As your kids grow up, you want to make sure that they are eating as healthy as possible. Especially in a society where fast-food meals are hailed and preferred by most kids, feeding them nutritious meals packed with flavor is extremely important.
It can be upsetting when your children choose a packet of crisps over dinner after you’ve worked hard to prepare it.
Regardless of how ‘clever’ your meal is when kids do not like how a dish smells or looks, especially when it has something of a forbidden color (we all know what that is!) they will not even taste it.
This article contains a variety of dinner meals that your children will love. You’ll also learn new ways to reinvent old favorites like sandwiches, pizza, and chicken!
However, we are well aware of the fact that there are numerous articles that label their recipes as “kid-friendly,” and although we cannot promise you that these will all work for your kids, we do believe there is a good selection here.
Each one of the recommended meal ideas that follow was listed with small children in mind, as well with the intention of making daily cooking time an easier and much more pleasant task.
And, to reduce the amount of time we spend cooking, we are presenting you with dinner meals that both the children and the grownups at home can eat together.
This way, we hope that you will be inspired enough and choose one of the recipes we’ve added here the next time you’re stuck and can’t think of what to cook. So, keep on reading below to have a look at what we have for you!
Kids love cheesy pizza for dinner and working parents will appreciate how simple this nutrient-rich dinner is to prepare.
The pizza dough is replaced by bread slices, while some cooked, rotisserie chicken and shredded cheddar bought from your local supermarket can make this dish a quick and delicious way to please the entire family. Check out this recipe.
If you want to keep this dinner vegetarian, all you have to do to prepare this pizza bread is mix all the ingredients of the recipe – the butter, cheese, garlic, and seasoning – in a bowl and then spread them over the bread that’s already cut in half lengthwise.
2. Bagel Pizzas
Nothing outdoes this delectable dish for an emergency meal or a quick snack, apart from perhaps the chicken pizza bread we’ve started this list with.
We’ve even got a clever way to make it less complicated cook it way quicker, so follow this recipe for instructions on how to prepare it.
Yes, you read that right! Mac ‘n’ Cheese is a great dinner meal idea for a family dinner, and if you camouflage it in some veggies, you’ve got a healthy and easy-to-make dish you can add to your weekly diet.
If your kids love vegetables, try this 3-veg man ‘n’ cheese recipe with leek, frozen peas, and butternut squash. Healthy, full of veggies and fiber, it is a great way to provide your kid with the right nutrition.
Nobody knows what the exact ingredients are in the chicken nuggets served at fast food restaurants. Most of the time, their nuggets are deep-fried and left under warming lights before they are served, or even ordered at times!
But who says you have to go to McDonald’s or KFC to enjoy some delicious chicken nuggets? Making them at home with this recipe is a much healthier and, let us say, much tastier option.
If you want to avoid frying food, then this oven-baked chicken nuggets recipe is the answer you’ve been looking for. And if you want to add some spice, try out these chicken-baked cornflake crumbs that can be prepared in 15 minutes!
Rather than heading to a fast-food place to order some fries with additives that require some scientific knowledge to recognize, you can simply make your own at home.
What’s even better is that you don’t even have to deep-fry your potatoes with this recipe for oven-baked potatoes. Plus, you will only need a couple of tablespoons of olive oil, which is known for its good fat content.
Alternatively, if you want to keep things as original as possible, you can try this air-fryer French fries recipe (provided that you have an air fryer at home) or use this fried French fries recipe that uses much less oil.
Another fast-food favorite for kids, burgers are a delicious and healthy dinner option when made the right way. And what do we mean when we say right? Nutritious and mouthwatering, of course!
With whole-wheat burger buns and turkey breast mince, these honey and mustard turkey burgers are the next recipe you should try on a burger dinner night.
Kids love tacos. And they love burritos, too. This means that they will absolutely adore these turkey and spinach taquitos!
