Kid Friendly Lunch & Snack Ideas

Click below to view individual recipes.

  • Pizza Muffins

    Pizza muffins
    Makes 12 servings.
    These savoury muffins have a wonderful pizza flavour. They are perfect for lunches or on the go.

    Ingredients

    • 1 cup (250 mL) cornmeal
    • 1 cup (250 mL) whole-wheat flour
    • 1 tsp (5 mL) dried oregano
    • 1 ½ tsp (7 mL) baking powder
    • ½ tsp (2 mL) baking soda
    • 2 eggs
    • 1 ½ cups (375 mL) buttermilk or light sour cream
    • 2 tbsp (25 mL) tomato paste, divided
    • ½ cup (125 mL) shredded light old cheddar cheese, loosely packed, divided
    • Canola cooking spray

    Directions

    1. Preheat oven to 400º F (200º C). Spray a muffin tin very lightly with cooking spray. Do not use muffin papers; they will stick.
    2. In a large bowl, mix together cornmeal, flour, oregano, baking owder and baking soda.
    3. In a second bowl, combine the eggs, buttermilk, 1 tbsp (15 mL) tomato paste, and 1/3 cup (75 mL) cheese. Add it to the dry ingredients, and mixed until just combined.
    4. Divide the mixture evenly in a 12 cup muffin tin. Top each muffin with a smear of tomato paste and a little cheese.
    5. Bake for 20 minutes. Store in an air-tight container for one day or wrap individually and freeze.
    Developed by Nadine Day, RD. ©The Heart and Stroke Foundation
  • Refried Bean and Cheese Quesadillas
    Refried bean and cheese quesadillas

    Serves 4

    Ingredients for refried beans (makes 2 cups / 500 mL)

    • 1 medium sweet potato, peeled and diced (about 1 ½ cups / 375 mL)
    • 1 tsp (5 mL) olive oil
    • ½ cup (125 mL) diced onion
    • 1 clove of garlic, minced
    • 1 can (19 oz / 540 mL) black beans, drained and rinsed
    • 1 tsp (5 mL) ground cumin
    • ½ tsp (2 mL) dried oregano
    • ½ tsp (2 mL) chili powder
    • ¼ tsp (1 mL) black pepper

    For assembly

    • 8 whole grain tortillas, 6 inches (15 cm) in diameter
    • ½ cup (125 mL) refried beans
    • ½ cup (125 mL) shredded lower-fat (light) cheese
    • ½ cup (125 mL) finely diced tomatoes, seeds removed
    • ½ cup (125 mL) fat free sour cream for dipping

    Directions

    1. Add sweet potato to a medium sauce pan and boil for about 15 minutes or until soft. Drain and set aside.
    2. Heat oil in a fry pan over medium heat. Add the onions and cook until soft, but not brown. Add the garlic, beans, spices and sweet potato and cook until hot.
    3. Remove from the heat and purée in a food processor. If you don’t have a food processor you can mash the mixture with a potato masher. If it is too thick add water 1 tbsp (15 mL) at a time. Beans can be kept in the fridge for up to 5 days.

    To assemble:

    1. Preheat oven to 350º F (180º C). Line a baking sheet with tinfoil.
    2. Lay out four tortillas and on each one add ¼ of the refried beans, cheese and tomatoes. Top with a second tortilla.
    3. Place the tortillas on the baking sheet and cover with another piece of tin foil. Bake for 10 minutes or until cheese is melted.
    4. Cut in four and serve with 2 tbsp (25 mL) sour cream to dip.
    Developed by Nadine Day, RD. ©The Heart and Stroke Foundation
  • Turkey Tortilla Wrap (can use tuna, salmon, or chicken)
    TURKEY_WRAP

    Makes 1 serving
    This is a colourful, crunchy lunch full of fibre, vitamins and protein that your kids will love. Tortilla wraps provide a break from bread – and they're fun to hold!
    Quick fix tip
    This tortilla wrap is easy to make the night before. Simply roll it up in plastic wrap and refrigerate for the next day.

    Ingredients

    • 1 soft whole-wheat tortilla, 20-23 cm (8-9”) across
    • 2 tsp (10 mL) honey mustard
    • 2 leaves of dark, leafy lettuce, shredded
    • 1/2 sweet red or yellow pepper, fresh or roasted, thinly sliced
    • 1/4 small, ripe avocado, pit and skin removed, thinly sliced
    • 1 oz (30 g) shaved turkey

    Directions

    1. Place the tortilla on a work surface and spread the honey mustard, leaving about one inch (2.5 cm) clear of the edges.
    2. Arrange the ingredients evenly in rows down the centre of the tortilla: lettuce, pepper, avocado, turkey.
    3. Fold the outer edges over the filling, then roll up tightly from the bottom. Cut in half on the diagonal.
    @ Deborah Hoffnung is a Registered Dietitian specializing in children’s nutritional requirements.
  • Farmer in the Dell Lunch (‘Lunchables’)
    Farmer in the dell lunch

    Makes 2 servings
    In our house this is the perfect lunch on a summer day when the kids want to eat outside. They think they are snacking and I know they are eating healthy. Use any fruits or veggies you have in the house.

