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Thursday, July 29, 2021

30 Best Kids’ Dinner Ideas for When Your Picky Eater Just Won’t Try Anything

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There’s only one thing harder than coming up with easy dinner ideas: coming up with easy dinner ideas for kids. Whether you’ve got a household of picky eaters, discriminating diners (is that … a ?), or a Brady Bunch of bottomless pits, serving a single healthy meal that satisfies the whole family means you’ll need to get creative.

So we compiled dozens of easy kid- (and adult!) friendly dinner recipes to provide some inspo for the next meal you’ll share with your little ones. From quick, healthy dinner solutions to comforting and kid-approved classics, these fast family meals will delight anyone — both over and under the age of nine.

The best part about kid-approved cooking is that kids tend to prefer more straightforward meals with few ingredients — which means less work (and dishes!) for you. Better yet, ditch the utensils altogether and host a family-friendly taco night. Kids’ dinners can also be a little more fun (and a lot cheesier) than the dinner party mainstays you might serve to a room of adults. Plus, they don’t demand anything too fancy, so if you only have time to throw a bunch of ingredients into the Instant Pot and call it a night, you can still serve up something totally delicious and crowd-pleasing. Plus, plenty of these recipes are simple enough to let your kids cook along with you (calling all mini-chefs in the making!).

And if you’re truly at a loss of what to serve your family tonight, a classic stir fry is endlessly adaptable according to picky eaters’ tastes or what you have in the house. These easy dinner ideas for the whole family prove that cooking for rambunctious roomies doesn’t have to be bland or boring. Bring on the flavor!

kids dinner ideas   sesame chicken stir fry

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Sesame Chicken Stir-Fry

Skip takeout and opt for this kid-friendly (and veggie-packed!) stir-fry instead.

kids dinner ideas   doubly cheesy meatball bake

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Doubly Cheesy Meatball Bake

Juicy meatballs, covered in gooey mozzarella cheese sounds like the perfect dish to share with the family tonight.

kids dinner ideas  instant pot risotto with parmesan

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Instant Pot Risotto With Parmesan

This one pot wonder is a real crowdpleaser thanks to its creamy texture and cheesy taste. Plus it is the ultimate canvas for any toppings your family may enjoy: Try a fried egg, a dollop of pesto, or a sprinkle of peas.

kids dinner ideas  sweet  sticky chicken with snow peas

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Sweet & Sticky Chicken With Snow Peas

Hoisin sauce turns average drumsticks into an addicting dinner.

kids dinner ideas  smoky peanut chicken tacos

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Smoky Peanut Chicken Tacos

Chicken breast cooked in a homemade peanut sauce will make this Taco Tuesday unforgettable.

kids dinner ideas  classic patty melt

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Classic Patty Melt

Burger meets grilled cheese in this rich and delicious dinner.

kids dinner ideas  bbq herbed drumsticks

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BBQ Herbed Drumsticks

Say hello to your easiest (1-ingredient!) marinade, pesto. Try it with store-bought or our homemade version.

kids dinner ideas  crispy baked chicken

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Crispy Baked Chicken

Baking this crunchy, crowd-pleasing favorite makes it much healthier and lower in fat than a traditional fried chicken recipe.

kids dinner ideas  chicago style chicken dogs

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Chicago-Style Chicken Dogs

Sweet and spicy pickles and peppers make this barbecue favorite a real winner.

kids dinner ideas  ham, cheddar, and red onion bread pudding

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Ham, Cheddar, and Red Onion Bread Pudding

This easy, cheesy casserole is the perfect breakfast for dinner menu addition.

kids dinner ideas  creamy corn pasta with bacon and scallions

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Creamy Corn Pasta With Bacon and Scallions

Fresh corn adds sweetness (and some veggies) to this tasty family-friendly pasta.

kids dinner ideas  pork milanese sandwich with tomato salad

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Pork Milanese Sandwich With Tomato Salad

