Kid-Friendly Dinner Ideas for Picky Eaters (Get Your Kids Excited About Dinner)

Welcome, my fellow parents!

Feeding picky eaters can be a challenge for any parent.

As a mom myself, I know this struggle all too well.

(And the storm that will come after.)

It can be tough to come up with meals that your little ones will actually eat, and it can leave you feeling frustrated and overwhelmed.

But don’t worry, fellow parents! 

With a little bit of planning and creativity, you can make meals that even the fussiest eaters will enjoy. 

That’s why I’m here to share some of my favorite kid-friendly dinner ideas that have worked wonders for my family. (my kid’s definitely loved this)

I understand the struggle that comes when you plan your meals in your weekly meal planner.

And I want to help make the process a little easier for you, especially when planning meals for your kids.

So, let’s dive into these recipe ideas and tips that will have your kids asking for seconds!

Proven Strategies for Planning Meals that Your Picky Eater Kids Will Love

A girl holding a watermelon on top of a grocery cart

As a mom who has successfully navigated the world of picky eaters, I’ve learned that involving my kids in the meal-planning process is key. 

It not only gets them excited about what they’re eating, but it also makes them more willing to try new foods. 

Here are some proven strategies that have worked for me:

  • Involve them in grocery shopping: Bring your kids along on your grocery runs.

    This is a grocery tip that will surely help you with what your fussy kids will eat.

    Let them pick out their favorite fruits and veggies, and get them excited about the meal planning process.

    (Plus, it’s a great way to sneak in a little math lesson as you weigh and measure your ingredients)
  • Let them choose the menu: Kids love having a say in what they eat. So, let them choose what meal to prepare for dinner.

    Give them some options to choose from, or let them come up with their own meal ideas. (You might be surprised at what they come up with!)
  • Get creative with presentation: Let’s face it, picky eaters can be a little fickle. So, it’s important to make the meal look as appealing as possible.

    Cut food into fun shapes, use colorful plates and cutlery, and arrange the food in an attractive way.

    You’ll be amazed at how much more likely they are to eat it!
  • Sneak in the good stuff: Sometimes, you just have to get a little sneaky.

    Sneak some veggies into their favorite dishes, or try replacing unhealthy ingredients with healthier options.

    Whole-grain pasta and bread are great alternatives that are just as tasty.

By following these strategies, you can make meal planning for picky eaters less stressful and more enjoyable for everyone.

Yummy Meals for your Picky Eaters kids

If you’re a parent of a picky eater, you know that mealtime can be a battlefield. 

(and that’s an understatement)

But fear not, my fellow foodie! I’ve got some easy dinner recipes that will tickle your kids’ taste buds. 

Here are some dishes that are sure to get two thumbs up from your little ones:

Slow Cooker Mac and Cheese

Mac and cheese on a oval plate with fork on the side


  • 16 oz. elbow macaroni

  • 4 cups shredded cheddar cheese

  • 2 cups whole milk

  • 1 can of evaporated milk

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter

  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour

  • 1 tsp. garlic powder

  • 1 tsp. onion powder

  • Salt and pepper to taste


  • Cook the macaroni according to package directions, but make sure not to overcook it. Drain the macaroni and set aside.
  • In a large saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the flour, garlic powder, and onion powder, and whisk until the mixture is smooth.
  • Gradually add the whole milk and evaporated milk to the mixture, whisking constantly until it thickens.
  • Add the shredded cheddar cheese to the saucepan and stir until it’s completely melted. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  • Pour the cheese sauce over the cooked macaroni and stir until it’s well coated.
  • Transfer the mac and cheese to your slow cooker and cook on low heat for 2-3 hours, stirring occasionally.
  • Serve the mac and cheese hot and enjoy the melty, cheesy goodness with your picky eater kids!

This slow cooker mac and cheese is a winner with picky eaters! It’s creamy, cheesy, and so easy to make. ideal for your easy meal prep for the week.

The best part? You can customize the recipe by adding some cooked vegetables, such as broccoli or peas, to the mix

(This way, you can sneak in some extra nutrition without your kids even noticing!)

Mexican Tacos


  • 1 pound ground beef

  • 1 packet of taco seasoning

  • 12 taco shells

  • Shredded lettuce

  • Diced tomatoes

  • Shredded cheddar cheese

  • Sour cream

  • Salsa


  • Cook the ground beef in a large skillet over medium heat until it is browned and fully cooked.
  • Add the taco seasoning and 1/4 cup of water to the skillet, stirring until the seasoning is fully mixed in.
  • Let the beef mixture simmer for a few minutes until the sauce thickens.
  • Heat the taco shells in the oven according to the package instructions.
  • Fill each taco shell with the ground beef mixture.
  • Top each taco with shredded lettuce, diced tomatoes, shredded cheddar cheese, sour cream, and salsa.

(And that’s it!) 

This recipe is quick, easy, and sure to be a hit with even the pickiest of eaters. 

This meal is also perfect for your whole family. It’s a fun and delicious snack that will make dinner time a breeze.

