When it comes to prepping meals for kids, finding something that they actually enjoy can sometimes feel like an impossible task, especially if they’re a picky eater. Of course, you want to find an easy meal that your child will enjoy, but you also want to make it somewhat nutritious. And it’s a bonus if it’s quick and easy to make!
This delicate balance is the focus of this article. We’ve picked 5 of our favourite quick and fun meals for kids. Each easy recipe is sure to be a great family meal.
Making the Ultimate Dinner Choice?
Most parents could probably keep their kids happy just by having pizza every night, but we’re guessing that’s not why you came to this article. The key is to pick a meal that is quick and easy, but alsohas the nutritional components of a meal that you can feel good about.
In this article, we have considered meals that are fast and simple, but also are full of fresh and healthy ingredients, andtaste great. And of course, it’s great to have some variety so that things don’t get stale. We’ve included options from a variety of different cuisines, and we think your kid will be excited about all of these fun and easy meals!
So read on if you want our suggestions for some fun, easy meals for any day of the week. And once you start to experiment with different dishes, you will find that your kids’ palettes will start to expand as well.
Turkey Sloppy Joes
First up is turkey sloppy joes. This is a meal that packs all the taste of a traditional sloppy joe that kids love, but adds the benefits of using a leaner, lower-calorie meat option. You can whip this one up in minutes, here’s how you do it:
- Mix a pound of lean turkey and1 chopped red onion. Put in a skillet and cook over medium for roughly 7 minutes until turkey is cooked through.
- Stir in one can of smooth tomato sauce, ¾ of a cup of barbecue sauce, 1 tsp oregano, 1 tsp garlic powder, ½ tsp salt, a sprinkle of chili flakes (if you want it spicy), and 1 tsp black pepper.
- Bring mixture to a boil, and then reduce heat to bring to a simmer. Let simmer while stirring for roughly 8-10 minutes.
- Serve on hamburger buns or Kaiser rolls.
Quesadillas are a fun and easy recipe that kids love. The best thing with quesadillas is that anything goes. You can pack them full of as many veggies as you want! Kids have fun choosing how to dress up their own quesadillas:
- Stir Fry the Veggies: Heat oil in a large pan over medium. Stir in your favourite chopped veggies. Cook for roughly 10 minutes or until vegetables are soft.
- Prep Tortillas: Place tortillas on baking sheet. On half the tortilla, combine ½ cup Mexican shredded cheese blend with 1/3 cup salsa, and the vegetables of your choice. Fold tortilla over.
- Bake in oven at 325F until cheese has melted (roughly 10 minutes).
Chicken fingers are a classic choice for any kid! While it’s easy to buy the frozen fingers, they are actually quite simple to make at home. Not only are they easy to make, they are healthier and in our opinion, taste even better!
- Beat together 1 egg and 1 tbsp water in a bowl. In a separate bowl, combine 1 cup bread crumbs with 1 tsp garlic powder and salt to taste.
- Slice chicken breast into strips. Coat chicken strips in flour, dip into egg-water mix, and then dip into bread crumbs mix.
- Place chicken strips onto greased baking sheet. Cook at 425F for 10 minutes per side until chicken is no longer pink on the inside.
Meatballs are a tried and true dinner for kids and adults alike! Meatballs are delicious on their own, or you can use them to spice up your pasta dishes, serve them over rice, and much more. The first step is making the perfect meatballs, and it’s so easy:
- Mix together in a large bowl: 2 pounds ground beef, 1/3 cup breadcrumbs or crumbled crackers, ½ onion diced, 1 egg, 1 tsp garlic powder, 1 tsp dried oregano, 1/3 cup diced parsley, salt and pepper to taste.
- Shape mixture into meatballs which are all approximately the same size for even cooking(Roughly 1 ¼ inches each). Place meatballs on baking sheet and cook for 20 minutes at 400F.
Kebabs are another meal that is highly delicious and highly flexible. You can basically put whatever kind of meat and veggies you want on a kebab (depending on what your child likes to eat!). They are fast to make, and you can throw them right on the barbecue. We love a steak and veggie kebab:
- Mix together in a large bowl the marinade: 1/3 cup olive oil, ¼ cup soy sauce, ¼ cup Worcestershire sauce, 1 tbsp Dijon mustard, 1 tbsp garlic mince, 1 tbsp honey, 1 tsp pepper, 1 tsp salt, 1 tsp parsley.
- Cut 1 ½ pounds sirloin steak into 1 1/4 -inch cubes.
- Pour marinade into a bag and combine with steak cubes. Let rest in refrigerator for four hours.
- Chop veggies roughly the same diameter as steak cubes. Recommended veggies include bell peppers, white mushrooms, broccoli, or red onion. Drizzle veggies with olive oil and salt.
- Layer steak and veggies onto a kebab in your desired order.
- Cook on BBQ at medium-high for roughly 10 minutes, flipping every 3 minutes or so. Cook until steak is medium-rare or medium, and veggies are lightly blackened.
- Let rest for a few minutes and serve.
Thanks very much for checking out our guide on quick and easy recipes for your kids. We included recipes that are fast, but also high in nutritional content. It is always great when you can find a recipe that tastes great and is also nutritious.
Try out these fun meal ideas that you and your childrenwill love. The key to making a habit of healthy eating is to mix things up. So have fun with it, try these recipes out and keep things fresh in the kitchen!
About the Author
Alissa is a resilience coach, cartoonist, and advocate for ‘connection, not perfection’. She’s dedicated to helping others find a sense of safety and belonging inside themselves so they can heal, connect, and build authentic, joyful lives.