The Picky Eater’s Kitchen: 15 Must-Have Foods to Keep on Hand at All Times


Feeding a child isn’t always easy, especially when you have a picky eater like I do! I’m always scouring online for new kid friendly foods that I can test out on my son Kai. I do, however, have a number of go-to foods that I keep in my kitchen that are fast, easy, and versatile, and that I know Kai won’t turn his nose up at.


15 must-haves for the picky eater:

  1. Tortillas – There are so many ways to use tortillas! I make burritos, quesadillas, and pinwheel sandwiches. One of our family’s favorites uses for them is to cut them into triangles, brush with olive oil, sprinkle cinnamon and sugar on them, and bake until golden brown. We love to dip them into a fruit salad.
  2. Mac and cheese – I love this kid friendly staple because it’s so adaptable. I serve it plain, mixed with canned tuna fish and peas, or mixed with browned ground beef and steamed green beans.
  3. Pepperoni – It’s fun to serve pepperoni slices with cheese and crackers as a snack when Kai has his friends over. It’s quick, easy, and a crowd-pleaser.
  4. Tyson® Crispy Chicken Strips – These are great for a quick after-school snack or dinner. When I’m exhausted or not in the mood to cook, all I have to do is pop them in the oven and within twenty minutes my starving child is satisfied. My family also enjoys them on top of a salad or with a side of rice and steamed broccoli.
  5. Apples – This is Kai’s go-to fruit. They are perfect as an on-the-go snack or a side dish in his lunch box, and we even bake them with walnuts and apple juice as an after-dinner treat.
  6. Popcorn – Who doesn’t love popcorn? You can serve it traditionally with melted butter or make a special treat by pouring a melted maple syrup, nut butter, and vanilla mixture on top of the popcorn, spreading on a baking sheet, and then baking in a 200° oven on low for about ten minutes, tossing occasionally until the mixture hardens.
  7. Celery – This kid friendly veggie is great alone, but also awesome topped with almond butter and raisins or tuna salad and cran-raisins.
  8. Baby carrots –This is another go-to snack. I often throw some in a baggie when we hop into the car to run errands, because I know from experience that the words “I’m hungry” are inevitable.
  9. Mozzarella cheese sticks – I love them because they are a great source of calcium. Kai loves them because he gets to peel them apart piece by piece. Sometimes, I make kebabs for his lunch box, and I skewer pieces of the cheese stick in between rolled turkey slices and a piece of apple.
  10. Eggs – I hard-boil them, scramble them, and even make frittatas. I love eggs because I know this high protein breakfast is a before-school must for energy & stamina to the last the entire day.
  11. Blueberries – Kai loves when I top his almond butter toast with them. Most of the time, I don’t have to do anything with them and he’ll just pop handfuls in his mouth.
  12. Applesauce – This staple is great to toss into Kai’s lunch box. I also pour some into our homemade cookies to cut out some of the butter.
  13. Cucumbers – I don’t even have to cut cucumbers up. My silly boy sometimes just munches on the whole cuc. When I do slice it, he loves to dip them into hummus.
  14. Strawberries – I love making strawberry smoothies for Kai. It’s a great, sweet way for him to get extra vitamin C and fiber. I also dip whole strawberries in melted chocolate, place them on parchment paper, and chill for a tasty dessert.
  15. Sprinkles – Everything is better with sprinkles! Occasionally as a surprise, I’ll top off waffles, pancakes, or even oatmeal with some colorful sprinkles. It’s a fun and magical way to start the day.

This post was sponsored by Tyson Foods