You can also customize the toppings to your child’s preferences, so feel free to experiment with different combinations. 

Mini Meatloaves 


  • 1 pound ground beef

  • 1/2 cup breadcrumbs

  • 1/4 cup milk

  • 1 egg

  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder

  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper

  • 1/4 cup ketchup

  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar

  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce


  • Preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C).
  • In a large bowl, mix together the ground beef, breadcrumbs, milk, egg, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, and pepper.

    Use your hands to mix everything together until well combined.
  • Divide the mixture into 6-8 portions, depending on how big you want your mini meatloaves to be.

    Roll each portion into a ball and place them in a greased muffin tin.
  • In a small bowl, mix together the ketchup, brown sugar, and Worcestershire sauce. Spoon the mixture over each mini meatloaf, spreading it evenly.
  • Bake the mini meatloaves for 20-25 minutes, or until they are cooked through and the internal temperature reaches 160°F (71°C).

    Let them cool for a few minutes before serving.

These mini meatloaves are sure to be a hit with your picky eater kids. 

You can serve them with their favorite vegetables and sides, such as mashed potatoes or roasted carrots. 

(They make great leftovers that can be reheated for a quick and easy meal on busy weeknights too) 

That’s a wrap on our journey to become meal-planning superstars for picky eater kids! 

It’s not always easy to please little taste buds, but with a few tricks up your sleeves, you can make mealtime more enjoyable and stress-free.

Don’t forget to involve your kids in the process. 

Taking them grocery shopping, letting them choose the meal, and presenting food in creative ways can make a big difference in their enthusiasm for mealtime. 

(And remember, sneaking in nutritious ingredients doesn’t have to be sneaky at all – it can be a fun way to introduce new foods and flavors)

With the easy dinner ideas I’ve provided, such as the mini meatloaves and tacos, you’ll have some tasty and kid-approved options to add to your meal plan rotation. 

Who knows, you may even find yourself enjoying these meals just as much as your little ones!

(Go ahead and give it a try!)

With a positive attitude and a willingness to experiment, preparing meals for picky eater kids can be a fun and rewarding experience for the whole family. 

Happy cooking!

Turn Meal Planning into a fun and exciting process now!

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With my free printable meal planner, you can streamline your process and take the first step toward achieving your health and fitness goals.

My meal planner is designed to suit your unique preferences, so you can create a personalized meal plan that works best for you. 

Whether you want to eat healthier, lose weight, or simply simplify your routine, this planner is the perfect tool to help you achieve your goals.

So, let’s do this together! Take control of your health and download the meal planner now.

With this tool, you’ll enjoy a hassle-free meal planning experience that will make reaching your health and fitness goals a breeze.

Don’t let meal planning be a source of stress and frustration anymore! 

Download my free meal planner printable and start your journey towards a healthier, happier you today.


What food is good for picky kids?

Picky eaters can be challenging to please, but there are some foods that they may enjoy. 

Generally, kids tend to prefer familiar foods that are not too spicy or too complex in flavor. Foods that are mild, simple, and easy to eat are often a hit with picky eaters. 

Some examples include pasta, grilled cheese sandwiches, chicken nuggets, pizza, and mac and cheese. 

Additionally, fruits and vegetables that are mild in flavor, such as sweet potatoes, carrots, and strawberries, can be a good choice for picky eaters.

What should I give my kids for dinner?

When it comes to dinner, it’s important to offer a balanced meal that includes a variety of food groups. This means including protein, vegetables, fruits, and grains. 

Some examples of balanced meals for kids could include grilled chicken with steamed broccoli and brown rice, or fish tacos with corn and black bean salsa. 

It’s also a good idea to get your kids involved in the meal planning process to make sure they feel involved and invested in what they’re eating.

What are kids favorite foods?

Kids tend to have their own unique preferences when it comes to food, but some popular favorites include pizza, mac and cheese, chicken nuggets, spaghetti, and hamburgers. 

Additionally, many kids enjoy snack foods like chips, crackers, and fruit snacks. 

It’s important to remember that just because a food is a favorite doesn’t mean it’s the healthiest choice, so it’s important to balance favorites with nutritious options.

What foods give kids energy?

Foods that are high in complex carbohydrates, protein, and fiber can help give kids sustained energy throughout the day. 

Good options include whole grains like oatmeal and brown rice, fruits and vegetables like bananas and sweet potatoes, and lean proteins like chicken and beans. 

It’s also important to avoid sugary snacks and drinks, which can lead to energy crashes and mood swings.

What foods help kids behavior?

Certain foods may help improve kids’ behavior by providing key nutrients that support brain function. 

For example, foods that are high in omega-3 fatty acids, like salmon and walnuts, may help improve focus and reduce hyperactivity. 

Additionally, foods that are high in vitamin B6, like chicken and bananas, may help improve mood and reduce irritability. 

Finally, foods that are high in iron, like spinach and lentils, may help reduce fatigue and improve concentration.

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