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Last Updated on December 18, 2020

15 Easy Recipes for Kids That Don’t Require an Oven

15 Easy Recipes for Kids That Don’t Require an Oven

When summer’s in full swing, you definitely don’t want to turn on the oven. And with kids out of school, you need to keep them busy. What better way to do that than involve them in the kitchen making some fun and easy treats together?

These treats are a healthier alternative to candy and slushies and ice cream bars. And they’re so easy to make!

It’s a great way to spend some time together, start building healthy habits, and get kids involved in the process of their food. Perfect for a rainy day, or when you all need a break from the sun.

Here are 15 easy recipes for kids to try this summer

1. Sugar-Free Watermelon Raspberry Popsicles

    All you need to make these beauties is fruit, a blender and popsicle molds. Getting some popsicle molds will be well worth the investment, since pure fruit based popsicles are getting so expensive.

    You can use these molds over and over again every year, trying different flavors and combinations.

    Get the recipe by Dreena Burton

    2. 5-Ingredient No Bake Brownies

      With just 5 ingredients (plus an optional chocolate drizzle), you can get these super fudgy brownies going any day of the week. And with no added sugar, you can rest assured these are adding nutrition to growing bodies with every bite.

      Chances are you’re going to get requests to make these again and again, so keep the date supply stocked at all times…

      Get the recipe by Brittany Mullins of Eating Bird Food

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      3. Refreshing Creamsicle Smoothie

        Get that creamsicle flavor at home, with fresh oranges and all healthy ingredients. No driving, no lines, no disposable cups.

        These are a perfect mid-afternoon refresher when things have been hot and wild in the summer sun. Make your own, to sip while the kiddos are slurping.

        Get the recipe by Kathy Patalsky of Healthy Happy Life

        4. Almond Butter Rice Crisp Treats

          A vegan twist on rice crispie squares, made with natural almond butter and brown rice syrup, is easy to put together and not quite as goopy as the marshmallow version.

          Kids will feel super pleased with themselves, and because rice crips are so chewy, these might just slow them down long enough to sit.

          Get the recipe by Angela Liddon of Oh She Glows

          5. Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Truffles

            Game to try something different? These cookie dough bites are made with a base of chickpeas for a low-glycemic treat. And with no raw eggs, there’s nothing to worry about – go fancy and make the truffles with the coating, or just eat the cookie dough right from the bowl.

            Get the recipe by Ricki Heller, on veganook

            6. Chocolate Hummus

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              If you want to try another interesting sweet treat with chickpeas, this chocolate hummus looks perfect to pair with fresh fruit for a sneaky high-protein snack. This will fuel lasting energy through the afternoon, and fill small bodies with important nutrients, like calcium and iron, as well as those powerful antioxidants in cocoa.

              Get the recipe by Terita Heath-Wlaz on Super Healthy Kids

              7. Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Energy Bites

                Although chocolate chips and coconut are hard to top, the base of these energy bites could lead you in all kinds of different directions.

                Get creative in making different flavor combos, based on what’s in your cupboards. With a bit of flaxseed in there, you’ll boost the omega-3 content which is important for kids.

                Get the recipe by Marly of Namely Marly

                8. Raw Vegan Candy Apples

                  This could make a fun choose-your-topping adventure. The vegan caramel is so easy to whip up. Then set out small plates with different toppings, and kids can create their own masterpieces. These are just as much fun to eat as they are to create!

                  Get the recipe by Vanessa Croessmann of Vegan Family Recipes

                  9. Banana French Toast with Caramelized Bananas

                    This recipe is best for slightly older kids, or younger kids could be your sous-chef to dip the bread and pass to you for frying. But no matter what, get the whole family ready to enjoy a Sunday brunch feast with this delicious french toast.

                    The caramelized bananas are a cut above your average french toast topping, and you might want to add some berries or sliced melon.

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                    Get the recipe by Richa Hingle of Vegan Richa

                    10. Chunky Monkey Overnight Oats

                      This is a perfect post-dinner project and can set everyone up for a healthy and delicious breakfast to grab and go in the morning. Who knows, if they get hooked on it you could try to keep it going through the school year!

