How To Make Your Kids Favorite Restaurant Meals At Home
You can make restaurant-style kids meals at home with common food preparation equipment such as a microwave, oven and stove. Discover the most popular meals featured on kids menus across the United States and learn how to make some of these kid-approved favorites at home.
The Most Popular Kids Meals
Many parents rely on restaurants for the ease of being served or picking up prepared food. It is possible to prepare most kids’ favorite restaurant meals at home without commercial-grade restaurant equipment. According to a published release of delivery order data, chicken tenders are the most popular kids’ menu item, followed by burgers, pizza, grilled cheese, chicken nuggets, french fries, spaghetti, macaroni and cheese, quesadillas and hot dogs. While some of these foods, such as grilled cheese, quesadillas and hot dogs, are relatively simple to make at home with store-bought ingredients, it is also possible to plan to make some of these other top restaurant meals at home.
Chicken Tenders or Nuggets
Chicken tenders and nuggets are often found in the freezer aisle. You can use an oven or convection oven to prepare these foods in a pinch. It is also possible to reheat frozen breaded chicken tenders or nuggets in an air fryer for a finished product that is more like restaurant food. It is important to plan ahead and buy your child’s favorite dipping sauces to complete the experience of eating chicken that is intentionally prepared as in a restaurant at home.
Burgers are a popular choice for grilling at home, but it is possible to prepare this favorite food of many kids and adults on a stovetop or countertop electric grill. This versatile food can also be made with alternative ingredients, such as vegetable protein or beans. A veggie burger can be a good way to get kids who love burgers to eat their vegetables.
Fries are a popular fast food side that often accompanies burgers. It is possible to cut calories by about 70% to 80% by using an air fryer rather than eating potatoes fried in oil. When you serve fries at home, it is also easier to limit salt levels. There are many types of frozen fries made of different types of potatoes or cut in fun shapes. Many kids enjoy standard and sweet potato fries.
Ordering pizza is something that many people do at home, but it is also fun to make pizza with kids. Look up a pizza dough recipe or purchase pre-made pizza dough that you can top with sauce and your choice of toppings. This is another recipe that is likely to be a lot healthier when you prepare it at home for your family rather than ordering from a restaurant.
Macaroni and Cheese
Most parents are familiar with boxed macaroni and cheese for stovetop preparation and microwavable noodles, but shy away from homemade mac and cheese. It is not difficult to make macaroni and cheese on the stove and in the oven when you have the right ingredients, such as cream, cheese, and macaroni noodles. This is another childhood favorite that can also be made vegetarian or vegan with substitutions.
Adults and children can both appreciate a plate of spaghetti, with or without meatballs. When you make spaghetti at home, you have a choice of noodles, sauce ingredients or prepared sauces. Don’t forget parmesan cheese for adding a finishing touch to spaghetti. Kids may also be willing to try alternatives to spaghetti, such as noodles made out of squash.
It is easy to find recipes for almost every kids menu item at restaurants. Based on your child’s diet, you can select fun, restaurant-style food to serve for dinner or on special occasions. Even though many restaurants offer menus for kids that have reduced portions and prices, it is hard to beat the health benefits and savings of preparing meals for the whole family at home.