Kid-Friendly Back to School Recipes
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Kid-Friendly Back to School Recipes

Written by Sharon Lehman on May 11, 2022

broccoli mac and cheese

Broccoli Mac & Cheese with Chomps

Kids and kids at heart adore classic macaroni and cheese. Turn it into a healthy kid-friendly recipe by adding broccoli florets for some veggies and Chomps meat sticks for extra protein. Get the kids involved and let them help by grating the cheese or mixing everything into the cheese sauce.

If you have picky eaters, try a DIY mac & cheese bar. Place the Chomps, and broccoli into small bowls, along with other veggies, extra cheese, and any other toppings your kids enjoy and let them build a custom bowl of mac & cheese.

Makes: 5 servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes


  • 8 ounces macaroni
  • 2 cups broccoli florets, chopped into small pieces
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder
  • 8 ounces sharp cheddar, grated
  • 2 Chomps Original Beef meat sticks, sliced into thin rounds


  1. Cook the pasta and broccoli:

Cook pasta according to the package directions. Add broccoli florets to the pot of pasta for the last 2 minutes of cook time. Drain.

  1. Prepare the cheese sauce:

Melt the butter in a large saucepan set over medium-high heat. Once melted, add the flour to create a roux and whisk together until no visible clumps of flour remain. Cook the mixture for 2 minutes.

Pour the milk into the saucepan. Whisk the roux and milk together until no lumps remain. Heat the milk until it begins to bubble, about 5 minutes. Then, reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer until thickened, about 5 minutes more.

Season with salt and onion powder. Reduce the heat to low and stir in the cheese, one handful at a time, until melted.

  1. Add pasta to sauce:

Add the pasta, broccoli, and Chomps into the cheese sauce and stir until everything is evenly coated. Serve.

Nutrition Information
For about 1 1/2 cups:

Calories: 547
Total Fat: 30 grams
Saturated Fat: 17 grams
Cholesterol: 91 milligrams
Sodium: 722 milligrams
Carbohydrate: 47 grams
Fiber: 3 grams
Sugar: 5 grams
Added Sugar: 0 grams
Protein: 24 grams


Crispy Cheese-Crusted Beef & Bean Quesadilla

If you’re in search of easy, kid-friendly recipes, you need a few quesadilla recipes in your collection. They’re a great option for back to school recipes when hungry kids need a quick and filling snack or dinner needs to come together fast between extracurriculars.

This version is filled with refried beans, Mexican blend cheese, and Chomps meat sticks. Adding a bit of extra cheese to the pan before you heat the tortilla creates a crispy, golden exterior crust that kids will love. Serve it with veggies or rice to make it a complete meal.

Makes: 1 serving
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: About 5 minutes
Total Time: About 10 minutes


  • 1 6-inch flour or almond flour tortilla
  • ¼ cup fat-free refried beans
  • ¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons Mexican blend shredded cheese, divided
  • ½ Chomps Original Beef meat stick, cut in half lengthwise and sliced into small pieces
  • 2 tablespoons mild pico de gallo
  • 2 tablespoons guacamole
  • Chopped fresh cilantro, optional


  1. Preheat the pan:

Place a nonstick skillet over medium high heat.

  1. Spread refried beans on the tortilla:

Use a spreader or spatula to spread an even layer of beans on the tortilla.

  1. Cook the quesadilla:

Spread 1 tablespoon of shredded cheese along one-half of the bottom of the skillet.

Place tortilla into the skillet, bean side up. Top one-half of the tortilla with ¼ cup of shredded cheese and the chopped Chomps.

Fold the other half of the tortilla across the meat and cheese. Cook for 2-3 minutes or until the cheese is melted and the bottom of the tortilla is golden and crisp .

  1. Flip the quesadilla:

Add the remaining 1 tablespoon of shredded cheese to the empty side of the skillet.

Flip the quesadilla so the cheese-crusted side that was on the bottom is now on the top and the other side is on top of the cheese in the skillet.

Cook for 2-3 minutes or until the bottom is golden and crisp.

Remove from the pan and slice into wedges. Serve with pico de gallo and guacamole and garnish with chopped cilantro, if desired.

Nutrition Information

For 1 quesadilla:

Calories: 425
Total Fat: 25.5 grams
Saturated Fat: 9 grams
Cholesterol: 50 milligrams
Sodium: 1000 milligrams
Carbohydrate: 28 grams
Fiber: 7 grams
Sugar: 2 grams
Added Sugar: 0 grams
Protein: 21.5 grams

fried rice


Jerky & Vegetable Fried Rice

This kid-friendly fried rice is made with pantry staples and leftover rice. If you don’t have leftover rice, you can also use thawed frozen rice. It’s made with frozen veggies, scrambled eggs, and Chomps meat sticks so it’s a kid-friendly easy dinner recipe. Edamame makes a fun, hands-on side dish that delivers extra protein.

Makes: 7 cups
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes


  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cups frozen mixed vegetables (i.e. peas, corn, carrots, and green beans)
  • 2 Chomps Original Beef meat sticks, cut in half lengthwise and cut into small pieces
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 4 cups cooked & chilled white rice (can use thawed frozen rice)
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 4 green onions, sliced
  • 1 teaspoon sesame seeds


  1. Cook the eggs:

Place a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add 1 teaspoon of oil to the skillet and swirl to coat the bottom. When oil is hot, add the eggs and reduce the heat to medium. Scramble eggs until firm, then transfer to a clean plate.

  1. Cook vegetables and aromatics:

Add the remaining oil to the skillet and increase the heat to medium-high. Add the onion and cook for 2 minutes. Add frozen vegetables and Chomps and cook for 3 to 4 minutes or until vegetables begin to soften.

Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute more.

  1. Add rice and season:

Stir the rice, soy sauce, and sesame oil into the vegetables. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring frequently, for about 5 minutes or until rice is warmed through.

  1. Finish the fried rice:

Stir the scrambled egg back into the fried rice. Top with the green onions and sesame seeds and serve.

Nutrition Information

For 1 cup:

Calories: 254
Total Fat: 7.5 grams
Saturated Fat: 2 grams
Cholesterol: 67 milligrams
Sodium: 389 milligrams
Carbohydrate: 35 grams
Fiber: 3 grams
Sugar: 3 grams
Added Sugar: 0 grams
Protein: 9 grams

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Sharon Lehman

Sharon Lehman

Sharon Lehman, RD Sharon is an Integrative Nutrition Health Coach, and health and wellness writer. She specializes in intuitive eating, recipe development, food photography, and hormone health. She enjoys sharing healthy living tips and recipes on her blog: