Figuring out what to eat for dinner every night when you have a family with young kids is no easy task. You want to cook healthy meals for your family, and you want those meals to actually get eaten, and, better yet, be enjoyed by all!
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard the words, “I don’t like this dinner.” Of course, requesting a different meal isn’t an option for my kids – they eat what we eat or they don’t eat. But it sure is nice when they come to the table and are eager to eat what I’ve cooked that night!
When I make my weekly meal plan, I usually plan to cook 2-3 nights each week. The rest of the days I plan for leftovers or what I call “no recipe” dinners. Those are things like breakfast for dinner, English muffin pizzas, and bean and cheese burritos. This helps me to not feel overwhelmed with cooking a new meal each night and those fast and easy “no recipe” nights are some of my kids’ favorites!
Learn more about my Time-Saving Healthy Family Meal Plan.
Before we get to my list of easy kid-approved dinner recipes, I have a little secret to share.
I’ve implemented one key rule that has made it much more likely that my kids will eat their dinner. I don’t offer snacks close to dinner time. If dinner will be served in the next 1 1/2 hours or so, I make them wait. If they are starving (and yes, they can be just that dramatic), I offer them a veggie plate with cut vegetables (think bell peppers, carrots, cucumbers and tomatoes). That helps to curb their hunger until the real meal is served and I don’t mind if they fill their tummies with vegetables.
Below I’ve listed the recipes that I often choose for my cooking nights. I’ve made each of these meals multiple times and my kids (all three of them) pretty much always eat them. I hope your little ones will enjoy these dinners too!
Some recipes include a vegetable in the main dish. If not, I always serve a fruit or vegetable on the side. Our favorites are roasted sweet potato rounds, roasted broccoli (or steamed), simple roasted carrots, raw bell pepper or carrot slices, fresh pears, apples, bananas, kiwi and oranges.
Still struggling to find the time to put together a meal plan and grocery list every week? My time-saving healthy family meal plan can help!
Easy Cheesy Beef and Pasta Skillet (you can also use ground turkey or chicken)
Slow Cooker BBQ Chicken Sandwiches (minus the coleslaw for the kids)
Chicken Parmesan Meatballs (use your favorite jarred marinara sauce to make this meal even easier)