Meal times have become quite the production here at Ambitious Kitchen. Now that we’re exploring all types of foods with Sidney I’ve found myself getting extra creative to find different way to introduce him to new foods. Good news – he loves his mama’s cooking!
I put together 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!
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.
P.S. Looking to add veggies to every meal in a delicious way? I have a FREE email series with tips, tricks and veggie-packed recipes to enjoy at every meal – desserts included! Click here to get signed up.
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, pastas 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.
Tacos & Enchiladas
Pasta & Noodles
Zucchini Mac and Cheese VT, GF, NF
Easy Vegan Mac and Cheese VT, GF
Vegetarian Spinach Pumpkin Lasagna VT, GF, NF
Saucy Baked Pumpkin Pasta GF, NF
Soups, Chilis & Grain Bowls
Healthy White Chicken Chili GF, NF
The Best Minestrone Soup VT, GF, NF
Mom’s Slow Cooker Beef Stew GF, NF
Actually, the Best Vegetarian Chili Ever VT, GF, NF
Delicious Global Flavors
Mom’s Authentic Puerto Rican Rice and Beans VT, GF, NF
Sandwiches, Burgers & Wraps
Meatballs & Loaves
Healthy Twists on Comfort Food Classics
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!