When your household has a picky eater—or two or three!—providing a balanced, nutritious and flavorful dinner can feel like mission impossible. If you’re tired of offering the same-old, same-old with little success, try out our 10 dinner ideas for picky eaters. At least a few of these nutritious, creative, kid-friendly meals are sure to turn “Ew, yuck” into “More please!”
1. Baked Potato Bar
With a serve-yourself baked potato bar, your little ones can assemble their own dinner creations! Skip the butter, bacon and sour cream, and instead set out healthy toppings like low-fat cheese, ground turkey, black beans and steamed broccoli. This option puts plenty of nutritious offerings on the table while inspiring a bit of creativity and independence.
2. Pizza Bagels
Everyone loves pizza, and these whole-wheat pizza bagels are a healthful, low-prep alternative to frozen pizza pockets. For maximum fiber and nutrients, be sure to use bagels or English muffins that are labeled “100% whole grain” or “100% whole wheat”—not just “multigrain.”
3. Mac & Cheese with Cauliflower
A nutritious twist on one of the most kid-friendly meals, Nurture Life’s mac and cheese features pureed cauliflower for an extra measure of fiber and vitamins. Your little ones will love the familiar flavor and texture of cheesy macaroni without even realizing that the veggies are there!
4. Chicken Fajitas
Build your own chicken fajitas with succulent roast chicken, lightly charred onions and sweet bell peppers. This recipe uses a sheet pan, so all you have to do is place the ingredients on a pan and let them roast to perfection! For extra-crunchy goodness, swap the tortillas for homemade black bean chips.
5. White Bean Burgers
White bean burgers incorporate plenty of protein, fiber and nutrients without a ton of meal prep. Using canned beans and flavorful spices, these simple meatless burgers can be dressed up with low-fat cheese, fresh tomatoes and your kids’ favorite sauces.
6. Peas & Cheese Tortellini
Combining bright English peas with a mixed veggie Bolognese, Nurture Life’s peas and cheese tortellini is packed with hearty yet familiar flavors. The bite-sized tortellini are also great to serve with cute character food picks or other fun tools for picky eaters!
7. Veggie Wraps
Another low-prep, assemble-yourself option, veggie wraps let your kids select their favorite toppings. Saute tofu with sliced carrots or other kid-friendly vegetables, and then set out crispy lettuce cups and crushed peanuts for a fun, DIY meal.
8. Chicken Bites, Mashed Yams & Green Beans
Chicken nuggets are practically synonymous with kid-friendly meals, and Nurture Life’s chicken bites balance nutrition and taste. Instead of deep-fried, our chicken bites are oven-roasted until crispy and served with delectable mashed yams and French green beans.
9. Breakfast for Dinner
Incorporating fun is always one of the best ways to win over picky eaters—so why not surprise your kids by serving breakfast for dinner? Invite them to help prepare their own egg-in-a-hole using whole-wheat toast.
Frequently recommended by Nurture Life’s pediatric registered dietitian, Lara Field, eggs are rich in B vitamins and one of our favorite superfoods for kids.
10. Beef Kofta
A type of Mediterranean meatball, beef kofta are lightly spiced and served with a side of calcium-rich Greek yogurt. For extra fiber and lean protein, consider reducing the meat and substituting plant-based proteins such as lentils or mushrooms.
It takes time to successfully navigate picky eating, but with some effort and consistency, your child’s finicky habits can be overcome. Start by trying out some of our picky eater dinner ideas above, and your kids’ evolving tastes may just surprise you.
Even if your little one is still hesitating to take a bite, Nurture Life has freshly made, kid-friendly meals to meet your child’s taste preferences. With balanced meals that can be prepped in 3 minutes or less, you and your picky eater can always feel good about dinnertime.