7 Days of Healthy Kid Friendly Dinners

7 Days Healthy Meal Plan your Kids will Love

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Sitting in the car on the way home, you’re looking forward to a nice glass of wine and a quiet cuddle on the couch with your partner while you watch a movie… Oh, as if. When you get home, there’s homework to help with, laundry to fold, e-mails from work, and somewhere in there, you’ve got to figure out what’s for dinner, and there are no easy weeknight meals in sight. 

Your eyes wander over to the easiest of easy dinners: The Chick Fil A off to your right….NO! You tell yourself, you promised healthy kid friendly dinners from now on, but seriously, you just can’t face it. 

Well, here are seven days’ worth of quick and easy weeknight meals, so you don’t even have to think about it. We’ve planned it out so that you can use leftovers half of the time to make meals kids love. We’ve even thrown in a few easy lunch ideas in case you’ve had it with the Doritos and waffles they’re serving for lunch at school these days.

Healthy Meals for Picky Kids Day One: Roast Chicken and Vegetables

Roast Chicken is one of the best family dinner ideas because it’s easy, everyone loves it, and there are so many easy dinners you can make with the leftovers the next day. 

This easy healthy dinner is on a Sunday because even though it is one of those easy chicken dinners, it does take a little over an hour for the bird to cook, which you just don’t have time for during the week. The great thing about easy weeknight meals like this one is that you can just chuck the vegetables into the pan with the chicken and cook everything all at once, making it one of the most popular family dinner ideas.

To keep the meat nice and juicy, try lifting the skin off of the meat and inserting tabs of butter between the skin and meat.  The skin holds the butter in place while it melts, and the meat just soaks up the taste.  Even though butter isn’t the first ingredient that comes to mind when you think of healthy dinner ideas for family, it does practically guarantee that it will be on the list of meals kids love in your house.  Get the recipe here

Turn plain chicken into an easy healthy dinner by chopping up some sweet potatoes, onions, and carrots and dropping them in the pan to roast with the chicken about half an hour before the chicken is done.  This recipe is so tasty that it is sure to become one of your favorite easy dinners. 

Ways to make this recipe kid friendly so everyone can help with these easy weeknight meals:

  • buy mini carrots, and you can just drop them in the pan whole, no chopping required
  • use onion powder instead of chopping onions
  • substitute sweet potatoes with small new potatoes and eliminate chopping completely!

While the kids are putting together the vegetables, you can prep what’s lined up on tomorrow’s menu of easy weeknight dinners so you can put that night’s meal in the slow cooker before you head out in the morning.  When you’re putting away the leftovers, go ahead and chop up the chicken as you take it off the bones to make that easy health dinner even easier.

Healthy Meals for Picky Kids Day Two: Chicken Tortilla Soup in the slow cooker

One of the best inventions for easy dinners is the slow cooker.  There’s only one pot to clean, and you don’t have to fiddle with it while it cooks.  Just turn it on, and it takes care of itself – talk about easy weeknight dinners!

While the kids are helping with the vegetables, grab a bowl and mix up the spices for the soup. Once that’s done, empty all of the canned ingredients into the crockpot, cover it and put it in the refrigerator.  Not only does this save you having to do it during the weekday morning chaos, but it also lets the flavors meld and gives the soup a much richer taste, making it one of those meals kids love. Get the recipe here

Ways to make this recipe kid friendly so everyone can help with these easy weeknight meals:

  • use onion powder instead of chopping onions
  • buy tortilla chips instead of corn tortilla to save toasting and let the kids crumble them up
  • use canned corn instead of frozen. Corn is added at the end, and frozen corn can take a while to come up to the desired temperature.  Canned corn tastes just as good and cuts down on cooking time.

Healthy Meals for Picky Kids Day Three: Meatballs with Zucchini Noodles

If you’ve never had zucchini noodles, now is the time to start because they are at the top of the list when it comes to easy dinners.  Once you have them, you will find yourself wondering why this wasn’t on your list of family dinner ideas before. They are super healthy, and believe it or not, they are one of those meals kids love.  To cook them, simply drop them in the pan with a bit of olive oil, salt, and pepper, and sauté until tender.

Depending on how much you think your clan will eat of this easy healthy dinner, a good rule of thumb is one zucchini per adult and ½ zucchini for each kid.  This vegetable cooks down a bit, so while it might look like a lot of zucchini noodles when you start out, using this ration will make sure that you have just the right amount of vegetables for all of your healthy kid friendly dinners.

You can serve the meatballs over the zucchini noodles or separately.  If you’re serving them separately, IKEA’s Allemansrätten cream sauce for meatballs is super tasty and incredibly easy to make. Get the recipe here

Ways to make this recipe kid friendly so everyone can help with these easy weeknight meals:

  • Buy prepackaged zucchini noodles if you don’t have the time to make them yourself
  • Buy frozen meatballs instead of making from scratch for your healthy kid friendly dinners. They taste just as good, and it cuts way down on the prep time.
  • Let the kids mix up the ground meat. They love to mush it up because it feels almost like slime – just be sure they wash their hands well afterward!

Healthy Meals for Picky Kids Day Four: Beef Roast in a slow cooker with sweet potatoes and peas

Of all the family dinner ideas out there, this is one of the best dinner recipes because it is so easy.  It is so easy, that this is one of those family dinner ideas where you don’t even need a recipe.  Simply get a packet of Lipton Onion Soup Mix and one can of golden mushroom soup.  Mix them in the slow cooker with one can of water, drop in a beef chuck or shoulder roast and voilà, best-tasting roast and gravy ever.  Wrap whole sweet potatoes loosely in tin foil and place on top of the roast.  Nuke some peas for 5 minutes when you get home, and you are done with one of the best healthy dinner ideas for family ever!