Turkey, spinach, and black beans are mixed with some mascarpone cheese before filling in the tortillas. Sprinkled with some cheddar cheese on top, these ridiculously delicious taquitos are served warm with either salsa or guacamole.
If your kids are still very picky with food or cannot stand the taste of beans, then you can always opt for this easy chicken taquitos recipe.
They are only filled with chicken, so there’s no way your kid will say not, while you can add some salad on the side to make this dish a healthy and nutritious dinner option.
As a final option, try these vegetarian taquitos which are filled with flavorful ingredients like beans and corn kernels and a mix of spices. Topped with cheese and with some salsa on the side, they are an easy-to-make dinner for the whole family (see also ‘33 Easy Family Dinner Ideas‘)!
Kids love all kinds of pasta, so you can keep it interesting for them by playing with different ingredients and colors.
For inspiration, check out this Greek pasta salad, or check number 8 and 0 for other pasta salad ideas!
10. Tuna Pasta Salad
Try out this tuna pasta salad that can be made in less than 10 minutes.
Even if you have some leftover pasta from the day before and want to make something healthy for your kids, try this salad and you won’t fail!
This buffalo chicken pasta salad is a big success amongst grownups and a nice break from regular pasta salads for kids who enjoy Buffalo wings.
Carbonara does not have to be loaded with high-fat meat like bacon and pancetta. If you’re not Italian and can stand the idea of tweaking some classic recipes, then carbonara can become a much healthier and lighter dinner idea that your kids can enjoy regularly.
In this recipe, low-fat meat like turkey bacon is used, whereas the egg yolk sauce is replaced with pecorino cheese. The addition of some frozen peas gives this dish another twist that will surprise everyone on the table, in a good way!
Kids-friendly noodles? We’ve got this!
Noodles look and taste just like pasta, so there’s a little problem with that. Some kids might not even be able to tell the difference and, even if they could, there’d be no issue.
If you want to make some ramen soup and trick your kids into eating some soup, then this chicken sweetcorn ramen recipe is a great option for your soupy dinner night.
For a vegetarian dinner meal with noodles, go for this veggie noodle pot which is served with some omelet slices on the side!
If you want to make some chow mein, check out this chicken chow mein recipe, where the taste of ginger is balanced thanks to the addition of ketchup in a soy and oyster sauce mix that your kids will love.
We all know how versatile pita bread can be. From using it as the basis for a quick pizza, as a side for soup, or even as a wrap for Greek gyros, pitas are so easy-to-find and eat any time of the day.
17. Chicken Shawarma
This chicken shawarma will remind your kid of Greek gyros (add some tzatziki sauce to that and they will give you a big hug after that first bite!).
Healthy and high in protein (check out our favorite high protein lunches), it will make your kid feel happy and full for hours!
18. Sabich Sandwich
If you are introducing your kids to new flavors and combinations, then you simply have to try this sabich sandwich recipe.
With eggplant (see also ‘27 Eggplant Recipes You Need To Try‘) and hummus, you can try adding some falafels too if you want to make it more wholesome than it already is!
The bite-sized gnocchi (see also ‘33 Must-Try Gnocchi Recipes‘) can become a fun dinner meal idea for kids. With a neutral taste (unless you choose some store-bought flavored ones), gnocchi can be combined with different kinds of vegetables to create a healthy and wholesome dish!
This gnocchi recipe with spinach, cheese, and tomatoes needs only 25 minutes to make, so it’s the perfect dinner dish to freshen you up on a warm summer night. With some butter beans (see also our favorite cannellini beans recipes) hidden in the mix, this dish is rich in fiber and taste.
If you want to keep it simple yet tasty, try making your own gnocchi for the kids. This sweet potato gnocchi recipe is easy-to-make as it only needs 3 ingredients.
21. Beet Gnocchi
If you are trying to make your kid eat different food and you see that it is not convinced by the gnocchi look and texture, try mixing the sweet potato gnocchi with some beet gnocchi and you’ll have a two-colored dish ready to be ‘adorned’ with cheese!
