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dipping a crispy baked chicken nugget in honey mustard

50+ Healthy Kid-Friendly Dinner Ideas

Healthy kid-friendly dinner ideas that are perfect for busy weeknights! You’ll find plenty of quick & easy meals, plus delicious recipes with global flavors that even picky eaters will love. These kid-friendly dinners will be family favorites!

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Mealtimes are quite the production here at the Ambitious Kitchen household. We’re introducing more and more new foods with Viggo, all while cooking up plenty of Sidney’s favorite meals for Sidney. He loves his mama’s cooking! Eventually I’ll put together a little roundup of my boys’ go-to, favorite meals, but for now I wanted to re-share tons of kid-friendly dinner recipes to try.

In this roundup you’ll find over 50 healthy dinner ideas for kids that are not only nourishing and packed with nutrients for growing kids but are also incredibly delicious and fun. They’re recipes your kids (and you!) will actually want to eat.

Tips for cooking healthy dinners for kids

  • Are your kiddos hating all veggies right now? Sneak them in with recipes that use veggies as a binder like meatballs, burgers and even pizza crust.
  • Try out different types of protein for extra nutrition. I’ve included tons of recipes using plant-based protein, seafood, chicken and more that you can experiment with and even double up on.
  • Let them have fun and eat with their hands! Lots of these recipes make great finger foods for kids that will make dinnertime (a little messy) but even more fun for them.
  • Don’t be afraid to share something new with them. Who knows, your Kraft mac-and-cheese-loving kiddo might like a cozy pot of pumpkin pasta even better!
  • For babies: always remember that every baby (and toddler and kiddo!) is different and has different needs. A couple simple rules of thumb are to make sure you do not feed a baby under 1 year old anything that has honey in it (including dressings, marinades, etc.). Also, when I’m cooking for Sidney & Viggo I try to be mindful of sodium amounts, so I’ll often reduce or omit things like soy sauce or any extra salt in their portions of the meal.

I broke down these kid-friendly dinners into tacos & enchiladas, pasta & noodles, soups, chilis & grain bowls, global flavors (must try!), sandwiches, burgers & wraps, meatballs & loaves and healthy twists on comfort food classics. There’s truly something for every kiddo and adult in this roundup.

If any of your kids are nut-free check out our full nut-free category for tons of great recipes.

I’ve also marked these recipes gluten free, vegetarian and nut free for ease, but be sure to check out each recipes’ notes section for ways to adjust as needed.

  • Vegetarian = VT. Many recipes can easily be made vegetarian, just check the notes section of that recipe.
  • Gluten free = GF. Use corn tortillas, gluten free buns, pasta, breadcrumbs and flours where recipes call for it.
  • Nut free = NF. Keep recipes nut free by using olive oil instead of coconut oil, regular milk instead of nut milk & omitting any nut garnishes.

