Family-Friendly Dinner ideas
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5 Family-Friendly Dinner Ideas

Written by Addie Martanovic on January 21, 2022


We totally get it! There are days when the kids are rushing out the door to sports practice, you’re trying to tackle a million little chores, and planning for dinner is the last thing on your mind.

This can be frustrating, and for those busier-than-ever times, it’s easy to find yourself in a family dinner idea rut.

But easy kid-friendly dinner recipes don’t have to be time consuming or difficult! There are so many fast, healthy options to make supper prep simple while not sacrificing flavor.

Tips for family dinners

No need to make dinner planning complicated. Family-friendly recipes can be made easy, and if you’re not sure where to start, use this advice!

Use straightforward ingredients

A few commonly used ingredients can spice up your dinner recipe every time! You don’t have to hunt for hard-to-find ingredients when a few simple ones will do.

When in doubt, fresh herbs always pack a flavor punch. A few of our favorites are rosemary, parsley, thyme, and basil, which go with everything from tacos to pasta dishes!

Sneak in healthy foods

As parents know all too well, little ones tend to shy away from “icky” foods like broccoli or other vegetables. But those foods are so important to overall growth and nutrition! Family dinner time is a perfect opportunity to encourage youngsters to eat their veggies … but they don’t always have to know what they’re eating!

If you’re dealing with picky eaters, try opting for dinner recipes that sneak in healthy foods, such as pureed soups, casseroles, or veggie burgers.

Stock the pantry

It’s tough to get into a dinner prep rhythm when the pantry or refrigerator is empty. Stocking these areas of the kitchen is a big time saver come dinner time. If you’re not sure where to start, we’d recommend:



Salt & Pepper

Baking powder

Baking soda

Olive oil

Chomps meat sticks



Nut milk

Lemons and limes

Plain greek yogurt or canned coconut milk

5 family-friendly dinner ideas

Now the pantry is stocked, the apron is on, and you’re ready to confidently cook dinner recipes for the family. All that’s missing are easy dinner ideas, and we’re happy to help!

Read on for kid-friendly dinner ideas and recipes the whole table is sure to enjoy.

family dinners

Cozy beef chili

Yes, we may be a bit biased, but this Jalapeno Beef Chomps sticks recipe is pretty darn tasty! Real jalapeno peppers deliver a subtle kick of spiciness.

With a mix of fresh and canned ingredients, this dinner recipe makes your grocery run easy. Bone broth is a key ingredient and has many health benefits. This savory type of broth supports gut health, immune function, healthy joints, and promotes a more satisfying night’s sleep! An awesome dinner recipe for kiddos who are restless sleepers.

Baked pecan chicken tenders

What kid doesn’t love a good chicken tender? Perfect for adults and kids alike, these protein-packed chicken tenders will keep the whole family full and satisfied all night.

Pecans are used for popular holiday meals, like pecan pie, but you often have to buy a whole bag when only a few are needed! This recipe makes great use of leftovers and pecans are good for you, too! Filled with heart-healthy benefits, pecans are rich in protein, fiber, and good fats.

Tortilla pepperoni pizza

Using only 8 simple ingredients, our tortilla pepperoni pizza recipe is ideal for nights when you just “can’t” with dinner time prep! You don’t even need to make or buy pizza dough because any store bought tortilla shell will do.

Garlic powder and Italian seasoning add a delicious pop of flavor, and while marinara sauce is used on top of the pizza, it’s also a fun dipping sauce on the side for kids to enjoy!

Swedish meatballs with mashed potatoes

Yes, you can enjoy this creamy comfort food on occasions other than IKEA shopping! Easily cook Swedish meatballs at home in no time.

A majority of ingredients are likely already in your pantry or refrigerator (see section above!), so you’ll only need to visit the grocery store for non-perishable items like ground beef, onion, eggs, and cream.

Swedish meatballs recipe

Lighter baked macaroni and cheese

Macaroni and cheese often calls for ingredients like heavy cream and oodles of cheese. While we love an indulgent meal from time to time, mac and cheese can be healthified to make it more guilt-free.

This recipe for mac and cheese uses less butter and replaces heavy cream with skim milk. Plus, fiber-rich spinach is known to reduce blood sugar, reduce inflammation, and keep your body relaxed. Throwing this dish in the oven for 15-20 minutes gives it a restaurant quality from the comfort and ease of your own kitchen!

Baked Macaroni and Cheese


See? Family dinner time meal prep doesn’t have to be intimidating or overwhelming! With just a few simple ingredients and a small window of time, the whole family can have nutritious, tasty dinners together.

Bon appetit!

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