This crunchy, cheesy sandwich is the ultimate grab-and-go dinner and is ready in only 25 minutes!

kids dinner ideas  roasted cauliflower pizza

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Roasted Cauliflower Pizza

Sneak some veggies into dinnertime by topping an easy, cheesy pizza with thinly sliced cauliflower.

kids dinner ideas  pan fried chicken with lemony roasted broccoli

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Pan-Fried Chicken With Lemony Roasted Broccoli

There’s a good chance you already have all the ingredients you need for this easy weeknight dinner.

kids dinner ideas  classic lasagna with meat sauce

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Classic Lasagna With Meat Sauce

This flavor-packed dinner is loaded with a pork meat sauce, three cheeses, spinach, and herbs, and it’s layered with no boil noodles. We’ll have seconds, please!

kids dinner ideas  turkey tacos

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Turkey Tacos

Lighten up taco night with our slightly spicy take on this crunchy family fave.

kids dinner ideas  creamy lemon chicken pasta

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Creamy Lemon Chicken Pasta

Cream cheese and lemon turn average chicken and pasta into a luxurious kid-friendly dinner.

kids dinner ideas  chili dogs

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Chili Dogs

Elevate an average hot dog to an epic dinner dish with the addition of homemade chili.

kids dinner ideas  buttermilk fried chicken

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Buttermilk Fried Chicken

Homemade crispy coated chicken is a real crowd pleaser, and is best served with an easy barbecue side for the most delicious summer dinner.

kids dinner ideas  bbq beef nachos

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BBQ Beef Nachos

Your kids will come running when they hear that these flavor-packed party snacks are for dinner.

kids dinner ideas  linguine carbonara

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Linguine Carbonara

With just five ingredients and 30 minutes, you can have a hearty dinner on the table that the whole family will love.

kids dinner ideas  cheesy tex mex stuffed chicken

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Cheesy Tex-Mex Stuffed Chicken

Zesty jalapeños bring the heat to this Mexican-inspired chicken dinner.

kids dinner ideas  shortcut mac 'n' cheese with crispy bacon and sweet potatoes

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Shortcut Mac ‘n’ Cheese With Crispy Bacon and Sweet Potatoes

Mascarpone cheese replaces the standard butter and flour combo in this super-fast (and decadent!) stovetop mac.

kids dinner ideas  smoky maple turkey chili

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Smoky Maple Turkey Chili

Turn this sweet and smoky chili into an epic DIY bar with the addition of sliced jalapeños, sour cream, and grated cheese. Who said you can’t have fun with your food?

kids dinner ideas  lemon dill chicken meatball soup

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Lemon-Dill Chicken Meatball Soup

If your kids love chicken noodle, try this flavor-packed version, full of herbs and bulgar wheat, to zest up your soup routine.

kids dinner ideas  easy vegetarian lasagna with spinach and broccoli

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Vegetarian Lasagna With Spinach and Broccoli

Make a big batch of this veggie-packed casserole over the weekend and keep in your freezer for the night when prepping dinner is the last thing you want to do.

kids dinner ideas  mini meatballs with garlicky tomatoes

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Mini Meatballs With Garlicky Tomatoes

Add pasta for a fun and fresh take on spaghetti and meatballs.

kids dinner ideas  creamy broccolini pasta with chile breadcrumbs

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Creamy Broccolini Pasta With Chile Breadcrumbs

Make extra breadcrumbs when prepping this easy weeknight dinner: you’ll want to add them to all your favorite dishes.

kids dinner ideas  shrimp boil with sausage and spinach

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Shrimp Boil With Sausage and Spinach

For a quick weeknight meal, try this one-pot Southern staple.

kids dinner ideas  lemon orzo salad

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Lemon Orzo Salad

The tiny pieces of fresh sweet zucchini are disguised in this tangy fresh pasta dish. Even veggie-haters will devour a bowl.

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