Let’s face it, constantly coming up with easy family meal ideas can be down right exhausting, like why do our families have to eat so friggin much!?! But don’t you worry, I got your back mama. Use this list with my easy family meal planning system to uncomplicate your family meal planning. With your printable all you’ll have to do is check the list of these 93 family meal ideas in addition to your family favourites you’ll add into it, and write out meal ideas for 2 weeks. Then when it comes time to cook you have a list of meals you have ingredients for and you or your family just has to choose from a few options. Doesn’t the freedom from decision fatigue sound kind of amazing!?! It’s honestly been life changing around our house. So what are you waiting for, grab your free printable and start making family meals easier on yourself!

Now, if meal planning itself is a challenge for you, you need to head over to Tips for Easy Family Meal Planning on a Budget. There I will walk you through the basic steps to getting started and creating a system that saves you time and money!

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Make family meal planning on a budget easier with these 95 family meal ideas for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks

A Note About Our Frustrating Little Picky Eaters

Now, every one of these easy family meal ideas may not be suited to your particular picky eater, but all of them are able to be deconstructed. At the time of writing this we have two toddlers (1 and 2.5), one of whom is quite picky. Do they eat everything, absolutely not, but what saves my sanity is doing the rule of 1 – 2 safe foods paired with introductory foods. As long as they’re getting their complete multi-vitamin (Canada and US Amazon links) and I’m offering a variety of foods with their safe foods I know they’ll stay fed, get the nutrition they need, and have good food exposures so they can learn how to eat a variety of foods.

The picky stage is hard, but you absolutely do not need to drive yourself crazy making 3 different meals to accommodate picky eaters and diet restrictions in your home. At most you may want to create two protein options if you have a variety of vegetarian and meat eaters in your home like we do (I’m mostly veggie, and my husband is full on meat eater), but please stop driving yourself crazy with all of the different options. If one person can’t have gluten, it’s way easier on all of you to make most of the things with gluten free options like quinoa pasta and corn tortillas.

Having fun tools can make all the difference to get your picky eaters more involved in eating family meals. In my Amazon storefronts (Canada and US) I have links for tons of kids food tools like food cutters, fun plates, silverware, snack bags and more. It’s incredible how a construction fork or frog picks can make all the difference.

93 Easy Family Meal Ideas

Kid Friendly Breakfasts

  1. Scrambled eggs, toast and fruit
    Just as it sounds and you can do the eggs any way and switch out the fruit as you please
  2. Overnight french toast casserole and eggs
    Your usual french toast fixings tossed in a casserole dish overnight and baked. Full recipe on Instagram @JannineMacKinnon
  3. Yogurt parfait
    Yogurt, granola, and fruit of choice
  4. Basic breakfast
    An oldie but a goodie, 2 eggs any style, 2 pieces of toast, and 2 pieces of protein
  5. Avocado toast and eggs
    Smash avocado on toast and top with eggs any style, I prefer scrambled. Sprinkle on everything but the bagel seasoning and you can even add some mustard if you’d like
  6. Hard boiled egg on toast
    As simple as it sounds, great with hummus too
  7. Pancakes and eggs
    You can make it fancy with some blueberries too. I also swap half the flour to reduce the carbs and add some protein
  8. Oatmeal and fruit
    Another classic, top with anything you like
  9. Egg cups
    Scrambled eggs, veggies, and protein baken in a muffin tin. Pinterest has lots of inspiration for ingredients. These are perfect for grab and go breakfasts
  10. Breakfast quesadillas
    Use your favourite quesadilla toppings with some scrambled eggs for a fun breakfast quesadilla
  11. Breakfast sandwiches
    Make the eggs anyway and use toast, english muffins, or a bun to switch up this simple breakfast
  12. Breakfast wraps
    A little quicker than the quesadillas, just toss eggs, and anything else in a wrap with some salsa or mayo and mustard
  13. Chipotle breakfast hash
    This is slightly more time consuming, but still super easy by using a sheet pan. Great for weekend special family breakfasts. Full recipe
  14. Muffin, yogurt and berries
    Quick and simple, especially if you make some muffins ahead of time for the week. There’s lots of healthy muffin recipes on the blog


