Cooking for the family, especially when it involves kids, can often feel like trying to solve a complex math equation while juggling multiple balls (read: ingredients) – blindfolded. One day, they love broccoli. The next day, it’s “the worst thing ever.” Or, they refuse to eat anything not coated in melted cheese. It can be frustrating and exhausting to constantly think of new healthy meal options that cater to different tastes and preferences yet are still nutritious and satisfying.
So, to make your meal planning a little easier, here are seven kid-friendly recipes guaranteed to become family favorites and make everyone happy and full.
Sweet Potato Souffle
This recipe is a twist on Trisha Yearwood’s original recipe, and it’s an absolute crowd-pleaser.
- Sweet potatoes
- Vanilla extract
Preheat your oven to prepare sweet baked potatoes. First, poke the sweet potatoes with a fork and place them on a sheet pan. Bake until a knife inserted in a potato comes in and out easily (keep an eye on it after an hour).
Once they are done, take them out of the oven and let them cool for 20 minutes. Follow this simple sweet potato souffle recipe to create a tasty bottom layer and pecan topping. Everyone will love the sweet, savory, and crunchy combination.
Baked Chicken Fingers
Children love finger foods, and chicken fingers are a classic favorite. Instead of frying them in unhealthy oil, this recipe calls for baking the chicken strips in the oven.
- Chicken breast
- Panko breadcrumbs
- Parmesan cheese
- Garlic powder
Start by slicing the chicken breasts into strips. Now, set up three bowls: one for flour, one for beaten eggs, and one for a mix of panko breadcrumbs, parmesan cheese, garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Take each chicken strip and give it a gentle dusting in the flour, then a quick dip in the eggs, and finally, a generous coating in the breadcrumb mixture.
Once coated, lay them on a baking sheet and bake at 375 degrees F for about 20 minutes or until they turn a crispy golden brown and cook through.
Healthy Salmon Pasta
This quick and easy pasta dish contains heart-healthy omega-3, protein, and veggies. It’s a delicious way to get in your weekly dose of salmon.
- Whole wheat spaghetti
- Salmon fillets
- Olive oil
- Lemon juice
- Salt and pepper
Start by cooking the whole wheat spaghetti according to packet instructions. In a separate pan, heat olive oil and add minced garlic. Cook until fragrant. Add chopped broccoli florets and season with salt and pepper. Once the broccoli is tender, add in bite-sized pieces of salmon fillets. Cook until the salmon is fully cooked and flaky. Squeeze in some lemon juice for a burst of flavor.
Drain the spaghetti and add it to the pan with the salmon and broccoli. Serve hot, and enjoy this nutritious and delicious meal.
Once you’ve eaten this mouthwatering casserole, ordinary hamburgers may never stand a chance on your plate again.
- Ground beef
- Chopped onion
- Cream of mushroom soup
Start by browning the ground beef with chopped onions in a large skillet. Drain any excess fat and add cream of mushroom soup and half a cup of milk. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Simmer the mixture for five minutes.
While your oven is preheating at 350 degrees F, prepare the casserole dish. Gently pour the beef mixture into the casserole dish and top it with a generous layer of shredded cheese.
Bake the casserole until the cheese is melted and bubbly. Serve with a side of mashed potatoes or a green salad for a complete meal.
Rainbow Sprinkle Cookies
Don’t settle for plain old chocolate chip cookies. Treat your family to these colorful and delicious cookies and watch them disappear in seconds.
- Vanilla extract
- Baking powder
- Sprinkles (rainbow or any color of your choice)
Beat sugar and butter until fluffy, then add the vanilla extract and egg. Slowly mix in the dry ingredients. You’ll see dough forming. Gently fold in the sprinkles to create a marbled effect.
Roll the dough into balls and place them on a lined baking sheet. Bake in a preheated oven at 350 degrees F until golden brown. Let cool before serving.
Chocolate Cherry Smoothie
This creamy and irresistible smoothie is so fruity, chocolaty, and nutritious that it can easily pass off as a dessert.
- Frozen cherries
- Cocoa powder
- Vanilla extract
- Honey or agave nectar
Put everything in a blender and blend until it’s nice and smooth. If you want it thicker, use less milk; if you want it thinner, use more milk.
You can also add frozen bananas for an extra creamy texture or use almond milk for a dairy-free option.
Vegetable Barley Soup
Not so thick or light, but it’s a perfect soup to add to your weekly meal plan.
- Olive oil
- Vegetable broth
Warm olive oil in a big pot and toss in onion, garlic, carrots, and celery. Cook until they’re tender and smell wonderful. Add barley for a minute, then pour in vegetable broth and bring it to a gentle boil. Simmer for half an hour. Season it with a pinch of salt and a dash of pepper, just how you like it. You can toss extra veggies like potatoes, kale, or beans to make it even more delicious and filling. Enjoy your homemade soup.
Whether you’re cooking for a family of picky eaters, always-hungry teenagers or kids with different taste preferences, these easy-to-make, mouthwatering recipes will make mealtime a breeze.
So, prepare the sweet potato souffle and enjoy the creamy, savory goodness, or whip up the salmon pasta to keep things light and healthy. Have some poultry lovers in the family? Try the flavorful baked chicken fingers and serve them with homemade honey mustard sauce. Vegetable barley soup and hamburger casserole are great kid-friendly meals. And for dessert, treat everyone to the indulgent chocolate cherry smoothie or the irresistible rainbow sprinkle cookies with a side of cold milk.