26 Healthy Sides to Serve with Your Kid’s Chicken Nuggets
There are only so many times you can cajole your six-year-old into eating the “grown up meal” before you have to give them a pass with chicken nuggets. And there’s nothing wrong with that, because you can easily boost the nutritional value of what’s on their plate with a few choice side dishes. Here are 26 things to serve with those nuggets that will make you (and your kid) feel good.
1. Baked Sweet Potato Fries
They’re sweet, crispy and go great with ketchup. They’re also way healthier than the kind in the frozen aisle. What’s not to love?
2. Easy Zucchini Chips
Stick a whole zucchini in front of your kid and she’ll stick out her tongue. Zucchini chips on the other hand, are nothing short of magical.
3. Whole Roasted Carrots
Carrots have always been a kid favorite, we just made them better. (And yeah, you can leave the onions off if you want.)
4. Crispy Green Bean “Fries”
Turn a green vegetable into something crispy, salty and cheesy and you’ll be the talk of the playground.
5. Homemade Cinnamon Applesauce
Our recipe calls for a little brown sugar, which you can reduce or leave out if you so desire.
6. Everything Home Fries
What better way to introduce your kid to everything bagel seasoning than with a (baked) French fry?
7. Perfect Roasted Broccoli
Raise your hand if your kid is obsessed with broccoli. Now put your hand down and make this easy recipe. (Adults will love it too.)
8. Rainbow Vegetable Skewers
The more ROYGBIV the color scheme, the more likely they are to eat it.
9. Greens Mac and Cheese
Sure, it’s cheesy pasta. But it’s also packed with spinach, a win-win.
10. Pesto Zoodles
You could also skip the pasta and swap it with zucchini noodles. The squiggly shape alone will sell it for them.
11. Avocado Rice
Rice is nice, but it’s even better when combined with creamy avocado. Use brown rice for an extra boost of nutrition.
12. Apple Cider Roasted Root Vegetables
Roasting the veggies brings out their natural sweetness (and makes them an easy sell). The apple cider is the cherry on top.
13. Light and Tangy Coleslaw
If rainbow sprinkles were a salad, this would be it. The rice vinegar is tangy but not too overpowering, so no small taste-testers will be offended.
14. Dairy-Free Creamed Corn
Proof that you don’t need tons of cream or milk to make a seemingly decadent side. The bacon doesn’t hurt either.
15. Zucchini “Fries”
If it’s crunchy and can be eaten with little fingers, it’s going on the menu.
16. Creamy Broccoli Salad
Customize the salad with any toppings they like. Just don’t skip the easy dressing…or the broccoli.
17. Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese
Will they know the sauce is made from veggies? We highly doubt it.
18. Eggplant Pizza
Nuggets and pizza? They’ll love you forever. Up the ante by letting them pick the toppings.
19. Summertime Fruit Salad
Adults might pass on fruit salad, but kids know it’s the prize of the dinnertime spread.
20. Cacio e Pepe Brussels Sprouts
Sometimes the difference between a thumbs down and a thumbs up is a generous amount of Parmesan cheese.
21. Blueberry, Melon and Feta Fruit Salad Stacks
Even we couldn’t resist these cute stacks. Use whatever fruit your kid likes, or whatever’s in your fridge.
22. Cauliflower “Tater” Tots
Shhh…they won’t know they’re not the real thing.
23. Slow-Cooker Garlic Mashed Cauliflower
It has all the appeal of creamy mashed potatoes, with a lot more of that health factor.
24. Baked Sweet Potato Parmesan Tater Tots
As far as we know, you can’t find these in any grocery store. Serve them with ketchup (obvi).
25. Creamy Pea Salad with Bacon
Want to know a secret? You can, and should, use frozen peas for this guy.
26. Cheesy Kale Farfalle Pasta
It’s the best of both worlds: a fun noodle and sneaky greens.