    Ingredients

    • 1 cup (250 mL) seasonal veggies, chopped
    • 1 cup (250 mL) seasonal fruit, sliced
    • 8 whole grain crackers
    • 2 oz (75 g) cooked chicken breast without the skin, sliced
    • ¼ cup (50 mL) store-bought hummus

    Directions

    1. Place everything on a plate and serve.
    Developed by Nadine Day, RD. ©The Heart and Stroke Foundation
  • Chicken and Apple Lettuce Wraps
    Chicken and apple lettuce wraps

    Makes 2 servings
    This recipe is a great break from the traditional sandwich – no bread required! Pack the chicken and apple mixture in a small container and let the kids assemble it at school.

    Ingredients

    • 1 cup (250 mL) cooked chicken breast, diced (about 1)
    • ½ cup (125 mL) red apple, diced
    • ¼ cup (50 mL) celery, diced
    • 2 tbsp (25 mL) raisins
    • ¼ cup (50 mL) light mayonnaise
    • 4 Boston lettuce leaves, whole, washed and dried

    Directions

    1. In a small bowl, mix together all the filling ingredients. This can be made the night before.
    2. To serve, spoon about ½ cup (125 mL) of the filling down the centre of the lettuce leaf and wrap it up.

    Note: Try different kinds of fillings such as ham and cheese, tuna, turkey and Swiss and salmon.
    Developed by Nadine Day, RD. ©The Heart and Stroke Foundation.

  • Easy Baked Apples

    Serves 4
    This is a very easy snack or dessert for the kids. Serve it with a dollop of non-fat yogurt or sour cream if you wish.

    Ingredients

    • 2 apples, peeled and cut in 4, core removed
    • ¼ cup (50 mL) water
    • 1 tbsp (15 mL) brown sugar
    • 1/8 tsp (0.5 mL) cinnamon
    • Dash of allspice

    Directions

    1. Preheat oven to 400º F (200º C).
    2. Combine all of the ingredients in a square baking dish.
    3. Coat the apples by tossing in the mixture.
    4. Bake for 20 minutes. Immediately after cooking, stir the apples in the syrup created in the baking dish. Serve hot or cold.
    Developed by Nadine Day, RD. ©The Heart and Stroke Foundation
  • Omega Granola

    Omega granola
    Makes 10 servings
    Not only delicious with milk, this granola is also delicious with fresh fruit and vanilla yogurt. It also makes a delicious snack for the whole family. Shop at a bulk food store to get the exact amount of ingredients that you’ll need.

    Ingredients

    • 1/3 cup (75 ml) pure maple syrup
    • 2 tbsp (25 mL) honey
    • 1 tsp (5 mL) vanilla
    • 2 ¾ cup (675 mL) old fashioned (regular) oats
    • 1 cup (250 mL) walnuts, chopped
    • 2 tbsp (25 mL) ground flax seed
    • 1 tbsp (15 mL) whole flax seed
    • 1 cup (250 mL) dried cherries, or any dried fruit your family likes

    Directions

    1. Preheat oven to 300º F (150º C). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
    2. In a large bowl whisk together maple syrup, honey and vanilla. Add the oats, walnuts, ground flax and whole flax. Mix well.
    3. Spread onto the baking sheet and bake for 25 minutes, stirring once.
    4. Remove from the oven and stir in dried fruit. Store in an air-tight container for up to 1 month.
    Developed by Nadine Day. ©The Heart and Stroke Foundation.
  • Cinnamon Tortilla Chips with Blackberry Yogurt Dip
    Chips and yogurt dip

    Makes 4 servings
    It is very easy for kids to help prepare this simple snack. Involving children can help them feel a sense of accomplishment and may help picky eaters try new foods.

    Ingredients

    • 2 10 inch (25 cm) whole-grain soft tortillas
    • 1 tsp (5 mL) canola oil
    • 1 tsp (5 mL) sugar
    • 1/2 tsp (2 mL) cinnamon

    Dip

    • 1/2 cup (125 mL) plain, fat-free yogurt
    • 1/2 cup (125 mL) blackberries or raspberries
    • 1 tsp (5 mL) raspberry jam

    Directions

    1. Preheat the oven to 400º F (200º C).
    2. Brush one side of the tortillas with oil. Set aside.
    3. In a small bowl combine the sugar and cinnamon. Sprinkle over the tortilla.
    4. Cut each tortilla into eight wedges. Place on a baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool.
    5. Meanwhile, combine the dip ingredients. Using a fork, mash the berries and mix into the yogurt.
    6. Serve the chips and dip.
    Developed by Nadine Day, RD. ©The Heart and Stroke Foundation
  • Roasted Chickpeas – 3 Ways
    Roasted chickpeas – three ways

    Makes 2 cups (500 mL)
    This snack is very easy to make and will add fibre, iron and folate to your diet. All you have to do is take the basic ingredients and then add the spice of your choice: will it be savoury pizza, sweet cinnamon or Southwestern spice?

