When it comes time to eat, kids are completely unpredictable. Some nights they clean their plates and ask for seconds. Others nights, they spread everything around the plate and then ask to be excused with nary a bite taken. It gets even more difficult when you have a picky eater on your hands. It's a struggle to get anything other than the blandest, most repetitive meals past their discerning mouths. But you don't have to get stuck with endless rounds of chicken nuggets or mac & cheese. These easy, family-friendly dinner ideas are a great solution. The following quick, easy dinner recipes are so delicious, it'll be hard for even the pickiest eaters to say no. More importantly, you’ll enjoy them, too. What can be better than that?
Whether you’re trying to cook in a pinch or want to get the meal prep over with so you can spend more time with your little ones, you should also know that these kid-friendly meals are also completely easy to make. Don’t believe us? Just look to the slow cooker meals and easy one pot meals ahead—some other dishes only take 10 to 15 minutes to put together! While we’ve included some kid favorites like mac and cheese and spaghetti and meatballs, we’ve also added in some fresh, kid-approved takes on pizza and tacos. If you’re ready to take on a cheap dinner idea that's also a crowd-pleaser, take a look through some of our favorite dinner ideas right here.
Think of roasted chicken, with its crispy skin, as the adult-pleasing alternative to chicken nuggets. If you can get your picky eaters to go for a bit of mild roasted fennel and a tomato or two, all the better.
Need to sneak a vegetable into your family dinner? The cauliflower here does double-duty. Not only does it add some much-needed veg, but it actually gives the dish a richer, creamier flavor!
Turkey is just as satisfying as beef, but it's a good deal leaner. And the sweet, tomato-y flavor is so good your picky eater won't even notice.
This crunchy, yummy fried chicken alternative is sure to satisfy, but without nearly the effort (or the calories) that actual fried chicken involves.
This let-it-sit brining recipe yields up the tenderest, juiciest pork chops, and the sweet, buttery sauce is guaranteed to have everyone at the table licking their forks and asking for seconds.
This is one of those rare kids' meals that is flavorful enough that the adults will find themselves excited to eat it, too.
Get the recipe at Brown Sugar.
Looking for a way to sneak some nutrition onto your family's plates? Try this 20-minute dish that is creamy, nutty, and still packed with good-for-you foods.
Get the recipe at Marisa Moore.