If your family has been used to eating less than healthy convenience foods, take out, or frozen convenience meals it’s probably not going to be an easy transition to healthy, whole foods. If you want to introduce healthy lifestyle changes to your kids you may be better off incorporating the new habits with some grace and ease.
So you need recipes that will actually have a chance of passing your picky eaters taste test, and will be easy enough that you’ll be able to pull it off consistently. As we know consistency builds habits, and while eating more vegetables once in a while is better than nothing, it’s regular healthy meals that will grow healthy lifestyle habits for you and your kids.
Below you’ll find a few super quick tutorials showing a bunch of quick and healthy kids lunch, dinner, and snack ideas that can be great for those exceptionally picky eaters that will do better eating foods that they have some familiarity with, like pizza, burritos, and nachos.
These are also what you would normally consider kid-friendly meals that can easily be made more healthy with a few adjustments- and who wants to take the time to cook what you consider a delicious healthy meal only to have your children crying at the dinner table about how unfair you are to torment them with the unrealistic expectation of them actually eating what’s on their plate.
So if your family resists your attempts to feed them more vegetables and grains, you’re probably better off easing them into the transition. Doing it this way also gives you a better chance of having your new healthy eating habits stick in the long run. Wouldn’t it be nice if for a change for your children to actually request one of these yummy recipes?
Quick & Easy – Watch & Cook Recipes
While strictly speaking, these recipes include a few items that purists will shun, it’s very easy to adjust them to your dietary requirements and use what you feel comfortable eating and serving your family. There are also vegetarian options, or can easily be adapted to be so.
Rotisserie chicken has so many uses and these recipes do include some yummy ways to use even the leftovers (which often have a stronger taste that kids, young and old alike, don’t always appreciate or accept).
The One Pot Fiesta recipe calls for a bag of frozen rice, which is great for getting a quick meal on the table or if you have trouble cooking rice. Personally, I think rice is one of the most versatile items in a pantry, so it may be one of those things that’s worth learning how to cook well. It only takes 20 minutes to cook a pot of rice for one meal or a whole week of meals, so it’s something that I like to make weekly to keep in the refrigerator. If you decide to make a big batch of rice ahead of time you’ll be ahead of the game for many of these recipes.
Quinoa Caprese Salad
The caprese quinoa salad calls for frozen pre-cooked quinoa. I didn’t know this existed, which shows how much time I spend in the frozen food aisle! That said, quinoa is one of those grains that can be finicky and that I personally have a very hard time cooking. I’ve tried so many different methods and recipes without any consistent success, so I’m planning to pick up a few bags of the frozen quinoa to have on hand for a quick recipe, which is exactly in keeping with the spirit of doing the best we can with what we have.
Keep Out Possible “Picky” Items
I do suggest keeping some of the more flavorful ingredients on the side if possible to be added in as desired, instead of mixing them into the recipe. For example, cilantro is one of those polarizing ingredients that you either love or hate. The same may go for items like the peach mango salsa, in which you may make a more family-friendly meal by choosing a mild salsa that your kids are already familiar with.
Something that I really appreciate about these recipes is that they are very budget friendly, which unfortunately can be an obstacle to making healthy lifestyle changes and cooking healthier meals. It’s a shame that junk is often more affordable! It would be easy to get generic options for the pre-made ingredients in these recipes, or you can opt for the organic or more whole food type replacements for the convenience items.
If you’re waiting for the perfect whole foods, clean eating meal to be leisurely served on your tastefully decorated dining room table, with your sweet children gathered around eager to eat something they can’t identify…you may be waiting a long time. Progress today is always better than chasing perfection – make your family a yummy, healthy dinner tonight and pat yourself on the back as you bask in the compliments.
Super Easy Stir Fry
Here’s a super easy stir fry that should be a cinch to get on the table (and would go great with a big bowl of that premade batch of rice:)
The recipe calls for adding uncooked broccoli, but I prefer adding plain roasted broccoli which adds a sweetness that’s won over many picky eaters.
Crowd Pleasing One Pot Pasta Dish
You’ll also find a one-pot pasta dish that is basically my go-to recipe to when I’m feeding a crowd. You can very easily change it up and surprise everyone with a genuinely satisfying meal that you pulled together with whatever you had extras of in the refrigerator. It’s also a go-to good for you meal for kids and adults for that matter, that don’t eat meat whether they are vegetarians or just going through a phase where they can’t tolerate it.
Whatever your time or dietary limitations may be I hope you’ll find a few new quick and healthy “watch and cook” recipes to inspire you to add to your family’s meal plan.