                      Get the recipe by Mel of A Virtual Vegan

                      11. Chocolate Cherry Nice Cream

                        With just four ingredients, this is the epitome of easy recipes for kids – and is so incredibly delicious! Cherries have such a rich flavor, and this will make for a supremely decadent dessert. Homemade ice cream without all the sugar and dairy is a totally healthy way to wind up the evening.

                        Get the recipe by Dianne Wenz of Dianne’s Vegan Kitchen

                        12. Watermelon Blueberry Salad

                          It’s not possible to get too much watermelon in the summer, and this easy fruit salad is so irresistible you may have to make this daily while it’s in season. With a zesty pop of flavor from mint and lime, this is a sure-fire winner.

                          Get the recipe by Amy Katz of Veggies Save the Day

                          13. No-Bake Chocolate Cereal Layer Cake

                            With just seven ingredients, this cake is easy enough for anyone to make. Adults will probably want to handle the frosting, but the cake itself is so simple.

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                            It looks so impressive that anyone would feel proud to have made it, and the kids will surely revel in presenting their creation to the table for a decadent dessert.

                            Get the recipe by Nicole Axworthy, for Nature’s Path

                            14. Almond Date No-Bake Cookies

                              These little guys are over-the-top cute, and Audrey gives so many images of ideas to try with this easy no-bake cookie base. From hedgehogs to stars to hearts to fish and beyond… Let your creative sides go wild, and see what you come up with!

                              Get the recipe by Audrey of Unconventional Baker

                              15. Healthy Snickers Ice Cream Bites

                                These look – and taste – so decadent that you wouldn’t believe how healthy these little bites are! With only four ingredients, they are incredibly easy to make.

                                Warning: they will likely become addictive to anyone who bites into one. Tempting thought it may be to make a giant batch, you may want to keep a limited supply on hand.

                                Get the recipe by Rhian of Rhian’s Recipes

                                Kitchen Tips for Kids

                                Obviously be careful with anything sharp, like knives and food processor blades, and anything hot, like a frying pan.

                                Kids might like wearing an apron to feel like a chef, and it will help keep clothes at least somewhat clean. They might even want to have an afternoon session to decorate their own special apron.

                                Even if they can’t yet do all the steps of a recipe themselves yet, involving them in the process shows them how their favorite treats come together. Giving them a taste for the abundant flavors of wholesome healthful foods early on helps to set kids up for healthy habits in the long term.

                                Making a mess in the kitchen is a rite of passage for any budding chef. But my dad always used to ask me when we finished any project what the most important part was. Cleaning up!

                                Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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                                Heather Nicholds

                                A vegan, a Certified Holistic Nutritionist, and a food lover.

                                15 Easy Recipes for Kids That Don’t Require an Oven 27 Healthy Pressure Cooker Meals (with Easy Recipes) 15 Tasty Probiotic Drinks That Are Worth Trying for Better Digestive Health 17 Healthy Vegetarian Recipes for the Meat Lovers in Your Life

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                                Published on April 30, 2021

                                35 Easy And Healthy Dinner Ideas For Kids

                                35 Easy And Healthy Dinner Ideas For Kids

                                Parents jokingly say that the most challenging part about raising kids is deciding what’s for dinner. While it’s funny, there’s also a lot of truth to it. Kids can be picky. They love something one day and despise it the next. They also don’t care if something is healthy or not. And good luck ever getting dinner “right” if you have more than one kid. More kids equal more opinions.

                                What can busy parents do to get their kids to eat healthy meals? How can mealtime be easier?

                                First, you might be wondering if new recipes will even help. Picky eaters are good at refusing anything and everything. Kid-friendly meals won’t be beneficial if your child isn’t open to new things. Even kids that aren’t overly picky tend to shy away from new foods. Ironically, they also hate eating the same things over and over.