Cooking a different dish every day can be hard, not to say impossible when you are a busy, working parent. That is why so many of us keep looking for dinner ideas we can prepare from the day before or others we can eat more than once.
To include your kids in the meal preparation and make this a team work, try this kids’ cheese and vegetable frittata recipe and ask them to chop up the veggies.
Frittatas are the answer to our prayers, as they are not only easy to prepare but can be refrigerated or put in the freezer and reheated for that dinner night when you’ve simply had no time at all to cook.
Check out this light sausage and mushroom recipe for inspiration if you want to make a frittata for second time in a row and not bore your kids with the same flavors.
This cheddar and chive frittata recipe can become the third frittata you can make in a week of month. No, your kids won’t say no to another combination as frittatas are simply delicious!
Since fresh pasta cooks way quicker than dried pasta, this Italian puttanesca dinner idea will be ready in no time!
Puttanesca is typically cooked with tomatoes, olives, capers, anchovies, and garlic, but this version includes some shrimps and artichoke hearts to load up on the veggies.
If your kids are not ready yet for artichokes and green veggies that might put them off, this kid-friendly puttanesca is a great way to introduce them to this dish.
With nothing but tomato sauce and olives (of course, there’s a bit of onion and garlic there to taste), there’s no way they won’t like the taste of it.
Moreover, if your kid is tricked into eating anything when it’s got chicken in it, this saucy chicken puttanesca recipe is exactly what you need to make them try and love this meal.
This favorite comfort food that has grown several generations finds its place in your kids’ hearts from the very first bite.
If you want to keep it on your weekly menu but don’t feel like it is the healthiest dinner meal you can make, a few tweaks to the ingredients and you’ve got a healthy, mouth-watering sandwich that you can feed to your kids guilt-free!
With no green veggies that will make them hate it or secret ingredients, they might not like the taste of it, this Sloppy Joes recipe for kids uses lean mince instead of full-fat one, but you can also chop up some shredded chicken to replace the mince with.
This healthy turkey Sloppy Joes recipe with homemade sauce is another one to add to the list, but if you want some extra veggies in that sandwich, try out this Sloppy Joes recipe which has some celery and carrot in it too.
30. Easy Omelet
You might be used to eating omelets for breakfast, but with the right ingredients, they can become a dinner meal that will keep you full until the next morning.
Check out this Easy Kids’ Omelet that can be prepared and served in no time. If you’re in a rush to make your kid dinner after work, this is an easy way to make them happy really quick!
Omelets are healthy on their own unless you cook them with way too much butter or oil. Made primarily with eggs (a dash of milk to the mix is optional) they are high in protein and good fats.
Try this Veggie Stuffed Omelet for some added vitamins and fiber to your kid’s meal!
Eggs are known as the most satiating food next to potatoes, so it is without a doubt that your kids won’t be left hungry after this Asian Chicken Omelet that is also packed with extra protein from the chicken!
A parent’s top hobby is getting their picky eaters to clean their plates. This tater tot casserole can make that task a piece of cake.
Loaded with nutritious vegetables, this dish needs approximately an hour to make. And, as with all comfort foods, it’s so delicious that you might need to make two trays to have some left for the next day!
Frequently Asked Question
Why Is My Son So Picky With Food?
Some children are naturally more sensitive to taste, smell, and texture. Other children develop picky eating habits by modeling their parents’ fussy eating habits.
Picky eating habits are more likely to develop when parents punish, bribe, or reward their children’s eating behaviors.
The Bottom Line
These 33 dinner ideas(see also ‘34 Easy, Yummy Dinner Ideas For Tonight!‘) can easily become the family’s favorites. Packed with flavor and nutritious ingredients, they are both delicious and easy to make.
Bring your kids into the kitchen and make them your sous-chefs and we’re pretty sure they will enjoy these meals 10 times more!