeds that are loaded with protein, fiber, antioxidants and omega-3 fatty acids.

Coconut Milk - a nutrient dense liquid that improves heart health, helps build muscle, improves digestion and relieves constipation.

How to Make Baby’s First Spinach Smoothie -

And let’s be honest, there is no way I am pouring baby’s delicious spinach smoothie into a glass cup! I am not that crazy!

Favorite smoothie cup for baby

In the search to find the perfect smoothie cup for baby, I have literally tested out every straw sippy cup that is on the market. And all of them just couldn’t hold up to my very high standards - except for Thinkbaby’s Thinkster Steel bottle (comes in 3 fun colors - green, pink, blue, orange)

Here is what I love about using thinkbaby’s straw sippy cup for baby’s smoothie -

  • It (mostly) doesn’t leak! If baby or toddler takes the cup and throws it around and smashes it everywhere (I get it, it happens) then yes, it might leak a couple drops of smoothie. But overall this cup doesn’t leak.

  • It’s insulated! This way if your baby or toddler takes forever to finish their smoothie (this regularly happens at my house) you know that in 3 hours it will still be cold.

  • It is easy to clean!! Maybe the most important part about this cup. You can take the straw out of the cup and clean it with a straw cleaner. We have had our thinkbaby cup for a couple of years and haven’t had any problems with mold.

  • It has a handle! A handle is a must-have item for any baby sippy cup. The handle makes it easy for baby to hold onto and grip the cup when they are just learning how to drink from the cup. When they have mastered this skill, you can simply remove the handle and it is now made for your toddler. Brilliant!

  • It’s perfect to use on-the-go! Since it’s a sippy cup, you can fill it with this smoothie and take it with you and baby on whatever adventure you are having that day.

  • It’s made out of stainless steel! We all know that plastic shouldn’t be anywhere near baby’s food. This stainless steel sippy cup makes it so easy to follow through on it.

The only thing that is a slight draw-back from this sippy cup is the straw. The straw was meant for liquids not smoothies, so the diameter of the tip of the straw is a little narrow. The easy fix I had was I just took a pair of scissors and cut off the very end of the straw, trust me it works! This way your baby has an easier time sucking the thick smoothie out of the sippy cup.

This is not a paid post in any way, I just had a super hard time finding a smoothie cup for my girls when they were babies and toddlers and I was SO HAPPY that I found thinkbaby sippy cups for their smoothies!

Get your baby this amazing smoothie cup here!

 

MORE RECIPES YOU'LL LOVE -

Our favorite smoothie recipes are below. To make them safe for baby, just omit the honey in the recipe. 

IF YOU TRY THIS RECIPE, LET ME KNOW! I WANT TO SEE YOUR YUMMY CREATIONS! SNAP A PIC AND SHARE IT HERE ON PINTEREST


Baby's First Spinach + Avocado Smoothie

Baby’s First Spinach Smoothie

Age: from about 9 months and up
Yield: 2 small servings
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 0 minutes
Storage: best to drink right away

1/2 banana
1/4 avocado, peel removed
1/4 cup spinach, packed
1 cup frozen mango
1 tbsp old-fashioned oats
1/4 tsp chia seeds
1/4 cup canned coconut milk (full fat variety)
3-4 ice cubes
1/2-1 cup water

Instructions
1. Place all of the ingredients and 1/2 cup of water into a blender. 
2. Blend the ingredients together by using the smoothie function on your blender or high speed for at least 60 seconds. If the smoothie is too thick, then add the additional water to the smoothie and blend until incorporated. For most babies, you will want a pretty thin smoothie so they can suck it through the straw. Save the extra thick smoothies until they get a little older. 
3. Pour smoothie into a sippy cup and enjoy!