Want healthy meals your kids will love?

You Should Feed Your Kids’ Friends. Here’s Why.


Feeding your kids’ friends can help picky eaters feel more relaxed and positive around food. 

For specific ideas on what to serve, check out these 15 Healthy After School Snacks and 50 Low Sugar Snacks for Kids.

When your kids have friends over to play, you might cringe at the thought of them raiding your kitchen for snacks.

I get it. One summer I tried warding off my kids’ hungry friends with bags of pretzels. (It sorta worked.)

But I also know there’s a big plus side to our kids eating together with their peers. And it’s less about nutrition than it is about experience. After all, eating is social and cultural. It’s just as much about sharing something together, as it is about nutrition.

As parents, we have the opportunity to shape the way our kids experience a shared meal with their friends. If we’re smart about it, we can even help them become more adventurous eaters!

The Best Way to Feed Your Kids’ Friends

Next time your kids have friends over, put out a big old snack platter. Add simple, healthy ingredients, like cut-up apples, baby carrots, cucumbers, whole grain pretzels or crackers, and a tasty dip.

Now here’s the kicker: add something you think the kids might not like. Maybe it’s bell peppers or peapods or a big bowl of salad. Let them choose (or not choose) to eat what looks good to them. And see what happens.

So often, so often, kids are willing to try new things when they’re sharing a snack with their friends. If just one kid decides to take the plunge with a new food, it can open the door for everyone else.

I can’t count the number of times I’ve personally witnessed this! It’s all about positive peer pressure.

So while you might not want to offer up your favorite wild-caught smoked salmon, or that Whole Foods wedge of cheese that cost half your last paycheck, you can still feed your kids’ friends with love and generosity… knowing it’s a great life-and-learning experience for them!

Natalie Monson

I'm a registered dietitian, mom of 4, avid lover of food and strong promoter of healthy habits. Here you will find lots of delicious recipes full of fruits and veggies, tips for getting your kids to eat better and become intuitive eaters and lots of resources for feeding your family.

Learn More about Natalie

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I love this because it is SO true! Snack platters with friends are fun and it’s amazing what my kids will eat when they are with others.

Hi – I really like the idea of having our kids’ friends learning about new foods, and being encouraged to try healthy snacks they may not have at their own house.
I’m also a dietitian, and I have a son who is has a severe peanut allergy. While it is a great idea to encourage healthy eating, some of your readers may not know about food allergies and intolerances. Please consider including a note to practice caution when it comes to feeding other people’s kids (and allowing other families to feed your own kids).

Thank you!