This page may contain affiliate links. Learn More.
Running a home daycare equals about two full-time jobs. How do you find time to cook healthy food? Check out these make-ahead daycare freezer meals that meet CACFP guidelines for inspiration!
They make planning a daycare menu easier than ever before and you can feel good about what you’re feeding your kids.
- If you’re wondering about the child and adult care food program for daycare providers, check this out.
Check out this daycare food menu meal planning guide for more ideas on how to plan out your menus well. These resources are going to be a great help to you! And if you want to buy menus already planned out, check out Daycare Time Solutions for monthly menu plans, click on shop all and menu plans for menus that meet food program requirements. Or if you want a sheet with a sample week and shopping list to get you started, check out this planning pack. These will help you meet food program requirements.
Making food for kids can be cumbersome, but if they are already made and frozen, you can just pop them out and heat them up, but unlike frozen convenience meals you buy at the store, you’ll know exactly what’s in them.
This helps with the food program requirements, but it also gives you peace of mind that you know you are feeding your kids good, nutritious food that will help them grow healthy and strong.
Why not just give the kids any old meals? They eat McDonald’s on the way home anyway. That’s exactly why it’s so important that we go above and beyond to serve them healthy food. They get at least 2/3 of their meals with us if they are in full-time daycare, so what we feed them means the world to their bodies and their future.
The freezer is a girl’s best friend when it comes to bulk food prepping. I love bulk cooking because you make the same mess as you would making one batch, but you can crank out several batches. Then there’s only one mess to clean up. It’s so satisfying to cook that way.
So the next thing is finding meals that are freezer-friendly that kids like to eat. These daycare freezer meal ideas are going to be a game-changer for you!
Freezable kid-friendly meals
My kid’s very favorite meal that I make ahead and freeze are these ham and cheese hot pockets and these pizza pockets. They are easy to reheat, fun to hold onto and so delicious! They make the best daycare freezer meals
They also love these tender, flaky empanadas as well. These little flavor bombs are my favorite daycare make-ahead meal. So tasty!
Pizza is a kid-pleaser for all ages. It’s a snap to make up some kid-friendly pizzas and freeze them. You make your own frozen pizzas with all the flavor and nutrition and a fraction of the cost.
Soups are GREAT daycare freezer meals for lunch. My kids LOVE soup. Here are some of their favorite freezable soups:
Here are a ton more helpful printables you can get that I would have loved to have!
Toddler freezer meals
These freezer meatballs are easy to make in bulk, you can prebake them or freeze them frozen and bake them when you need them. They are easy to pick up, like a mini meatloaf. Most kids like them. Two meatballs is a serving of meat for a 3-4 year old on the food program. And they are versatile. They can go in a sandwich, on their own, in a sauce, or on top of pasta. They are a big favorite daycare freezer meal at my house.
Sausage balls are one of my kid’s absolute favorites. (My husband’s too!) They beg for them. It’s like a biscuit with sausage inside. And this recipe doesn’t use Bisquick, so you skip the chemicals.
And don’t forget spaghetti sauce and chili to pop out and make some toddler favorites in a snap. The chili is ready and the spaghetti just needs some noodles cooked to make it complete. Lunch in ten minutes or less? Yes please!
And don’t forget you can make homemade bread and freeze that for quick use. I make an everyday homemade whole wheat bread in my bread maker that’s a huge time saver. I bake a dozen loaves, cool them, slice them, and bag them for the freezer every couple of months. I also make banana bread, peach bread, muffins, rolls, buns and more that way.
Kids will LOVE these Easy Pepperoni pizza cups (only 4 ingredients)
Casseroles kid friendly
Making lasagna ahead is a great time saver. This delicious meat and vegetable lasagna is my kid’s favorite, but a close second and my favorite is the chicken and butternut lasagna. The kids don’t even know it’s full of squash.
Making any of these homemade hamburger helper recipes and freezing them in casserole dishes makes a wonderful make-ahead meal. I made up a bunch of these when my husband was about to have surgery, and I was able to pop them in the oven to reheat and still take care of the kids while playing nurse to him. It saved my bacon! Just make sure you get them in an air tight container and they will last in the freezer for several months.
I hope this list inspires you to make a bunch of meals ahead and save your sanity throughout the week at daycare. I’m rooting for your success! You’re going to love make-ahead daycare freezer meal cooking! And keep these 5 minute daycare lunches on hand for when you’re in a pinch!
And for more inspiration for daycare meals that will save you money too, check out these dirt cheap meals for daycare.
And if you’re just looking for a quick dinner idea for kids, check this out.