                                So, what’s the best way to overcome meal-time frustration? Make it fun! Distract kids with a bit of creativity. They’ll be more likely to eat if everyone is relaxed and enjoying the meal.[1]

                                Before I dive into the 35 dinner ideas for kids, here are some tips for getting young kids to eat and break out of that dinner rut.(Mayo Clinic: Children’s Nutrition: 10 Tips For Picky Eaters))

                                1. Make Breakfast for Dinner – Switch things up by serving breakfast for dinner. Kids will love the surprise. Use fruit, bacon, and sausage to make it more filling. Some days can be exceedingly rough, so oatmeal and fruit can even be an option.
                                2. Involve Them – Kids love to help and will be more excited to try the food they helped make. Touching and seeing the ingredients during the process can help your child become more familiar with them and ease their uncertainty. The biggest benefit is you’ll be spending time together, not to mention the value of learning to cook.
                                3. Do Dinner Buffet-Style – Set food and toppings out on the table buffet-style and allow kids to dish up their plates. What works well for a buffet?[2] Tacos, pancakes, pizza, nachos, finger foods and chili are just a few of the many ideas out there. Don’t be afraid to come up with your own.
                                4. Creative Presentation – Turning a meal into art is another way to get kids interested. Nothing makes food more interesting than when it looks like a face, flower, or boat. Get creative with how you present the food!
                                5. Have Fun With Themes – The options here are endless. You could base it on your child’s favorite characters or focus on a different culture, region, or even history. This is a great way to introduce your child to how and what others around the world eat.
                                6. Bribery – Sometimes, parents have to resort to shameless bribery to get kids to eat. It’s okay to use a little extra motivation to get kids to try something new.[3] We all need a boost now and then. Avoid using dessert as a motive to eat dinner, but what are some harmless bribes to try? For instance, stickers, temporary tattoos, extra screen time or bedtime book.

                                Now, let’s get to the dinner ideas. Meal planning is just one more thing to do in an already busy day. This list of dinner recipes for kids can help. Remember, you can always make modifications to fit any dietary needs. These recipes are a good starting point and can give your tired brain a boost of creativity.

                                1. Cheeseburger Pasta

                                  Children love pasta and cheeseburgers, so mix the two for an irresistible dinner for kids. Make it even better by using fun pasta shapes like shells or rotini twists.

                                  Get the recipe for this instant classic here.

                                  2. Tacos on a Stick

                                    Sticks make everything better when you’re a kid—so, why would dinner be any different? This meal doesn’t get any easier, either, scoring major points with parents. All you need are bamboo skewers and a few simple ingredients.

                                    Get the recipe here.

                                    3. Nacho Pizza

                                      This is another creative twist on two classic meals most kids will quickly devour. Go as crazy or as simple as you want with this quick dinner.

                                      Find the recipe here.

                                      4. Gnocchi Chicken Skillet

                                        Pasta with a unique twist makes for a meal that kids will be curious to try. This one is so good, it might become a favorite for parents, too.

                                        Check out the recipe here.

                                        5. Hamburger Pizza

                                          Another mashup and more burgers, the hamburger pizza is just too good to pass up—all the flavors of a burger in the form of a childhood favorite.

                                          Go here for the recipe.

                                          6. Chicken Noodle Soup

                                            No list would be complete without this classic. Cheat a little by using rotisserie chicken, and have this soup done in under 30 minutes. Say goodbye to the canned version.

                                            Find the recipe here.

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                                            7. Hot Dog Roll-Ups

                                              Refrigerated crescent rolls, hot dogs, cheese, and bacon come together for a dinner for kids that can’t get much quicker.

                                              Find out how to make this fun hot dog dinner here.

                                              8. Tater Tot Nachos

                                                Not your every day nachos, this recipe uses tater tots as a base. You can use whatever toppings you know that your kid loves to improve it.

                                                Check the recipe out here.

                                                9. Muffin Tin Lasagna

                                                  Muffin tin lasagna is just like lasagna but smaller. It’s perfect for little fingers and faster to make than the original.

