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72 Healthy Kid-Friendly Dinner Ideas Even Picky Eaters Will Love

These recipes may just become the kids' favorite meals.

By Katelyn Lunders and Elizabeth Berry
kid friendly dinner ideas slow cooker chicken noodle soup and stovetop mac and cheese
Chris Court/Johnny Miller

When you have one or more kids to feed, it can be exhausting to find the "perfect" dinner that picky eaters actually want to eat — and that can be made on a busy weeknight after homework, ballet class, and soccer practice. Not to mention the added work of preparing a separate dinner for Mom and Dad if you aren't craving, say, mac 'n' cheese with a side of tater tots. Enter our list of the best kid-friendly dinner recipes. Here, you'll find dozens of ideas for easy dinners that the whole family will love, the majority of which are healthy meals that can be made in under 30 minutes.

Even though catering to kids' ever-changing taste preferences can be a constant source of frustration, these recipes are designed to combine their favorite foods with new ingredients that will expand their palate. And if your kids have to stick to a certain diet, you'll be happy to know that many of these recipes are vegetarian and gluten-free, too. Some can even be prepared in a slow-cooker for a convenient kid-friendly Crockpot dinner you can make ahead of time. Plus, these delicious family dinner ideas are super versatile, so you can serve them as breakfast for the kids, too. No one said that cooking dinner for a family was going to be easy, but these kid-friendly meals will help make everyone at the dinner table a happy camper (including you!).


Turkey Burgers and Slaw with Sweet Potato Chips

kid friendly dinner ideas turkey burgers and slaw with sweet potato chips
Ryan Dausch

You don't need to hit the drive-thru for fast food. This fresh turkey burger recipe only takes 30 minutes to prepare.

Get the Turkey Burgers and Slaw with Sweet Potato Chips recipe.


Stovetop Mac 'n' Cheese

kid friendly dinner ideas stovetop mac 'n' cheese
Johnny Miller

Your kids will be cheesin' when they get a taste of this melty macaroni goodness.

Get the Stovetop Mac 'n' Cheese recipe.


Ham and Pimiento Grilled Cheese

kid friendly dinner ideas ham and pimiento grilled cheese
Steve Giralt

Give your little one an extra protein punch by adding layers of juicy ham to their favorite sandwich.

Get the Ham and Pimiento Grilled Cheese recipe.

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Slow-Cooker Chicken Noodle Soup

kid friendly dinner ideas slow cooker chicken noodle soup
Chris Court

Dealing with a sick little one can be stressful, but making them a bowl of soup doesn't have to be.

Get the Slow-Cooker Chicken Noodle Soup recipe.


Skillet Shrimp Tacos

kid friendly dinner ideas skillet shrimp tacos
Emily Kate Roemer

Taco night just got a whole lot better with this light, refreshing dish.

Get the Skillet Shrimp Tacos recipe.


Cauliflower Fried Rice

kid friendly dinner ideas cauliflower fried rice
Mike Garten

Disguise cauliflower as fried rice to get more veggies into little tummies.

Get the Cauliflower Fried Rice recipe.

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Grilled Tomato Soup and Cheddar Sandwiches

kid friendly dinner ideas grilled tomato soup and cheddar sandwiches
John Kernick

Grill the tomatoes to take this classic combo to the next level.

Get the Grilled Tomato Soup and Cheddar Sandwiches recipe.


Loaded Chicken Nachos

kid friendly dinner ideas loaded chicken nachos
Chris Court

These 15-minute chicken nachos are perfect if you're in a time crunch, but still want to serve up a healthy dinner.

Get the Loaded Chicken Nachos recipe.


Sunny-Side-Up Pizza

kid friendly dinner ideas sunny side up pizza
Chris Court

An egg-cellent way to get little pizza lovers to eat more protein.

Get the Sunny-Side-Up Pizza recipe.

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Hot Dog on a Stick

kid friendly dinner ideas hot dog on a stick
Steve Giralt

This is a recipe you'll want to stick with. Plus, you can substitute turkey hot dogs for a healthier version of this yummy dish.

Get the Hot Dog on a Stick recipe.


PB and J Banana Pancakes

easter breakfast ideas pb and j banana pancakes
Mark Thomas

Every kid loves breakfast for dinner, so get excited, because it's peanut butter jelly (pancake) time.

Get the PB and J Banana Pancakes recipe.


Spaghetti with Roasted Chicken and Peppers

kid friendly dinner ideas spaghetti with roasted chicken and peppers
Mike Garten

Dressed up with cheese and colorful peppers, your kiddos won't even realize they're eating a nutritious pasta dish.

Get the Spaghetti with Roasted Chicken and Peppers recipe.

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Tex-Mex Chicken Quesadillas

kid friendly dinner ideas tex mex chicken quesadillas
Kate Sears

Take your kids down South with their new favorite quesadilla recipe. And for some extra veggies, serve it with a mixed green salad dressed with fresh lime vinaigrette.

Get the Tex-Mex Chicken Quesadillas recipe.


Mini BLTs

kid friendly dinner ideas mini blts
Kana Okada

The best mini sandwich for your mini me.

Get the Mini BLTs recipe.


Nutty Nuggets with Ruby-Red Sauce

kid friendly dinner ideas nutty nuggets with ruby red sauce
Anastassios Mentis

Kids will go nuts when you cover chicken nuggets in chopped pecans and Panko breadcrumbs. Dip them with a tangy cranberry-mustard sauce for extra yummy flavor.

Get the Nutty Nuggets with Ruby-Red Sauce recipe.

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Scrambled Egg Tacos

scrambled egg tacos with black beans cilantro crumbled queso fresco

Breakfast for dinner all tucked inside a taco shell? Say less.

Get the Scrambled Egg Tacos recipe.


Fajita Chicken Roll-Ups

gluten free meals fajita chicken roll ups
Chris Court

There is no fruit in these roll-ups, just savory protein-packed goodness.

Get the Fajita Chicken Roll-Ups recipe.


Buttermilk Waffle, Bacon and Egg Sandwich

waffle bacon and egg sandwich

For a hearty brekkie combo that can just as easily be a dinner sandwich, get out the waffle iron and fry up some eggs.

Get the Buttermilk Waffle, Bacon and Egg Sandwich recipe.

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Lasagna-Stuffed Spaghetti Squash

non traditional christmas dinner lasagna stuffed spaghetti squash
Chris Court

If you're feeding one or more kids who follow a gluten-free diet, prepare this grain-free lasagna alternative that has a sneaky green surprise you will appreciate.

Get the Lasagna-Stuffed Spaghetti Squash recipe.


Egg and Tater Bake

kid friendly dinner ideas egg and tater bake
Con Poulos

If you add tater tots into pretty much anything, your kids will want seconds for sure.

Get the Egg and Tater Bake recipe.

Headshot of Katelyn Lunders
Katelyn Lunders
Deputy Digital Editor

Katelyn Lunders is the Deputy Digital Editor of House Beautiful, where she oversees the brand's digital strategy and audience growth. When she's not obsessing over the latest trend on TikTok, you can find her binge-watching house tours or online shopping for her Upper East Side apartment. 

Headshot of Elizabeth Berry
Updates Editor

Elizabeth Berry (she/her) is the Updates Editor at the Good Housekeeping Institute where she optimizes lifestyle content across verticals. Prior to this role, she was an Editorial Assistant for Woman’s Day where she covered everything from gift guides to recipes. She also has experience fact checking commerce articles and holds a B.A. in English and Italian Studies from Connecticut College.

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