5 Easy & Healthy Dinner Ideas for Picky Eaters
- Mediterranean Chicken Wrap: For a healthy dinner that picky eaters will love, try making a Mediterranean chicken wrap. Simply wrap up some cooked chicken, roasted vegetables (such as bell peppers and onion), feta cheese, and hummus in a whole wheat wrap. Serve with a side of fresh fruit or a small green salad.
- Baked Fish Sticks with Veggies: Fish sticks are a classic kid-friendly meal that never goes out of style. This time, try baking them in the oven for a healthier spin. Serve with a side of steamed vegetables and a small portion of brown rice or quinoa.
- Taco Salad Bowls: Taco salad bowls are a great way to get picky eaters to enjoy vegetables. Simply layer lettuce, cooked ground beef or turkey, black beans, diced tomatoes, shredded cheese, and avocado in a bowl. Serve with a side of tortilla chips and salsa.
- Mini-Pizzas: Kids love pizza, but you don’t have to serve a big greasy pie to satisfy their cravings. Make mini-pizzas on whole wheat English muffins or pita bread. Top with tomato sauce, cheese, and your favorite veggies.
- Turkey Burgers: For a healthy twist on the classic hamburger, try making turkey burgers. Serve on whole wheat buns with lettuce, tomato, and onion. Serve with a side of sweet potato fries or carrot sticks.
How to Work Around Picky Eating Habits to Create Healthy Dinners
Picky eating can make dinnertime a challenge, but there are ways to work around it to create healthy meals that everyone will enjoy. Here are some tips for creating healthy dinners that even the pickiest eaters can appreciate:
- Experiment with different flavors. Picky eaters may be turned off by the same old flavors, so try experimenting with different flavor combinations. Try adding spices to vegetables, mixing different types of sauces, or adding new ingredients to old favorites.
- Get creative. You don’t have to stick to the same recipes over and over again. Try making dishes like pizzas, quesadillas, and tacos with a variety of healthy toppings. These types of meals are easily customizable to picky eaters’ tastes.
- Make it fun. Make dinner a fun event by involving the kids in the meal preparation. Let them pick out the ingredients and have them help you prepare the meal. This can make the dinner experience more enjoyable and help picky eaters feel more comfortable trying new foods.
- Keep it simple. Don’t feel like you have to make an elaborate meal every night; simple dishes like salads, sandwiches, and soups can be just as nutritious and delicious.
- Offer choices. If a picky eater doesn’t want to try a certain dish, offer them a few choices of something else. This way they can still get a healthy, balanced meal without feeling forced to try something they don’t want.Following these tips can help make dinnertime a more pleasant experience for everyone, even the pickiest eaters. With a little creativity and patience, you can create healthy dinners that everyone will love.
10 Deliciously Healthy Dinners That Picky Eaters Will Love
- Tuna Melts: Kids love the sweet and salty combination of tuna salad and melted cheese in this classic comfort food. Top with tomatoes and lettuce for a healthy kick.
- One-Pot Mac and Cheese: Who doesn’t love mac and cheese? This one-pot version is creamy, cheesy and guilt-free. Plus, you can easily customize it to fit your picky eater’s preferences.
- Waffle Sliders: Satisfy picky eaters with these yummy waffle sliders. Filled with cheese, turkey, and veggies, they’re a delicious and nutritious meal for any night.
- Fish Tacos: Spice up dinner with these flavorful fish tacos. Top with a dollop of Greek yogurt, a sprinkle of cheese, and some fresh cilantro for a healthy and tasty meal.
- Grilled Cheese and Tomato Soup: For a yummy twist on the classic grilled cheese, try this version with tomato soup. It’s a delicious and nutritious dinner your picky eater is sure to love.
- Stuffed Peppers: Give your picky eater a nutrient-packed meal with these stuffed peppers. Filled with ground turkey, quinoa, and veggies, they’re both healthy and delicious.
