These Kid-Friendly Dinners come highly recommended and are perfect to try with your picky eaters. They’re simple, easy and can be served with a variety of side dishes.
Let’s talk kid-friendly dinners, shall we? Lately, I’ve been in a little bit of a dinner rut when it comes to feeding my family. Survival seems to be the name of the game lately and I don’t have a lot of energy left over for dinner planning. Add in that I’ve got a couple of kids who aren’t the most adventurous eaters and it has me falling into the trap of serving many of the same things over and over.
I decided it was time to learn what some kid-friendly favorites were in other houses so I reached out to my Instagram community and made a list! Of course, some of the responses were the “stereotypical kid dinners”, yet even so, they’re still good ideas! I haven’t made pulled pork sliders in forever and my oldest loves them. So here are 10 easy ideas that don’t even need a recipe:
- Spaghetti with Meatballs
- Breakfast for Dinner
- Mac and Cheese
- Hot Dogs/Pigs in a Blanket
- Chicken Noodle Soup
- BBQ Pulled Pork Sliders
Then I made a list of specific types of recipes that were recommended several times like lemon chicken and hamburger helper and asked people to submit links to a specific recipe if they use one and it’s a hit with their family. Here are some fan favorites:
- Cheesy Ham and Rice via Iowa Girl Eats (pictured above)
- Lemon Chicken via Ina Garten
- Change Your Life Chicken Shawarma via The Lazy Genius
- Turkey Pumpkin White Bean Chili via Skinny Taste – top with cheese and Fritos or serve with tortilla chips for scooping
- Pizza Pasta Bake via Spend with Pennies
- Pasta with Chickpeas via Smitten Kitchen (pictured above)
- Creamy Chicken Quinoa Broccoli Casserole via Pinch of Yum
- One-Pot Hamburger Helper via The Defined Dish
- Double Crust Chicken Pot Pie via Sally’s Baking Addiction or this one from Pillsbury
- Easy Chicken Marinade via The Lean Green Bean – after marinating I cook in a pan with carrots and serve with orzo.
- Fall Apart Slow Cooker Chicken via Wholefully (pictured above)
- Pesto Chicken Tortellini via The Lean Green Bean (make this even easier by using chicken sausage and just mixing it with pasta, pesto and peas)
- Skillet Tater Tot Casserole via Iowa Girl Eats
- Greek-Style Chicken via The Defined Dish
- Honey Soy Salmon
- Best Broccoli Cauliflower Cheese Soup via Modern Minimalism (pictured above) Serve with crusty bread for dipping!
- Sloppy Joes via Divas Can Cook
- Three Layer Lasagna via Barilla
- Instant Pot Hamburger Stroganoff via Julie’s Eats & Treats
- Shrimp Scampi (replace zoodles with regular noodles if you want. You can also sub chicken for shrimp)
- Chicken Parmesan via Well Plated (pictured above)
- Meatloaf via The Wholesome Dish
- Instant Pot Crack Chicken Pasta via Plain Chicken
- Chicken Bacon Ranch Pasta via Crafty Morning
- Swedish Meatballs via Damn Delicious
A few more ideas to try:
- Chicken Tortilla Soup – especially served with tortilla chips for dipping
- Fish Sticks – you could make your own. I buy mine premade. Easy way to get fish into all 3 kids at my house.
- Chow Mein – I loved this dish as a kid and I was a VERY picky eater
- Stuffed Shells – start simple with just sausage and cheese and then you can start working some veggies in!
Do your kids have a favorite recipe?
Get my free Table Talk email series where I share bite-sized nutrition information about carbs, protein, and fat, plus bonus information about snacks and sugar!
Thank you so much for this list!! I have it book marked. I can’t wait to cook my way through it. Really appreciate all you do—it’s super helpful!
Ivie M Enriquez says
I am always looking for ideas. I have a VERY picky child, who just wants all things carb – crackers, bread, chips. He won’t eat meat (except chicken nuggets), and only grilled cheese sandwiches and sometimes a cheese quesadilla. Very unwilling to try new food. He does love fruit and some raw veggies (does not like them cooked).
I think I just need to make more stuff and see what he eats.
My other kid eats anything and everything…..