                                                  Get the recipe here.

                                                  10. Frito Pie Casserole

                                                    Frito chips add crunch to this quick Tex-Mex meal. To make it extra special, turn it into Tacos in a Bag by mixing everything into individual bags of chips.

                                                    Find the recipe for this delicious meal here.

                                                    11. Cheeseburger and Fries Casserole

                                                      Cheeseburger and rise casserole—two fast-food favorites combined into one flavorful casserole. Why eat out when you can have a quick, hot meal at home?

                                                      The recipe can be found here.

                                                      12. Meatball Submarine Casserole

                                                        This dinner for kids may be a little less messy than the sandwich, but they will still love the meatballs, melted cheese, and warm bread.

                                                        For a quick midweek meal, check out the recipe here.

                                                        13. White Cheddar Mac and Cheese

                                                          The best of comfort foods gets a quick upgrade. Kids will still enjoy this favorite while parents can appreciate the grown-up flavor of white cheddar.

                                                          Get the recipe here.

                                                          14. Turkey Ranch Wraps

                                                            Easy, delicious, fun, and fast—what could be better? This meal is also easy to pack, making it great for those hectic nights when you’re on the go.

                                                            Find the recipe here, and give it a try.

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                                                            15. Big Mac Pizza

                                                              Just saying the words “Big Mac” will get little ears to perk up. A pre-made crust makes this dinner a fast answer to those mealtime frustrations.

                                                              Go here to find out how to make it.

                                                              16. Buttermilk Chicken Tenders

                                                                Homemade yet easy to make chicken tenders—what gets better than that? Add a side of vegetables and fruit and you have a complete meal that kids will happily gobble up.

                                                                Get this easy recipe here.

                                                                17. Meatball Sliders

                                                                  Sliders are a great snack or dinner for kids—small hands, small sandwiches. Plus, the tiny size makes them more fun than the original.

                                                                  Try this recipe here.

                                                                  18. Ham and Cheese Pockets

                                                                    Don’t let the idea of making homemade dough keep you from trying this recipe. You’ll be glad you did when you see how simple it is. Everyone will love biting into a ham and cheese pocket made with fresh bread.

                                                                    The recipe can be found here.

                                                                    19. Dorito Taco Salad

                                                                      Swap out tortilla chips for Doritos and watch kids find a new interest in taco salad. Use single-serving bags as the bowl, add the toppings inside, and enjoy having to do fewer dishes.

                                                                      Get the recipe here.

                                                                      20. Spaghetti Nests

                                                                        Kids love spaghetti, but they’ll be surprised to see it as little “nests” they can eat with their fingers.

                                                                        Find out how to make them here.

                                                                        21. Mini Chicken Pot Pies

                                                                          With only four ingredients and done in half an hour, what’s not to love about this dinner idea for kids? Homemade doesn’t have to mean difficult.

                                                                          Get the recipe for this comfort food favorite here.

                                                                          22. Sandwich on a Stick

                                                                            Save the time slicing, spreading, and piling and instead, put everything onto a stick. Kids will love pulling each item off, and you’ll love the easy clean-up.

                                                                            Find the recipe here.

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                                                                            23. Tornado Dogs

                                                                              The name alone might be enough to make kids eat these. Hot dogs on a skewer are wrapped in a swirl of bread dough, making this a fun new way to eat an old favorite.

                                                                              The recipe can be found here.

                                                                              24. Homemade Spaghettios

                                                                               

                                                                                Make your own healthy version of Spaghettios at home with this simple recipe. It’s cheap, simple, and you have control over the ingredients. You might never buy the canned version again.

                                                                                Find the recipe for this childhood classic here.

                                                                                25. Kitchen BBQ Chicken

                                                                                  You don’t need anything fancy for this meal, though it will taste like you put a lot of effort into it.

                                                                                  Find out how to make this quick version here.

                                                                                  26. Puka Dogs

                                                                                    Polish sausages or hot dogs are used in this Hawaiian recipe. Pineapple relish and mango mustard add tropical flavors, and Hawaiian rolls are used for the bread.

