If you need some inspiration to help you cook healthy and tasty food for your kids, try these meal ideas.

When preparing food for children, don’t add salt, sugar or stock cubes directly to the food, or to the cooking water.

Whole cows' milk can be given as a drink from the age of one. Semi-skimmed milk can be introduced at two years old, provided your child is a good eater and growing well for their age.

Breakfast for babies and children

Breakfast for babies and children

  • Porridge or unsweetened cereal mixed with milk, topped with mashed ripe pear
  • Wholewheat biscuit cereal with milk and stewed fruit
  • Toast fingers with mashed banana
  • Toast fingers with a hard boiled egg and slices of ripe peach
  • Stewed apple, yoghurt and unsweetened breakfast cereal

Ideas for Children's lunch and tea

Children's lunch or tea ideas 

  • Cauliflower cheese with cooked pasta pieces
  • Mashed pasta with broccoli and cheese
  • Baked beans (reduced salt and sugar) with toast
  • Stewed fruit and custard
  • Scrambled egg with toast, chapatti or pitta bread 
  • Cottage cheese dip with pitta bread and cucumber and carrot sticks
  • Plain fromage frais with stewed apple
  • Small pieces of soft ripe peeled pear or peach

Change4Life - Healthier Lunchbox and picnics

First Steps Nutrition Trust: Eating well - Early years packed lunch

Children's dinners

Children's dinners

  • Mashed sweet potato with mashed chickpeas and cauliflower
  • Shepherd’s pie with green vegetables
  • Rice and mashed peas with courgette sticks
  • Mashed cooked lentils with rice
  • Minced chicken and vegetable casserole with mashed potato
  • Mashed canned salmon with couscous and peas 
  • Fish poached in milk with potato, broccoli and carrot

Change4Life - Meal planning tips

Download a great, simple and cost-effective family meal planning guide



  • Rice pudding or porridge (with no added sugar or salt)
  • Canned fruit in fruit juice
  • Fresh fruit
  • Yoghurt (unsweetened)
  • Toast, pitta or chapatti fingers
  • Unsalted rice cakes
  • Bagels
  • Small cubes of cheese

Change4Life - Healthy Snacks for kids

Please click here for healthy snack ideas for 1-4 year olds

Getting your child to eat fruit and vegetables

Getting your child to eat fruit and vegetables

Try these ways of increasing your child’s intake of fruit and vegetables:

  • Put their favourite vegetables or canned pineapple on top of pizza
  • Give carrot sticks, slices of pepper and peeled apple for snacks
  • Mix chopped or mashed vegetables with rice, mashed potatoes, meat sauces or dhal
  • Mix fruit (fresh, canned or stewed) with yoghurt or fromage frais for a tasty dessert
  • Chop prunes or dried apricots into cereal or yoghurt, or add them to a stew


Online Recipe Book

Why not try some recipes from NHS Choices and other trusted sites:

NHS Choices