- Veggie Burritos: These burritos are packed with nutritious veggies and beans and topped with melted cheese. Delicious and healthy, they make the perfect meal for any picky eater.
- Baked Chicken Fingers: Who can resist chicken fingers? These oven-baked ones are healthier than the fried version, but still just as tasty. Serve with a side of veggies for a balanced meal.
- Pizza Bake: Satisfy your little one’s pizza cravings with this healthy pizza bake. Filled with veggies and topped with cheese, this is a meal that will please even the pickiest of eaters.
- Veggie Burger Sliders: These veggie burger sliders are a great way to sneak some veggies into your picky eater’s meal. Top with lettuce, tomatoes, and a slice of cheese for a delicious and nutritious dinner.
Creative Ways to Sneak Nutrition into Picky Eater Meals
- Add pureed vegetables to sauces. Try pureeing carrots, spinach, or zucchini and adding it to favorite sauces like marinara or pesto. Kids won’t notice the veggies, but they’ll still get the benefits of added nutrition.
- Substitute Greek yogurt for sour cream. Greek yogurt is a great source of protein and other nutrients, and it can easily be substituted for sour cream in tacos, dips, and other recipes. Kids won’t even notice the difference!
- Make veggie-based pizza. Instead of the classic pepperoni and cheese pizza, make a veggie-based pizza with tomatoes, mushrooms, peppers, and onions. You can even sneak some spinach in there too!
- Add fruit to smoothies. Smoothies are a great way to sneak extra nutrition into picky eater’s meals. Add a handful of blueberries, raspberries, or strawberries to a favorite smoothie recipe for an extra nutritional boost.
- Use cauliflower in place of mashed potatoes. Cauliflower is a great, nutrient-dense substitute for mashed potatoes. You can also add cheese, herbs, and spices to the mashed cauliflower to make it more flavorful.
- Make mini-pizzas with whole wheat English muffins. Whole wheat English muffins are a great way to get some whole grains into picky eaters’ diets. Top with tomato sauce, cheese, and vegetables for a delicious mini-pizza.
- Add grated carrots to mac and cheese. Grated carrots can easily be added to mac and cheese without anyone noticing. The carrots will add nutrition, color, and flavor to the dish.
- Hide veggies in pasta dishes. Pureed vegetables can also be added to pasta dishes like macaroni and cheese or lasagna. No one will notice the added vegetables, but they’ll still get the nutrition!
- Add oats to breakfast. Oatmeal is a great way to get some extra nutrition into picky eater meals. Try adding oats to pancakes, waffles, or muffins for a healthy twist.
- Bake with beans. Beans are packed with protein and other nutrients, and they can easily be added to baked goods like muffins and cookies. No one will even know they’re there!
Tips for Keeping Kids Healthy While Still Accommodating Picky Eating Habits
- Offer a variety of foods: To ensure your child is getting a balanced, nutritious diet, offer a variety of foods at each meal. Even if your child is a picky eater, exposing them to different flavors and textures will help them develop an appreciation for different foods.
- Be creative with presentation: Presenting food in fun, creative ways can help make it more appealing to kids. Try cutting food into different shapes, putting it on a stick, or adding color to the plate.
- Let them help: Involving kids in the cooking process can help them become more interested in trying new foods. Have them help with meal planning, grocery shopping, and food preparation.
- Offer a variety of textures: Kids often have preferences for certain textures. To accommodate this, offer a variety of textures like crunchy, soft, creamy, and chewy.
- Make it fun: Turn mealtime into an enjoyable experience for kids by creating fun themes or games around food. For example, you could have a “taste-testing” game where kids try different foods or a “guess the food” game where they have to guess what type of food you’re serving.
- Set a good example: Kids tend to be more adventurous eaters when they see their parents eating healthy foods. Show your kids that healthy foods can be delicious and exciting.
- Don’t give up: It can take time and patience to get kids to try new foods. Don’t give up if your child doesn’t like a food the first time they try it. Keep offering it and eventually they may come around.