                                                                                    Get the recipe here.

                                                                                    27. Instant Pot Chicken and Dumplings

                                                                                      Almost everyone loves dumplings, and it’s a nice side dish or dinner for your kids. Add chunks of chicken and creamy gravy—what’s there to complain about?

                                                                                      Get the quick version of this all-time favorite here.

                                                                                      28. Chicken Alfredo Casserole

                                                                                        Casseroles make for an easy dinner for kids, and this is one you might find making over and over. Pair it with a salad and you have a delicious Italian meal without the fuss.

                                                                                        Get the recipe here.

                                                                                        29. Pizza on a Stick

                                                                                          Bamboo skewers switch up yet another meal. This time, pizza gets a makeover in this creative twist.

                                                                                          Find out how to make these here.

                                                                                          30. Pita Tacos

                                                                                            Instead of taco shells, this recipe uses pita bread. Kids will have fun filling the “pockets” with taco ingredients.

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                                                                                            Go here for this delicious recipe.

                                                                                            31. Copycat Instant Pot Hamburger Helper

                                                                                              There’s something classic about Hamburger Helper, but now you can make it just as quickly from scratch. Noodles, ground beef, and sauce come together in this delicious instant pot meal.

                                                                                              Get the recipe here.

                                                                                              32. Cheese Fondue

                                                                                                Fondues open up the door for creativity. Children might even have a few ideas for foods to dip into the cheese sauce. Pretzel bites, bread, vegetables, and meat make good options.

                                                                                                Find more ideas and the recipe here.

                                                                                                33. Egg in the Hole

                                                                                                  This recipe is one of those quick breakfasts that would make a great dinner for kids when you’re in a rush. Make it even better by using a cookie cutter to make a fun shape in the bread.

                                                                                                  The recipe can be found here.

                                                                                                  34. Instant Pot Egg Casserole Bites

                                                                                                    These casserole bites are filling and quick. The small size makes them easy to eat and their clean-up a breeze. Kids can add their favorite toppings, too. Cheese, peppers, sausage, and bacon are just a few options.

                                                                                                    Find out how to make this recipe here.

                                                                                                    35. French Toast Roll-Ups

                                                                                                      Sometimes, it’s the simple things that grab a kid’s attention. This french toast recipe is sure to be a dinner they love and one you don’t have to feel bad about making.

                                                                                                      Find the recipe here.

                                                                                                      My Kid Still Won’t Eat—Is This Normal?

                                                                                                      Remember that kids go through stages. There will be days when your child barely eats, and there will be days when the hunger seems nonstop.

                                                                                                      Focus on the big picture and ask yourself these questions:[4]

                                                                                                      • Is my child eating a variety of healthy foods over the course of the week?
                                                                                                      • Is my child undernourished or growing normally?
                                                                                                      • Is food (or lack of) interfering with my child’s quality of life?

                                                                                                      It might be time to see a doctor if you see signs of health problems due to pickiness or lack of eating. The problem may go beyond stubbornness and be a symptom of a medical issue.[5]

                                                                                                      Keeping Family Mealtime Stress-free

                                                                                                      The less stressed you are, the less stressed your child will be. Forcing food will make the experience negative, leaving kids less likely to experiment.

                                                                                                      Here are a few final tips on how to encourage positive eating habits that will follow your child through life:

                                                                                                      • Keep meals stress-free
                                                                                                      • Offer a wide variety of foods
                                                                                                      • Don’t force eating
                                                                                                      • Encourage older children to try new food at least three times
                                                                                                      • Set a good example by eating healthy, and being open to new foods yourself

                                                                                                      With a positive attitude, fun ideas, and new recipes, you can help your child learn to love new foods. You can start with these 35 dinner ideas for kids to help you out.

                                                                                                      More Kids’ Meals Ideas

                                                                                                      Featured photo credit: Karo Kujanpaa via unsplash.com

                                                                                                      Reference

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