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Meg Flint Archives

7 Pantry Foods Almost All Kids Love (& Ways You Can Use Them)

In a time when groceries are expensive, I find myself leaning more on these 7 pantry foods that almost all kids love. As much as my husband and I love fresh foods, my kids are at that stage where they can be rather picky. And so rather than buying ingredients that they’re likely to dismiss and throw away, you can find me buying these items for our pantry.

Disclaimer: Some of the links in this post are affiliate links. I will receive commission for any purchase made through those links. Prices subject to change at any time.

Pantry Food #1: Nutella

It should be no surprise that Nutella is on this list of 7 pantry foods that almost all kids love. My kids will eat it on a spoon if I let them (9 times out of 10 I don’t). While I know that my kids love this ingredient, I’m not too keen on letting them eat it every day.

One of their favorite ways to eat Nutella is on a peanut butter and Nutella sandwich using whole wheat bread. They usually get this twice a week in their school lunches, sometimes less. Another one of their favorite ways to eat it? On toast for breakfast.

If your kid loves Nutella, here’s a recipe you might like: Nutella and Peanut Butter Sandwich Recipe via Desire Recipes.

Pantry Food #2: Peanut Butter

You can’t have Nutella and Peanut Butter Sandwiches without peanut butter! Peanut butter is definitely a must-have when you’ve got kids in the house. Whether you’re using it in sandwiches, cookies or muffins, there are so many ways you and your family can enjoy this ingredient. My oldest daughter loves to eat spoonfuls of it as a snack.

Some of our other favorite ways to eat peanut butter involve apples. You can’t go wrong with the classic snack of apple slices and peanut butter for dipping!

If you love peanut butter like we do, check out this kid-friendly snack: Frozen Peanut Butter Banana Bites via The Creative Bite.

Pantry Food #3: Applesauce

Another pantry food that almost all kids love is applesauce. Whether they like to eat it plain, from a pouch, or mixed into something, there is no way you can go wrong with this ingredient.

I love using applesauce as an substitute in my baking. Often times I’ll use unsweetened applesauce in place of oil when making muffins or certain cakes. It’s a lot healthier, and no one can tell the difference.

Want a recipe idea using applesauce? Check this one out: Apple Muffins with Streusel via A Couple Cooks.

Pantry Food #4: Tortillas

We almost always have tortillas in our pantry, and not just one kind of tortilla, either. My 8-year-old lives for quesadillas, and I make sure that I always have flour tortillas on hand. Occasionally my husband and I try to convince them to eat corn tortillas, but it doesn’t usually work.

Tortillas are great for wraps, too! From time to time my little one will eat ham, cheese and pickles rolled up inside of a tortilla. We’ve tried a few sweeter wrap recipes, but they’re not as successful in our home.

If you love black beans, you’ll want to try this recipe. It is one of my favorites: Crispy Black Bean Tacos with Avocado-Lime Sauce via Food Love.

Pantry Food #5: Mac & Cheese Cups

My kids like mac and cheese way too much. I know, it’s cheaper to buy boxes of mac and cheese, and make it that way. But sometimes convenience outweighs cost. My kids also love the fact that they can help make the mac and cheese cups. Convenient food + learning independence= a win for mommy.

I would prefer homemade mac and cheese any day. But these mac and cheese cups have saved us tears at dinnertime. They’ve proven handy on nights when we’re in a hurry to leave for extracurriculars after dinner. And while I know I won’t be feeding them to my kids forever, I appreciate them for what they are right now.

Want a kid-friendly stovetop mac and cheese recipe? Check this one out: Stovetop Macaroni and Cheese via America’s Test Kitchen Kids.

Pantry Food # 6: Chocolate Chips

Chocolate chips are like the magical beans of the pantry world. They instantly change a grumpy kid into a kid eager to eat their veggies….okay, maybe not quite that magical. But they are a kid favorite, and they can serve many purposes.

Chocolate chips show up in anything from banana muffins to pancakes in our house. Sometimes they are used as bargaining chips when my kids don’t want to take medicine. Other times they are used as pick-me-ups when the kids are being otherwise sour. A pantry in our house without chocolate chips is a sad one, and so we almost always have them on hand.

Check out my favorite chocolate chip banana bar recipe that I use every single time: Chocolate Chip Banana Bars via Butter With a Side of Bread.

Pantry Food #7: Coffee

Kids need coffee every day…said no parent ever! Let’s be real. This pantry item is for the parents and caregivers that are on parental duty 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. I start every day with a cup of coffee, and then sometimes I feel like I need an extra boost in the afternoon.

I know not all adults are coffee drinkers, and that’s okay. If you don’t love a good cup of joe but you need an extra jolt in the afternoon, I definitely recommend a matcha latte. Matcha contains caffeine just like coffee does, plus it contains other antioxidants as well!

If you like gingerbread, check out my very own Gingerbread Latte Recipe here.

What Do Your Kids Love?

Every kid is different. I know this article might not relate to every kid in every way. That’s why I said, “pantry foods almost all kids love.” Some kids have allergies, others don’t like any of these things at all. One great thing about me is that I love to cook, and I love food, so I’m always looking for new ways to introduce my kids to new things. I would love to hear what your pantry food staples are in your home. Leave a few ideas in the comments below!


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