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Easy Family Lunches

Quick and Easy Meal Ideas for Families

  1. Easy mac and cheese, tomatoes, and tofu
    Macaroni with cottage cheese and any choice cooked veggies, diced tomatoes and the same tofu recipe from the TLT pasta salad mentioned below
  2. Sushi bowls
    I know this might sound crazy for picky eaters but it’s so easy to deconstruct so they get the food exposure. Just rice, spiralized cucumber, imitation crab, avocado, soy sauce and sesame seeds
  3. Muffin, berries, and yogurt
    This easy combo is great for breakfast, lunch and anytime really
  4. Pizza and smoothies
    Our kids love mini pizzas, it’s quick and simple and I feel less guilty when I pair it with a smoothie
  5. Tuna melts
    Use tuna, salmon, or this chickpea recipe, top with cheese and bake or microwave. I normally pair with some sort of fruit or veg
  6. pb&j and yogurt
    My little healthy trick for this basic lunch is to add chia or any other kind of seeds to the sandwich. The kids don’t notice, or they have fun sprinkling it in themselves
  7. Nachos
    Keep it plain or loaded, pair with salsa, sour cream, and/or guacamole
  8. Chicken strips, cheese, and veggies
    Another super simple lunch combo. We love using the vegetarian Gardein crispy tenders
  9. Rice cakes with peanut butter and bananas
    Just as it sounds, top rice cakes with peanut butter and sliced bananas
  10. Rice cakes with yogurt and berries
    Rice cakes topped with yogurt and berries. We love the thin rice cakes and they seem easier for the kids to eat
  11. Chicken salad pinwheels, cheese and grapes
    I’ve been dying to make this chicken salad Pinterest recipe but keep forgetting to get around to it
  12. Greek pasta salad and chicken strips
    I’m obsessed with this greek pasta salad recipe and my daughter loves it too. Full details are in the salad section and pair with chicken strips or crispy tenders
  13. Triscuit pizza and fruit
    Make little pizzas with pasta sauce, cheese and any other ingredients on Triscuits and pair with fruit or a smoothie
  14. Chickpea sandwiches and cheese
    I have gotten everyone hooked on these sandwiches. Chickpeas, celery, red onion, mayo, mustard and dill. Try it on sourdough toast it’s kind of amazing!
  15. Veggie pinwheels
    Again, there’s tons of inspiration on Pinterest, just mix together your favourite veggies with cream cheese or other dressings
  16. Banana sushi and yogurt
    Spread peanut butter on a wrap and roll up a banana, cut like sushi and add chocolate chips if you feel like it. Pairs great with yogurt or berries
  17. Muffin tray lunch
    Feeling uninspired or just want to use up some stuff? Toss a bunch of random things from various food groups in a muffin tray and let them have at er

Tasty Salads Made Easy

Chicken Salad

  1. Kale caesar salad
    Half kale, half romaine, croutons, parm, caesar dressing, and bacon
  2. Greek pasta salad
    Your normal greek salad ingredients with cheese tortellini
  3. Strawberry balsamic vinaigrette salad
    Spring mix, strawberries, red onion, pecans, goat cheese, balsamic vinaigrette
  4. Big mac salad
    Ground beef, romaine, tomatoes, cheddar cheese, pickles, big mac sauce
  5. TLT pasta salad
    Rotini, romaine, tomatoes, cheddar cheese, tofu, and a mayo mustard dressing
  6. Apple chicken salad
    Apples, chicken, cranberries, pecans, goat cheese, honey balsamic vinaigrette
  7. Butternut squash chicken salad
    Roasted butternut squash, apple, kale, pecans, craisins, goat cheese, chicken, maple dijon vinaigrette
  8. Feel the beet salad
    Beets, goat cheese, cranberries, pumpkin seeds, walnuts, spring mix, honey balsamic vinaigrette
  9. Taco salad
    Taco spiced ground turkey, cheddar cheese, romaine, avocado, tomatoes, corn, crumbled tortilla chips, salsa and sour cream
  10. Sesame avocado chicken salad
    Chicken, avocado, carrots, cilantro, green onions, sliced almonds, coleslaw with sesame vinaigrette
  11. Brocolli salad
    Broccoli, craisins, sunflower seeds, red onions, and a simple creamy mayo and apple cider vinegar dressing
  12. Southwestern salad
    Corn, black beans, peppers, avocado, tomatoes, romaine, cheddar cheese, cilantro, cajun ranch dressing
  13. Citrus punch salad
    Cranberries, blueberries, mandarins, cucumber and sunflower seeds on a bed of spinach with raspberry vinaigrette salad


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Main Dishes

Easy Weeknight Dinners

Easy weeknight meal, cajun shrimp wraps are a 30 minute dinner by being ready in as much time as it takes your rice to cook.

