Kid-Friendly Meals

Feeding a family can be a challenge sometimes. Getting kids to try something new, pleasing the adults, making something fast because everyone is hungry now…it can all lead to meltdowns and headaches.

I call these five categories of kid-friendly meals my “sanity-savers.” They are my go-to options for weeknight meals because they are (relatively*) fast to prepare and everyone enjoys them. Below I explain the five categories’ strengths and also provide some recipes to get you started. I’ll be updating the recipe lists periodically, so be sure to check back for new ideas. I hope you find this a helpful tool for your family!

Kid-Friendly Meal Categories:

1. Pasta

2. Tacos & Burritos

  • TACOS & BURRITOSKid-Friendly Factor: This is great for picky eaters. I usually let my kids eat tacos “deconstructed” so that they don’t have to eat all the parts all together. They get to pick and choose the toppings that they like, so they don’t feel like they’re being forced to try something.
  • Adult Appeal: You can cater to everyone’s tastes without feeling like a short-order cook. Those who like it spicy can add as much hot sauce as they want without frying the taste buds of everyone else. Family members can add or leave out any loved or hated ingredient.
  • Recipes: Chorizo-Potato TacosPork Tacos with Avocado-Mango Salsa, Shrimp Tacos, Mexican Skirt Steak Sliders (not technically a taco/burrito, but you could serve it that way), Pork & Pineapple Burritos

3. Breakfast

4. Stir-fry & Curry

  • STIR-FRY & CURRYKid-Friendly Factor: Sauce! Have you ever noticed how a kid will leave a pile of “naked” broccoli untouched on their plate, but if it has a yummy sauce on it, it disappears? Once you figure out what types of stir-fry or curry sauces your kids like, you can make all kinds of dishes (change up the proteins and veggies) but keep it familiar with that favorite sauce.
  • Adult Appeal: Unless you live in a big city where picking up takeout is even easier than cooking, dragging the kids to a restaurant on a weeknight is not necessarily the most appealing idea. If you have a craving for some Indian or Thai food, why not learn to make it yourself? It’s cheaper and (in most cases) faster than ordering takeout.
  • Recipes: Chicken & Broccoli Stir-fryMattar Paneer, Pad ThaiThai Seafood Kebabs, Thai Chicken with Green Beans

5. Classics

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*Note: Some of the recipes that I have listed here might not quick enough for a weeknight meal, but they do fit the “kid-friendly” category. If you want a breakdown of recipes by cooking time, check out my Quick/Easy vs. Labors of Love page.

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