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Kids, Nutrition, Picky Eaters, Toddlers

10 Kid-Friendly Dinner Ideas for Fall

With so many holidays and big sports games, fall is the season for food lovers—full of aromatic spice mixes, homey flavors and the return of abundant apples, squash and cranberries. You don’t have to wait for your family’s Thanksgiving Day feast to share your favorite fall flavors, either! These 10 fall meal ideas are not only kid-friendly but also packed with memorable flavors, wholesome nutrients and enough variety to last all season long.

meals for kids

1. Beef Butternut Squash Chili

butternut squash chili

When it comes to easy butternut squash, it doesn’t get easier than Nurture Life’s Beef Butternut Squash Chili! Ready to serve in 3 minutes or less, our chili incorporates a hearty serving of lean ground beef, mixed beans and farro, a nutritious whole grain that’s packed with protein and fiber. Cinnamon, cumin and other spices come together for a cozy finishing touch that’s perfectly fall.

2. Baked Salmon Meatballs

It’s no secret that salmon is one of the most recommended superfoods for kids, as it’s a fantastic source of omega-3 fatty acids and lean protein. These baked salmon meatballs are flavored with cilantro, but you can easily substitute your kids’ favorite herbs or spices for a more familiar flavor profile.

3. Slow Cooker Chicken Corn Chowder

Busy parents need easy fall meals that take little time to prep, which is why we love this slow-cooked chicken corn chowder. Combine boneless chicken breasts with colorful potatoes, green chiles and cream-style corn, and then let the slow cooker work its magic! If you’re trying to please a picky eater, sweet corn is a definite kid-friendly veggie.

4. Turkey Meatloaf with Mashed Potatoes

kids meal turkey meatloaf

This tasty meal serves up familiar Thanksgiving flavors with a wholesome, homestyle twist. We’ve mixed ground turkey with ricotta cheese and fresh veggies for a lighter but oh-so-flavorful version of your kid’s favorite meatloaf. With garlic cauliflower mashed potatoes and roasted ratatouille veggies on the side, Nurture Life’s Turkey Meatloaf with Mashed Potatoes is thoughtfully balanced and full of veggie goodness.

5. Harvest Chicken Casserole

Casseroles are always a hit at mealtime, and their relatively low-prep nature makes them some of the most appreciated kid-friendly meals for fall weeknights. This harvest chicken casserole combines lean chicken breast with dried cranberries, brussel sprouts, sliced almonds and wild rice for a scrumptious medley of textures, colors and flavors.

6. Spaghetti Squash Pizza Nests

Spaghetti squash is often used as a low-carb pasta substitute, but did you know it can also be baked for a healthier take on crust? Just pack baked spaghetti squash into muffin tins, and then fill your spaghetti squash pizza nests with low-fat cheese, veggies or lean protein. With this recipe in your toolbox of easy fall meals, your little ones won’t miss the frozen pizza pockets!

7. Pulled Pork with Butternut Squash & Kale

pulled pork butternut squash fall kids meal

If you’re like us, you just can’t get enough butternut! Combining butternut squash with kale, red peppers and pulled pork, this dish is a feast for the eyes as well as the stomach. Although pork is often passed up in favor of other lean meats, it can actually be leaner than chicken, turkey or ground beef. Packed with leafy greens and pops of vibrant orange, Nurture Life’s Pulled Pork is just as colorful as it is wholesome! 

8. Apple Cider Chicken with Caramelized Apples

It may be too cold for your kids’ favorite popsicles, but you can still offer a nutritious, lightly sweetened meal that’s quintessentially fall! Ready in 30 minutes or less, this recipe makes apple cider chicken from a slightly sweet and tangy mix of Dijon mustard, apple cider and onions. For the caramelized apples, we recommend cutting the brown sugar down to a single tablespoon or substituting with honey. Serve with a side of roasted veggies for extra fiber, vitamins and minerals.

9. Butternut Squash Ravioli

kids meal butternut squash ravioli

Easy butternut squash that’s creamy, delicious and totally wholesome? We call that a mealtime winner! Nurture Life’s Butternut Squash Ravioli puts this classic fall veggie front and center: it’s packed into the ravioli, blended into the sauce and even sprinkled on top. Thanks to the smooth blending, our butternut squash sauce feels deliciously creamy and rich without compromising on nutrition. 

10. Mediterranean Turkey-Stuffed Peppers

Made with a blend of lean ground turkey and aromatic vegetables, these stuffed peppers offer essential vitamins and minerals along with a light spice. Accompany the peppers with ancient grains or riced cauliflower and a side of steamed greens to boost the fiber and nutrients.

Whether you’re catering to a picky eater or a more adventurous palate, these kid-friendly meals for fall are sure to please. Just cozy up to your warm dinner and enjoy the savory, spiced, rich flavors of fall together!

meals for kids

RJ Bio

Rachael Janas

Rachael joined the Nurture Life team as the Marketing Production & QA Manager. From menu design to nutrient analysis, she covers all things food. Rachael is a Registered and Licensed Dietitian with a strong foundation in clinical nutrition and a keen interest in nutritious food with phenomenal flavor. Her passion for incorporating whole foods and creative cuisine while focusing on age-specific nutrient needs of children is essential to Nurture Life’s menu design. Rachael has been practicing dietetics since 2011, with the bulk of her experience in clinical nutrition at Loyola Medical Center, specializing in patients with cystic fibrosis as well as critical care nutrition related to lung disease and lung transplant. She also has experience in cardiac health and nutrition during pregnancy. Rachael received her B.S. from Saint Louis University in Missouri and completed a dietetic internship with Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston. Rachael’s interests include creative cooking at home, using a variety of ingredients, spices and herbs for a unique meal each night. She truly believes nutrition and food should be enjoyable and that all food can be enjoyed in moderation.