The Healthiest Store-Bought Foods for Kids

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The Healthiest Store-Bought Foods for Kids
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The Healthiest Store-Bought Foods for Kids

Best Frozen Fries: Alexia Oven Crinkles

Unlike other fries on the market, Alexia’s crinkly taters are made from ingredients that you can recognize and pronounce. An added bonus, they are certified organic and contain 3 grams of fiber per serving.

Get it now: Alexia Oven Crinkles, available at supermarkets nationwide

Image Credit: Alexia

Homemade Version: Oven-Baked French Fries

The kids won’t even notice that these spuds aren’t fried. Serve them with ketchup or your family’s favorite condiment.

Get the recipe: Oven-Baked French Fries

Image Credit: Shirley Fan

Best Boxed Mac & Cheese: Annie's Organic Whole Wheat Shells & White Cheddar

Kids will be clamoring for a seat at the table when they know you’re serving up Annie’s mac and cheese. Take comfort in knowing that you’ll also be offering them organic whole wheat shells, which have 5 grams of fiber per serving. It's also a good source of calcium and protein, essential for growing kids.

Get it now: Annie’s Organic Whole Wheat Shells and White Cheddar available at supermarkets nationwide

Image Credit: Annie's Organic

Homemade Version: Lightened-Up Macaroni & Cheese

Believe it or not, the creaminess of this dish comes from pureed vegetables. If you don’t have cauliflower, try it with butternut squash.

Get the recipe: Lightened-Up Macaroni and Cheese

Image Credit: Shirley Fan

Best Frozen Chicken Nuggets: Applegate Farms Chicken Nuggets

Picky eaters rejoice! This chicken nugget contains no chemical preservatives and is made with antibiotic-free meat. A seven-nugget serving totals 180 calories, 9 grams fat and 12 grams protein.

Get it now: Applegate Farms Chicken Nuggets, available at retailers nationwide or online.

Image Credit: Applegate Farms

Homemade Version: Baked Chicken Nuggets

These bite-sized goodies will be gone in seconds. Toast and crush up leftover stale bread if you don’t have any breadcrumbs on hand.

Get the recipe: Baked Chicken Nuggets

Image Credit: Shirley Fan

Best Frozen Waffles: Nature's Path Flax Plus Frozen Waffles

Free of artificial preservatives, additives and genetically modified organisms, these power-packed waffles contain 5 grams fiber and 4 grams protein to keep the kids full all morning long. They also contain plant-based ALA omega-3 fatty acids, which are beneficial to the body, specifically the brain and heart.

Get it now: Nature’s Path Flax Plus Frozen Waffles, available at retailers nationwide

Image Credit: Nature's Path

Homemade Version: Whole Wheat Vanilla Waffles

Mornings are easier to wake up to with the scent of these waffles wafting throughout the house. If you don’t have a waffle iron, the batter can also be used for pancakes.

Get the recipe: Whole Wheat Vanilla Waffles

Image Credit: Shirley Fan

Best Frozen Pizza: Ian's French Bread Pizza

It can be hard for allergy-prone kids to enjoy the same foods as their friends, but Ian’s frozen French bread pizza is free of allergens including wheat, gluten, milk, casein, eggs, peanuts and tree nuts. Plus, it’s made with soy cheese.

Get it now: Ian’s French Bread Pizza, available at select supermarkets nationwide

Image Credit: Ian's

Homemade Version: Whole Wheat French Bread Pizza

This four-ingredient meal takes less than 15 minutes to make. Try topping the pizzas with veggies like bell peppers and spinach.

Get the recipe: Whole Wheat French Bread Pizza

Image Credit: Shirley Fan

Best Fish Sticks: Happy Bites Salmon Stix

These hand-held treats are made with wild salmon and pollack. Each serving contains a half-serving of vegetables and 200 milligrams of EPA/DHA omega-3 fatty acids, which aid in brain development.

Get it now: Happy Bites Salmon Stix, available at select supermarkets or at Amazon

Image Credit: Happy Bites

Homemade Version: Super Easy Fish Sticks

Here’s a great way to get the kids to eat fish (that’s not in a tuna fish sandwich). Serve these sticks with a light tartar sauce made from low-fat mayo and relish.

Get the recipe: Super Easy Fish Sticks

Image Credit: Shirley Fan

Best Readymade Oatmeal: Good Food Made Simple Oatmeal

Made from 100 percent steel-cut oats, this oatmeal comes unsweetened so you can control the sugar yourself. To prepare, just remove the individually wrapped oatmeal servings from the freezer and microwave. Within minutes, you’ll have a steaming hot bowl of oatmeal on the table.

Get it now: Good Food Made Simple Oatmeal, available at select supermarkets nationwide

Image Credit: Good Food Made Simple

Homemade Version: Good Morning Oatmeal

Hearty and filling steel-cut oats can take a while to make, but not when you prep them ahead of time. Start the night before and it’ll reduce the cooking time by half in the morning.

Get the recipe: Good Morning Oatmeal

Image Credit: Shirley Fan

Best Vegetarian Snack: Dr. Praeger's Vegetable (Broccoli and Spinach) Pancakes

When it’s hard to get the little ones to eat their veggies, these tasty pancakes come in handy. Packed with real vegetables, Dr. Praeger’s vegetable pancakes are all natural and contain no saturated or trans fats.

Get it now: Dr. Praeger’s Vegetable Pancakes available at supermarkets nationwide

Image Credit: Dr. Praeger's

Veggie Nuggets

These nuggets can be shaped into various sizes and even into patties. Use leftover vegetables or beans for the filling, if you like.

Get the recipe: Veggie Nuggets

Image Credit: Shirley Fan

Best Vegetarian Meal: Amy's Vegetable Pie in a Pocket

For adventurous little ones, these savory veggie pockets are made with organic ingredients and flavored with a hint of spices and herbs. They’re a satisfying and tasty meal, even for meat eaters.

Get it now: Amy’s Vegetable Pie in a Pocket available at supermarkets nationwide

Image Credit: Amy's

Homemade Version: Broccoli and Mushroom Veggie Pockets

These hand-held treats are incredibly simple to make and extremely versatile. Try them with other vegetables and fillings such as spinach or zucchini.

Get the recipe: Broccoli and Mushroom Veggie Pockets

Image Credit: Shirley Fan

Best Frozen Pancakes: Van's 8 Whole Grain Pancakes

Van’s frozen pancakes are made from whole grains, including whole wheat, oats, barley, brown rice and quinoa. A serving of two pancakes contains just 150 calories and 1.5 grams fat, and a whopping 6 grams fiber and 4 grams protein.

Get it now: Van’s 8 Whole Grain Pancakes, available at natural food retailers and supermarkets nationwide

Image Credit: Van's

Homemade Version: Fluffy Whole Wheat Pancakes

Using a mix of white and whole wheat flour keeps these pancakes light and healthy. Serve them with maple syrup and your favorite fruit.

Get the recipe: Fluffy Whole Wheat Pancakes

Image Credit: Shirley Fan


Convenience foods like frozen chicken nuggets, boxed mac and cheese and microwaveable pizza are life-savers when it comes to busy schedules and picky eaters, but we all know they're not the healthiest options. So we found 10 frozen and boxed foods made with real, easy-to-pronounce ingredients. And when you've got the time (and inclination) to cook, we've got easy homemade versions of those same dishes. Either way, it's a win-win!

Time is always of essence. Looking for healthy, quick meals? Whether store-bought or homemade, these recipe ideas are delicious.

Check out our slideshow above for some recipe inspiration the whole family will love!

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