    Ingredients

    • 1 can (19 oz / 560 mL) chickpeas, drained and rinsed
    • 1 tbsp (15 mL) olive oil

    Savoury pizza crunch chickpeas

    • 2 tsp (10 mL) parmesan cheese
    • 2 tsp (10 mL) dried oregano
    • 1 tsp (5 mL) garlic powder

    or
    Sweet cinnamon chickpeas

    • 2 tsp (10 mL) cinnamon
    • 2 tsp (10 mL) sugar

    or
    Southwestern spice chickpeas

    • 2 tsp (10 mL) ancho chili powder (or regular chili powder)
    • 1 tsp (5 mL) cumin
    • 1/4 tsp (1 mL) black pepper
    • dash of cayenne pepper (optional)

    Directions

    1. Preheat oven to 350º F (180º C).
    2. Drain and rinse the chickpeas and dry them really well in a paper towel. Place them in a large bowl and toss with olive oil. Set aside.
    3. Mix together one of the above spice mixtures. Toss with the chickpeas and place them on an ungreased baking sheet.
    4. Bake for 50 minutes or until crunchy. Store in an air tight container for 3 days.
    Developed by Nadine Day, RD. ©The Heart and Stroke Foundation
  • Oatmeal Bites Trail Mix
    Oatmeal bites trail mix

    Makes 8 snacks
    The mini oatmeal bites combined with the trail mix keeps well in a lunch bag or backpack.

    Oatmeal Bites Ingredients

    • 1/4 cup (50 mL) whole-wheat flour
    • 1/4 tsp (1 mL) baking soda
    • 1/4 tsp (1 mL) cinnamon
    • 2 tbsp (25 mL) non-hydrogenated margarine, melted
    • 2 tbsp (25 mL) sugar
    • 1 tbsp (15 mL) molasses
    • 1 egg white
    • 1 tsp (5 mL) vanilla
    • 3/4 cup (175 mL) old-fashioned rolled oats

    Trail Mix Ingredients

    • 4 cups (1 L) dried fruit (raisins, cranberries, chopped apricots)
    • 3 tbsp (45 mL) unsalted, shelled sunflower seeds or pumpkin seeds
    • 2 cups (500 mL) whole-grain O-shaped cereal

    Directions for Oatmeal Bites

    1. Preheat the oven to 350º F (180º C). Cover two baking sheets with parchment paper.
    2. In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking soda and cinnamon.
    3. In a second bowl, whisk together margarine, sugar, molasses, egg white and vanilla. Add this mixture and the rolled oats to the flour mixture and combine well.
    4. Drop 1/2 tbsp (8 mL) amounts of dough on the prepared baking sheets. Makes 24 bites. Bake for 10 minutes, or until the edges are starting to brown. Cool. If desired, freeze in a re-sealable freezer bag.

    Assemble the oatmeal bites with the trail mix

    1. Combine 3 oatmeal bites with 1/2 cup (125 mL) dried fruit, 1 tsp (5 mL) sunflower seeds, 1/4 cup (50 mL) cereal in a re-sealable bag or snack container.

    Tip: Prepare the 8 snack bags, except the oatmeal bites, ahead of time. Place the oatmeal bites in a separate container (or freeze them) to keep them fresh. In the morning, add the bites to the re-sealable bags.

    Developed by Nadine Day, RD. ©The Heart and Stroke Foundation

To find the nutritional information for these recipes and to find more great recipes, visit: Heart and Stroke Foundation Recipes

Informative Websites for Healthy Eating and Living

Dietitians of Canada

Find Dietitians' views on topics, recipes, shopping ideas, nutrient values, food regulation and labelling, food myths, Body Mass Index calculator for children, teens, and adults: dietitians.ca

Eat Right Ontario

Find recipes, easy and nutritious lunch ideas: eatrightontario.ca

Horticulture Nova Scotia

Find ‘Just for Kids’ links for learning about food and nutrition (trivia, games), information about local farmers and crops, U-Pick information: hortns.com

Parenting Website

Find many recipes for children’s lunches, 32 healthy snack ideas, suggestions for picky eaters, and lots of general health information for children: parenting.com

Alberta Healthy U Website

Find information about ‘The Family Meal’, food size, labelling, meal planning, budgeting, eating well at work, feeding children with articles on special considerations, and active living ideas: healthyalberta.com

Sparkpeople

Find articles and videos on healthy habits, health conditions, and benefits of eating together: sparkpeople.com