This is one of those easy dinners that is so easy, there really aren’t any ways to make this recipe more kid friendly.  But, if you’re not a fan of sweet potatoes and would prefer rice instead, try the precooked rice and go with whole grain for an extra healthy take.

Note, if you’re following the family dinner ideas schedule laid out in this article, use two cans of soup, water, and Lipton mix as you will need the extra gravy for the beef stroganoff that is next on the list of healthy dinner ideas for family.

Healthy Meals for Picky Kids Day Five: Beef Stroganoff with Green Beans and Salad

For this easy healthy dinner, take the leftover roast from Wednesday night and cut it up.  If you want to change up the taste a bit, you can add a bit of garlic powder and Worcestershire sauce to the gravy from last night.  Drop the egg noodles in some water, and while they’re cooking, throw the green beans in the microwave for six to seven minutes. 

Use the rest of the cooking time to put together an easy healthy dinner salad of lettuce, cherry tomatoes, shredded carrots, and olives. 

Ways to make this recipe kid friendly so everyone can help with these easy weeknight meals:

  • Replace egg noodles with zucchini noodles
  • Buy matchstick carrots to avoid shredding them yourself
  • Use romaine lettuce leaves as the salad base to avoid having to shred or cut the lettuce for the salad
  • Use one of the Salad-in-a-Bag options and let the kids mix it up

Healthy Meals for Picky Kids Day Six: Personal Pizza Night!

As far as family dinner ideas go, pizza is just one of those meals kids love. The only way to make it better is to let them design it themselves. Get each person their own personal sized pizza crust – they’re usually in the aisle with the spaghetti sauce.  Then, let everyone create their own pizza with a pizza topping bar.

Keeping things simple is the key to easy weeknight dinners, and the toppings you go with will really depend on what your family likes.  However, here are some classic examples to get you started: ham and pineapple, spinach and feta cheese, and pepperoni and mushroom.  But, if you’re sticking to healthy kid friendly dinners, the sky is the limit with this one.

Ways to make this recipe kid friendly so everyone can help with these easy weeknight dinners:

  • Get bags of shredded cheese to cut down on prep time
  • Use canned options for items like pineapple, sliced olives (be sure to get them pre-sliced, not whole)

Healthy Meals for Picky Kids Day Seven: Baked Fish and Chips with Peas

This healthy take on the classic English fish ‘n’ chips are tasty and easy to prepare and is another of those meals kids love.  Instead of deep-frying the fish in oodles and oodles of oil, simply coat it with bread crumbs and bake it for an easy healthy dinner.  The taste is actually better, and it’s easier to cook the fish in the oven instead of constantly monitoring the temperature of the oil to make sure it doesn’t burn.

Replace the classic chips (AKA French fries) with sweet potato fries for a healthier option to any of your easy weeknight dinners.  Check your grocery store’s frozen section for their option of frozen sweet potato fries.  They’re made to be baked in the oven, not fried, and they taste absolutely delicious and are one of the best options for healthy dinner ideas for family.

Finally, nuke some peas for three to four minutes, and you’re done with your easy dinners!

Get the recipe here

All of these healthy kid friendly dinners should take no more than 15 to 20 minutes to prepare.  Add in some easy baking recipes for kids so that they can contribute a dessert to these easy weeknight dinners and your kids will be calling you Super Mom in no time.

Easy Lunch Ideas

With all the time that you save making these easy healthy dinners, you will be able to make some meals kids love for lunch on those days when the sugar fairy plans the school menu. As with all of the healthy dinner ideas for family, these easy lunch ideas will get your kids looking forward to their next meal. And, by using leftovers from healthy kid friendly dinners earlier in the week, you can send your kiddo to school with all the tasty nutrition they need.

One of the most popular easy baking recipes for kids is an omelet muffin.  You follow the same method as when you’re making a stove top omelet, but after mixing all the ingredients, you put the mixture in cupcake lined muffin tins and bake for 20 or so minutes.  It’s the perfect size for a kid’s lunch, and you’ll have plenty left over to serve as snacks. Get the recipe here

Another clever lunch idea that also falls into the healthy dinner ideas for family category is Mac and Cheese Muffins.  They are unbelievably tasty, and this recipe is one of those easy baking recipes for kids that is so easy they can make it themselves when they complain of being bored over the weekend! Get the recipe here

You can also use easy baking recipes for kids to get them involved in making their own healthy muffins packed with vegetables. You can use some of those leftover zucchinis and carrots from your easy weeknight dinners, which makes this one of the favorite easy baking recipes for kids around.  Get the recipe here

And, of course, you can’t send them to school without dessert! This three-ingredient Apple tart is one of the best easy baking recipes for kids, and depending on how much caramel you use, is pretty darn healthy. Get the recipe here

Extra stuff

If you want to get the kids even more involved in coming up with easy lunch ideas, try this Mix and Match Lunchbox recipe book.  It has great healthy ideas, and the kids will love coming up with their own menu.

If you have picky eaters, Cynthia Lair’s Feeding the Whole Family is a wonderful resource for healthy meals that everyone will love.  Check it out here

Conclusion

When it comes to healthy dinner ideas for family, simplicity, and tastiness are the goals.  Make use of vegetables that are already prepped for you and get the kids to help with measuring and mixing.  And, of course, don’t forget to use the easy baking recipes for kids to send them to school with a healthy meal in their lunch box.  With all the extra time you’ll create for yourself, maybe you and your partner will get to watch that movie after all.  Oh, as if.

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