Do you have picky eaters in your house? It can be so tough to spend an hour (at the hardest part of the afternoon, by the way) only to have your kids refuse to eat. But parents want to eat more than just chicken tenders all week, too. Right? So, we’ve found some great family-friendly meals that make the whole family happy, from picky eaters to more adventurous ones.
So grab a pen, make your shopping list, and stock up on ingredients before the weekend’s over to make your weeknights that much easier.
At top: Pretzel-crusted Chicken at Platings and Pairings; Instant Pot Tomato Sauce at Healthy Midwestern Girl
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I first got the idea from DIY tortilla soup from our local burrito joint. You can go through their line and add any toppings you want, then pour some broth over the top. So why not do it for my picky eaters at home, too? Start with this amazing recipe for tortilla soup at Oh My Veggies which is easy to make in your slow-cooker. You can fill your bowl with Spanish rice, black beans, pinto beans, corn, avocado, chicken or beef, chopped tomatoes, olives, jalapeños, diced cucumbers, onions, then pour the soup in. So easy!
One tried-and-true way for us to sneak some veggies into our picky kids’ meals is with stir fry. Because kid-friendly sauces, like the teriyaki in this Simple Chicken Teriyaki Stir Fry at Cafe Delites can cover most of their objections. Of course, you may need to serve it where nothing is touching, but that’s might be worth it if it will get them to eat broccoli.
Kids love pretzels, right? So we think this Pretzel-crusted Chicken with Cheddar-Mustard dipping sauce at Platings and Pairings (with the dipping sauce safely on the side, in its own bowl, if possible, thankyouverymuch) will be a hit with them. Cut your chicken into strips instead, and you’ll have a real winner.
Related: What happened when I stopped worrying about feeding my picky eater.
What kid doesn’t love breakfast for dinner? To be honest, I love it too because it’s a welcome break from the regular cooking routine. I’ll slide these whole wheat, vegan pancakes at My Goodness Kitchen onto their plates, too, without mentioning that they’re whole wheat or vegan, of course.
I love that this Instant Pot Tomato Sauce at Healthy Midwestern Girl takes just 5 minutes of prep time, which is my kind of dinner. (Seriously, isn’t the Instant Pot the best invention ever?) I’d serve this over plain noodles for the picky eaters in my house, and save the great, fresh ravioli from my local market for those who will actually eat it.
If you need a little, ahem, persuasion to get your kids to eat their dinners this week, then tempt them with a batch of (low carb, shh) peanut butter cookies at The Little Pine. Or, alternately, just save them all for yourself. We won’t tell.