It’s always our goal to help you find the perfect family activities that help you create lasting memories, without breaking the bank or taking up tons of your time. The same goes for mealtime. Deciding what to cook for dinner, with a house full of picky children is no easy task!
So today we’re rounding up some of our favorite kid-friendly, easy dinner ideas that will please even the pickiest eaters. We’ve rounded up the recipes by ‘style’ so we’re sharing classics like chicken (always a crowd pleaser with children), vegetarian favorites, and dinners that can be ready in under half an hour.
We can’t wait to hear what your favorites are, let’s dive right in!
Easy Dinners for Kids: Chicken Recipes
As we mentioned before, chicken seems always to be a good idea for kids. We’ve rounded up some kid-friendly chicken dinner recipes including the age-old favorite, chicken nuggets (made with a healthy twist for growing Birdies).
Baked Chicken Tenders
Of course, we couldn’t bring you a list of kid-friendly recipes without including some form of chicken tender! Baked chicken tenders are our favorite healthy alternative to fried chicken nuggets.
Since these are made at home and baked, they’re much healthier, and if you follow this recipe from Kristine’s Kitchen, you’ll have dinner ready in just over 30 minutes. We also love this Air Fryer option for chicken tenders from Taste of Home.
Chicken Pasta Bake
Making a chicken pasta bake is an easy way to sneak more vegetables into your kiddos' dinner. You can pick and choose their favorites mixed with well-seasoned chicken, soft pasta, and creamy sauce, creating an irresistible and easy family favorite.
This one takes an hour from start to finish so it’s not as quick but it will provide leftovers to keep people full throughout the week.
Buffalo Chicken Pizza
In our house, we love pizza night! But the kids often opt for the classics… cheese or pepperoni. We wanted to encourage them to mix it up by trying this homemade buffalo chicken pizza from Women’s Day Kitchen.
The cost per serving of this dish is just $1.08 and you can definitely adjust the buffalo seasoning to your kids ‘spicy’ tolerance.
Crockpot Chicken Tacos
These juicy chicken tacos from Kristine’s Kitchen are super easy to make in the crockpot. And her flavorful chicken only calls for 3 ingredients! That means you can skip the supermarket today mama.
This chicken takes around 3 hours to cook, so it’s a great dish to prep when the kids get home from school. It’ll cook through playtime and homework and be ready just in time for dinner. Follow along with her easy crockpot chicken recipe here.
Cheesy Chicken and Rice
There’s no better way to get your kids to eat broccoli than with a little cheese! We love this cheesy chicken and rice bake from Easy Chicken Recipes. Make sure to use instant rice, and you’ll be surprised that you can have this hearty dinner on the table in under an hour!
Easy Dinners for Kids: Under 30 Minutes
Skillet Mac & Cheese
This skillet mac and cheese from Taste of Home takes just 25 minutes in total! Including both prep and cook time – which means you can throw this together on a weeknight where the day just got away from you, or when you just don’t feel like cooking.
We love that they sneak in some arugula and fresh tomatoes to a kid’s classic meal. Follow along with Taste of Home here.
Parmesan Fish Sticks
If you’re tired of all the yucky stuff that goes into frozen fish sticks, then try making your own. These easy-to-make Tilapia fish sticks from Taste of Home only take 25 minutes from start to finish and call for less than 10 ingredients.
Serve with coleslaw or your kid's favorite veggie on the side. Follow along with Taste of Home to make healthy homemade fish sticks here.
Waffle Iron Grilled Cheese
We wanted to share something creative and different with you and we stumbled upon this waffle iron grilled cheese! We just had to try it and they were a huge success in our house.
Grilled cheese night was always my favorite growing up, we’d always have them with my grandmother’s canned homemade tomato soup, so recreating this childhood classic was a success!
Did we mention they only take 15 minutes to put together? Get creative! You can always add a bit of grilled chicken, avocado slices, or spinach in there.
Skillet Turkey Burgers
Burgers are always a fan favorite, but finding a way to make them healthier (and cheaper) at home is a must! We don’t eat beef or pork at home, so finding an easy turkey burger alternative is a must. It might not be summer anymore, but that doesn’t mean you can’t BBQ in the kitchen. Make your kid's day with burgers for dinner tonight!
One Pot Chicken Pesto Tortellini
You’ll love this one-pot dinner because it’s easy to make and the kids will gobble it up! This is an easy dinner for kids because it’s got chicken, cheese, and veggies hidden inside. Plus, it only takes 20 minutes from start to finish, which means you’ll have dinner on the table in no time.
Easy Dinners for Kids: Vegetarian Recipes
Easy Veggie Frittata
Breakfast for dinner is always a special occasion, and you can use that as a chance to get more veggies on the table! We love how easy it is to throw together a frittata and that you can use anything you have in the fridge. Are veggies going off soon? Home late and need an easy dinner? Frittata works every time.
For the best tips on how to make the perfect frittata, follow along with this recipe and video here.
Hearty Vegetarian Chili Mac
If you need a hearty and filling vegetarian dinner, we highly recommend making this one-pot chili mac. You can throw in your favorite beans, pasta, and cheese for a weeknight dinner that everyone will love. Just don’t forget the crunchy element too!
This is also an easy dinner to make vegan by simply swapping out the regular cheese for a vegan alternative. Follow along with Delish to make this vegetarian chili mac.
Sweet Potato Creamy Pasta
If your kids are a big fan of plain pasta with a bit of butter on it… you might be looking for more creative ways to get a vegetable on your plate like we were. We found this sweet potato pasta to have a light enough sweet potato flavor, with just the right amount of creaminess to become a weeknight staple.
So simple, it only takes 20 minutes to prepare. Try it this week as an easy vegetarian dinner idea for the whole family!
Smoky Chickpea, Red Lentil and Vegetable Soup
In our house, we call fall soup season. But I’ve heard from others that they don’t always find soup to be a hearty enough meal to keep them full all night long. Let’s fix that with a hearty and filling vegetarian lentil soup. The lentils and chickpeas add a ton of protein and dimension to the soup. Plus it only takes 30 minutes to make.
As with any soup, you can definitely add in your family's favorite vegetables, or anything that you need to use in the fridge. Follow along with this delicious recipe here.
Tacos are fun for the whole family because everyone can customize and add the fillings they want. We think these veggie tacos are the best way to break up the week with something easy and fun to make. You can also make this meal vegan with a simple cheese swap again!
However many picky eaters you have at home, we hope that this round-up helped you with some creative and easy dinner ideas for kids. We wanted to make sure we brought you some quick, healthy, and vegetarian options full of kids' favorites and lots of veggies.
What’s your go-to easy dinner for your kids? Chat with us over on Instagram (@birdiebeanbaby) and let us know!
They might be picky eaters but that doesn’t mean they’re picky pajama wearers! Get them a cozy fall set they’ll love from our newest and cutest collections. Shop Birdie Bean for fall here.