Octopus Hot Dogs
Seeing as how cut-up hot dogs are the go-to food for so many tiny fingers, here's a creative way to make the meal more creative. Slice hotdogs into four sections starting an inch from the end and then cut those sections in half so you have eight "tentacles." Boil and finish off with eyes made of cheese and sesame seeds.
Get the recipe: Miss Hangry Pants
Mini Yogurt Pops
Dinner Done Right
Between ushering the kids to-and-from all those after-school activities, tracking down homework, permission slips and lost library books, dinner needs to get on the table ASAP. Rest assured, the classic macaroni and cheese you grew up with will not only please any picky eaters, but it's also a good source of protein. There's the hard way to make your kids eat 9 grams of protein—and then there's the cheesy way. Plus you can easily dress it up with edamame, carrots and corn, depending on your (and your kid's) mood. How delicious is that?
Especially for kids who snub their nose at the crust, these inventive little sandwiches are sure to become a lunchtime favorite. Cut the bread into small, medium and large circles. Stack using the filling of your choice (such as PB&J) and make two small holes for the snout.
Healthy Veggie Nuggets
Sneaking extra veggies into your kids' diets will be a cinch with these tasty nuggets. Start by pureeing the veggies and an egg. Pour in a bowl and add ground chicken and onion salt. Spread onto a baking sheet coated with breadcrumbs and cut into star shapes. Bake for 14–16 minutes at 400 degrees.
Get the recipe: Cheeky Kitchen
We admit, we found this snack on a college blog. But hey, who knows better than college kids to find inventive time-savers, right? Spread peanut butter, honey and shredded coconut on a tortilla. Place a banana in the middle, roll it up and slice into bite-size pieces.
Spider Cracker Sandwiches
These fun treats make for a great mid-week lunchtime surprise (or really any time you want to get a toddler smiling). Just spread cream cheese or peanut butter on one side of a cracker. Stick four pretzel sticks on each side and cover with another cracker. Use raisins or craisins for the eyes.
Get the recipe: La Jolla Mom
Not only is this mini meatloaf recipe toddler-approved, it also packs in veggies to give it a fiber boost as well as a substantial serving of protein, vitamins and iron. Just combine turkey meat with vegetables you have on hand. (Bonus: You can even use frozen veg and there's no need to thaw them.) Add the egg and spices, scoop into a mini-muffin tin and bake for about 20 minutes.
Get the recipe: Weelicious