  1. Honey mustard breaded chicken, veggies and rice
    Mix equal parts honey and mustard and coat the chicken. Mix roughly 1 part italian seasoning to 3 parts panko. Top the chicken and bake at 425 for 20 – 25 minutes. Pair with rice and your veg of choice.
  2. Prawn pesto pasta
    Prawn pesto pasta has been a meal I’ve been making for over 10 years because it’s so good and ready in 30 minutes or less.
  3. Chinese style beef bowl
    Fry up beef, ground turkey, or meatless ground, then simmer with a bunch of sesame oil and soy sauce, and a little sweet chili sauce and garlic. Put on top of rice with your choice of veg. It goes great with brocoli and bok choy fried in garlic, but often times I use up whatever veg is in the fridge.
  4. Sheet pan buddah bowls
    Bake your veg of choice and your protein of choice and put on top of rice with your choice of dressing. For veg I love doing butternut squash, chickpeas, onions, and peppers, but will frequently rotate. For sauces you can do a spicy peanut sauce, teryaki, avocado, or any other option you find on Pinterest
  5. Cheeseburger pasta
    Cheeseburger pasta is such a great comfort food, and is great to prep and cook up on the stove while camping. Make sure you include the pickles! Without them it’s just not the same
  6. Steak, fries, corn
    I’m not a big red meat eater, but roughly once a year I go for it and this year it was this combo and it was so good! Instead of basic corn try Mexican street corn and top your fries with some chipotle aeoli
  7. Tacos
    Need I say more?
  8. Greek burgers
    This is another family favourite. Use your burger of choice, veggie, chicken breast, chicken, turkey, lamb, whatever. Top with tzatziki, red onion, cucumber, tomatoes, and feta. Pair with feta fries, greek potatoes, or whatever tickles your fancy
  9. Mango shrimp wrap
    These cajun mango shrimp wraps are the bomb diggity and made so quickly and easily. You can also use the leftover mango salsa for a snack with some tortillas the next day
  10. Spaghetti
    A classic because it’s oh so good. You can also try switching it up with spaghetti squash or zoodles, and use the leftovers to make yummy sandwiches
  11. Coconut curry stir fry
    Fry your veg and protein of choice and add some canned coconut milk with red curry paste, then serve on top of rice. Our go to veg can be peppers, onions, peas, mushrooms, and chickpeas, but we frequently rotate it
  12. Quesadillas
    Pretty straight forward. I always serve our quesadillas with rice for our picky eaters and try cutting it up in different ways to keep their interest or have them shove it around their plate
  13. Tomato scallop pasta
    Lately I’ve done away with most store bought pasta sauce, instead just use a can of crushed or diced tomatoes with some spices. For this meal you can use any pasta you like, we tend to use penne or spaghtetti, pair with some veg, we like onions, peppers and mushrooms, with scallops or even prawns.
  14. Salmon, asparagus, potatoes
    Everytime asparagus and/or salmon goes on sale I try to make delicious honey balsamic salmon paired with sheet pan asparagus and potatoes
  15. Chicken, greek pasta salad, pita and tatziki
    Marinate and bake or bbq chicken with greek or balsamic salad dressing. Pair with greek pasta salad from the salad section, and pita and tzatzki
  16. Burger in a bowl
    This burger in a bowl recipe is a filling vegetarian dinner than can easily be made with ground turkey or ground beef
  17. Soup and sandwich
    An easy go to when you just have no time or motivation
  18. Siracha sliders
    Make the patties with your choice of ground lamb, turkey, beef, beyond the meat, etc, and shallot, marinara sauce, and balsamic vinegar. Fry in a pan until golded brown, then place on a parchment lined baking sheet. Cover each patty with marinara sauce and balsamic vinegar mixture and mozzarella. Bake until cooked through and cheese is melted. Serve on slider buns with siracha aeoli and a basic balsamic vinegar salad.
  19. Sloppy joes
    Sloppy joes are a fun messy meal that everyone makes differently and can be veggie or carnivore. Pair with salad and fries
  20. Meatball sandwiches
    This is a super easy one for busy weeknights. Bake your meatball of choice (veggie or meat) then toss in some spaghetti sauce loaded with veggies. We tend to do onions, peppers, mushrooms and zucchini. Serve on a bun, we love brioche and top with cheese if you’d like. Pair with salad and fries.
  21. Chicken strips, rice, corn, and parm zucchini
    Fairly self-explanatory. For the parm zucchini just slice the zucchini and fry. Top with parm, salt and pepper for the last minute or so.
  22. Pulled chicken sandwiches
    Toss a bunch of chicken and bbq sauce in the crockpot and cook on high for 4 hours. The chicken will pull apart super easily and is great for sandwiches or even fajitas. Pair with salad and potatoes

