93 Easy Family Meal Ideas That Are Picky Eater Friendly
Let’s face it, constantly coming up with easy family meal ideas can be down right exhausting, like why do our families eat so friggin much!?! But don’t worry, I got your back mama. Use this list with my Meal Plan Like a Boss system to uncomplicate your family meal planning. With your free printables all you’ll have to do is check the list of these ideas in addition to your own family favourites that you’ll add, 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 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 printables and start making family meals easier!
Now, if meal planning itself is a challenge for you, you need to head over to check out my mini course, Meal Plan Like a Boss, where you can learn how to plan two weeks of meals in under 30 minutes so you have more time and patience to focus on what matters most.
Every one of the easy family meal ideas may not be suited to your particular picky eater, but all of them can 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.
Having fun tools can make all the difference to get picky eaters more involved in family meals. In my Amazon storefronts (Canada and US) I have links for tons of kid’s 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
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
Overnight french toast casserole and eggs
Your usual french toast fixings tossed in a casserole dish overnight and baked. Full recipe on Instagram @JannineMacKinnon
Yogurt, granola, and fruit of choice
An oldie but a goodie, 2 eggs any style, 2 pieces of toast, and 2 pieces of protein
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
Hard boiled egg on toast
As simple as it sounds, great with hummus too
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
Oatmeal and fruit
Another classic, top with anything you like
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
Use your favourite quesadilla toppings with some scrambled eggs for a fun breakfast quesadilla
Make the eggs anyway and use toast, english muffins, or a bun to switch up this simple breakfast
A little quicker than the quesadillas, just toss eggs, and anything else in a wrap with some salsa or mayo and mustard
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
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
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
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
Muffin, berries, and yogurt
This easy combo is great for breakfast, lunch and anytime really
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
Use tuna, salmon, or this chickpea recipe, top with cheese and bake or microwave. I normally pair with some sort of fruit or veg
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
Keep it plain or loaded, pair with salsa, sour cream, and/or guacamole
Chicken strips, cheese, and veggies
Another super simple lunch combo. We love using the vegetarian Gardein crispy tenders
Rice cakes with peanut butter and bananas
Just as it sounds, top rice cakes with peanut butter and sliced bananas
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
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
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
Triscuit pizza and fruit
Make little pizzas with pasta sauce, cheese and any other ingredients on Triscuits and pair with fruit or a smoothie
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!
Again, there’s tons of inspiration on Pinterest, just mix together your favourite veggies with cream cheese or other dressings
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
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
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.
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.
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.
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
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
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
Need I say more?
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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
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
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
Soup and sandwich
An easy go to when you just have no time or motivation
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.
Sloppy joes Sloppy joes are a fun messy meal that everyone makes differently and can be veggie or carnivore. Pair with salad and fries
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.
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.
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
Another mention because it’s so easy and ticks off all of the food group boxes
Veggies and dip
Prep a bunch of veggies ahead of time so you can snack on them throughout the week
Pita and dip
A great snack for picky eaters as they can choose and try different dips
So many different smoothie combinations the possibilities are endless. Save some money by buying frozen fruit and containers of spinach from Costco
Rice cakes with cucumber and cream cheese
Simple and refreshing, don’t forget the salt and pepper
Peanut butter cereal bites
Warm up equal parts peanut butter and honey and mix with cheerios. Keeps in the fridge for a few days
Peanut butter and banana on toast
Mentioned again because it’s so quick and easy
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
M&M snack bites
The mini M&M’s make these snack bites fun for kids and they love to help make them
Mini apple pies
Another Pilsbury special with apples, cinnamon and brown sugar, yum!
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 my mini course MEAL PLAN LIKE A BOSS where I show you the practical busy mom life system that will start saving you 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.
Privacy & Cookies Policy
Necessary cookies are absolutely essential for the website to function properly. This category only includes cookies that ensures basic functionalities and security features of the website. These cookies do not store any personal information.
Any cookies that may not be particularly necessary for the website to function and is used specifically to collect user personal data via analytics, ads, other embedded contents are termed as non-necessary cookies. It is mandatory to procure user consent prior to running these cookies on your website.