lifting enchilada casserole out of a pan

Tacos & Enchiladas

Butternut Squash and Black Bean Enchilada Skillet VT, GF, NF

Freezer-Friendly Green Chile Chicken Burritos GF, NF

Chipotle Black Bean Roasted Veggie Enchilada Casserole VT, GF, NF

Amazing Easy Turkey Tacos (with a slow cooker option!) GF, NF

Vegan Butternut Squash Black Bean Enchiladas with Jalapeño Cashew Crema V, GF

Damn Good Salmon Taco Bowls For Two GF, NF

Chipotle Chicken Tostadas with Pineapple Salsa GF, NF

Sweet Potato Black Bean Enchiladas with Avocado Lime Crema VT, GF, NF

Jalapeño Sweet Potato Black Bean Tacos with Avocado-Lime Crema VT, GF, NF

Vegetarian Plantain & Black Bean Taco Cups VT, NF

Sheet Pan Roasted Veggie Tacos (with yummy sauce options!) V, GF, NF

healthy tuna noodle casserole in a pan with a wooden spoon

Pasta & Noodles

Healthy Tuna Noodle Casserole GF

Cozy Roasted Vegetable Butternut Squash Lasagna VT, GF, NF

Pesto Mushroom Chicken Lasagna Roll Ups VT, GF

Spinach Bacon Pumpkin Mac and Cheese GF, NF

Zucchini Mac and Cheese VT, GF, NF

One Pan Creamy Thai Peanut Chicken Couscous NF

The Best Healthy Turkey Lasagna You’ll Ever Eat GF, NF

One Pot Cheesy Mushroom Spinach Beef Pasta GF, NF

Easy Vegan Mac and Cheese VT, GF

30 Minute Brown Butter Goat Cheese Grilled Veggie Orzo GF, NF

Bacon Parmesan Brussels Sprouts Spaghetti GF, NF

30 Minute Vegan Stir Fry Sesame Noodles with Chickpeas & Basil V, GF

Vegetarian Spinach Pumpkin Lasagna VT, GF, NF

Stovetop Southwest Tuna Mac and Cheese GF, NF

Saucy Baked Pumpkin Pasta GF, NF

Vegan Pasta Primavera with Creamy Garlic Cashew Sauce V, GF

Brown Butter Acorn Squash Pasta with Toasted Hazelnuts + Sage VT, GF

Incredible Caramelized Onion Spinach Chicken Pasta Bake GF, NF

Spinach Garlic Parmesan Orzo with Crispy Bacon GF, NF

Roasted Butternut Squash Broccoli Cheddar Chicken Couscous NF

Cilantro Pesto Pasta with Roasted Pumpkin & Honey VT, GF

chicken soup in a bowl

Soups, Chilis & Grain Bowls

The Best Chicken Soup You’ll Ever Eat NF

Creamy Tomato Orzo Soup with Mini Turkey Meatballs GF, NF

The Best Healthy Turkey Chili GF, NF

Healing Ginger Coconut Chicken Brown Rice Soup GF

Healthy Chicken Pot Pie Soup (whole 30, dairy free) GF, NF

BBQ Ranch Chicken Quinoa Bowls GF, NF

Vegan Coconut Tomato Lentil Soup V, GF

Healthy White Chicken Chili GF, NF

The Best Minestrone Soup VT, GF, NF

Mom’s Slow Cooker Beef Stew GF, NF

Slow Cooker Black Bean Pumpkin Turkey Chili GF, NF

Lightened Up Cheddar Cauliflower Broccoli Soup VT, GF, NF

Actually, the Best Vegetarian Chili Ever VT, GF, NF

Vegan Curried Pumpkin Lentil Soup V, GF

The Best Dal Ever V, GF

Puerto Rican rice and beans in a bowl

Delicious Global Flavors

Mom’s Authentic Puerto Rican Rice and Beans VT, GF, NF

Healthy Orange Chicken Stir Fry with Coconut Cauliflower Rice GF

One Pan Sazon Skillet Chicken GF, NF

Sheet Pan Moroccan Chicken with Sweet Potatoes & Cauliflower GF, NF

One Pot Vegan Coconut Curried Brown Rice with Tofu V, GF

Healthy Slow Cooker Chicken Tikka Masala GF

Mama’s Puerto Rican Chicken and Rice (Arroz con Pollo) GF, NF

One Pan Tandoori Chicken with Spiced Coconut Rice GF, NF

Arroz con Gandules (rice with pigeon peas) V, GF, NF

Turkey Picadillo (with a slow cooker option!) GF, NF

30-Minute Sesame Chicken Green Bean Stir Fry GF, NF

Mama’s Chickpeas in Sofrito with Arroz con Gandules VT, GF, NF

One Pan Thai Coconut Yellow Curry Chicken & Rice GF

Sweet and Sour Pineapple Broccoli Chicken Stir Fry GF, NF

buffalo zucchini chicken burger with a bite taken out

Sandwiches, Burgers & Wraps

Buffalo Zucchini Chicken Burgers GF, NF

Incredible Slow Cooker Pulled Chicken Sandwiches GF, NF

Vegan Pecan Apple Chickpea Salad Wraps VT, GF

15-Minute Sweet Potato Salmon Cakes GF, NF

chicken quinoa enchilada meatloaf muffins in a muffin tin

Meatballs & Loaves

Cheesy Chicken Quinoa Enchilada Meatloaf Muffins GF, NF

One Pan Ginger Chicken Meatballs with Peanut Sauce GF

Cheddar-Stuffed Sweet Potato BBQ Turkey Meatloaf GF, NF

Juicy Turkey Meatballs in Tomato Basil Sauce with Burrata GF, NF

Mom’s Ultimate Vegetarian Lentil Loaf GF, NF

Sheet Pan Zucchini Chicken Meatballs with Coconut Curry Sauce GF

One Pan Cilantro Chicken Meatballs in Mango Coconut Sauce GF

Oh So Good Chicken Meatballs in Pumpkin Coconut Curry Sauce GF

dipping a crispy baked chicken nugget in honey mustard

Healthy Twists on Comfort Food Classics

The Best Crispy Baked Chicken Nuggets NF

Blow Ya Mind Cheddar Broccoli Chicken Pot Pie NF

Homemade Crispy Baked Fish Sticks (kid & toddler-friendly!) GF, NF

30 Minute Healthier Turkey Sloppy Joes with Homemade Sauce! GF, NF

White Chicken Chili Pie with Pumpkin Cornbread Crust NF

How to Make the Best Cauliflower Pizza Crust VT, GF

Vegan & Gluten Free Curry Chickpea Pot Pie with Sweet Potato ‘Crust’ VT, GF

Butternut Squash, Chicken and Wild Rice Casserole GF

Tofu Vegan Nachos with Cashew Cheese Sauce VT, GF

Baked Paleo Chicken Tenders with Honey Mustard Dip GF

Lightened Up Chicken Pot Pie NF

Delicious Zucchini Pizza Crust Recipe VT, GF

I hope you and your kids love these delicious, healthy kid-friendly dinners ideas. If any of them are a hit with the family be sure to leave a comment so I know which ones they loved!

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