Slightly More Involved Family Dinners

  1. Fried rice and sweet and sour cauliflower
    I love a good friend rice but it does take a bit longer. Fry up a ton of veg, then add the rice and a bunch of sesame oil and soy sauce. Fry until well combined and top with green onions and sesame seeds. Pair with some sweet and sour cauliflower
  2. Spaghetti squash taco bowls
    Bake halved spaghetti squash, which takes forever! Once you rough up the squash bits mix in some taco spiced ground of choice and your usual quesadilla type tacos. We love corn, black beans, tomatos, avocado, and salsa and sour cream
  3. Mexi fried rice
    This is a fun mexican style to fried rice. Pairs great with taco salad
  4. Pork tenderloin, mashed potatoes and veg
    M&M meats has some awesome marinated pork tenderloin, or you could do chicken, faux chicken, or ribs. Pair with mashed potatoes and veg with gravy
  5. Shepards pie
    A classic because it’s oh so good. I always cook up the ground with taco spice, add a shit ton of garlic and butter to the mashed potatoes, and sneak in some cheddar cheese in the middle and on top to make it extra delicious
  6. Chicken, roasted veggies, mushroom risotto
    Make chicken any style, we love the honey mustard breaded chicken mentioned above, pair with veggies, broccoli and cauliflower work great, and mushroom risotto
  7. Cauliflower broccoli rice bake
    Line a casserole dish with cooked rice, then add a mixture of cauliflower, broccoli, cream of mushroom soup and a bit of sour cream and cheese. Bake at 350 for 30 – 45 minutes and pair with your protein of choice and salad
  8. Corn, chicken and mashed potatoes casserole
    Mix together pieces of cooked chicken, any kind with do but crispy breaded chicken works great for this, corn and mashed potatoes. Bake in a casserole dish at 350 for 30 – 45 minutes. Top with gravy and pair with salad

Quick and Easy Snacks

Family Favorite Snack Balls

  1. Apples and peanut butter
    A perfect healthy combination of sweet and salty
  2. Family favourite snack bites
    If you follow me on Instagram Stories you’d know our family has been obsessed with these oatmeal chocolate chip snack balls for years.
  3. Banana chocolate muffin
    Muffins are great to make a double batch on the weekend to snack on over the week, and these healthy banana chocolate chip ones are our favourite
  4. Strawberry chocolate muffin
    These healthy strawberry muffins are my go to whenever we have some strawberries about to go bad
  5. Cucumber tomato salad
    Mix together cucumber, tomatoes with balsamic vinegar and a bit of oil. You can add some feta too
  6. Cheese and crackers
    Pretty self explanatory, you can easily pair with fruit and meat if you’d like to too
  7. Pepperoni cheese sticks
    Buy these at the store or quickly make your own with Pilsbury crescent rolls, pepperoni sticks and shredded cheese
  8. Trail mix
    The combinations are endless, but I especially love this sweet and salty combo
  9. Yogurt parfait
    Another mention because it’s so easy and ticks off all of the food group boxes
  10. Veggies and dip
    Prep a bunch of veggies ahead of time so you can snack on them throughout the week
  11. Pita and dip
    A great snack for picky eaters as they can choose and try different dips
  12. Smoothies
    So many different smoothie combinations the possibilities are endless. Save some money by buying frozen fruit and containers of spinach from Costco
  13. Rice cakes with cucumber and cream cheese
    Simple and refreshing, don’t forget the salt and pepper
  14. Peanut butter cereal bites
    Warm up equal parts peanut butter and honey and mix with cheerios. Keeps in the fridge for a few days
  15. Peanut butter and banana on toast
    Mentioned again because it’s so quick and easy
  16. Bruschetta
    Toss tomatoes and red onions with olive oil, balsamic vinegar, basil, salt and pepper, and goat cheese. Serve with crostini, triscuits, or whatever else you think would be delicous
  17. M&M snack bites
    The mini M&M’s make these snack bites fun for kids and they love to help make them
  18. Mini apple pies
    Another Pilsbury special with apples, cinnamon and brown sugar, yum!
  19. Chocolate peanut butter pretzels
    Another one I’ve been making for years because it’s so simple and really satisfies that sweet tooth without being over the top. Check out the full recipe on the blog

 

Wow, quite a lot of options eh! Grab your free easy family meal ideas printable and get ready for easy family meal planning without the dreaded decision fatigue. You’ll also have spots to write in your own family favourite meals so you never have to think too much about what the heck to feed your family. Like I mentioned at the beginning, if meal planning is something that can be a bit of a challenge for you I want you to head to Tips for Easy Family Meal Planning on a Budget where I’ll walk you through the process so you can start saving time, money and stress!

I’d love to hear what you think of the list of easy family meal ideas, please leave a comment below and share any family meal planning, food prep, or favourite meals that you may have, and don’t forget to follow along on social media for more ideas and recipe releases @JannineMacKinnon.

xo Jannine

93 Easy family meal planning ideas to make weeknight dinners and all of your other quick family meals made easy while accomodating picky eaters