Trying to get the whole family to eat healthier? With picky eaters and different dietary preferences, it’s hard to accommodate everyone with healthy dinner recipes. That’s why we’ve collected a few of our favorite family-friendly recipes to save you on busy weeknights. From toddlers to teenagers, these meals for kids are simple to make and filled with wholesome ingredients. These dishes are sure to become your new family favorites!
Almond Crusted Fish Sticks
Recipe from Beetroot In My Cake
Fish and chips is a family favorite but often comes with a lot of caloric baggage. This recipe puts a healthier spin on a classic dish that everyone can enjoy. Instead of deep-fried batter, these delicious fish sticks use ground flax and almonds for a gluten- and grain-free version. Serve with baked sweet potato wedges or one of these Awesome Summer Sides.
2 large fillets of skinless white fish
½ cup almonds, ground
¼ cup flax seeds, ground
½ tsp cumin
½ tsp garlic powder
½ tsp smoked paprika
zest of one lemon
salt and pepper, to taste
- Preheat oven to 350°F
- Grease a baking tray with oil or ghee.
- Cut fish into even slices.
- In a flat glass dish, combine almonds, flax seeds, spices, lemon, and salt and pepper.
- Whisk egg in a separate container and dip each fish slice in egg before evenly coating with the crumb mixture. Lay on a baking tray and bake for 15 - 20 minutes until crispy and golden brown. Turn fingers and bake again until all sides are equally cooked.
Bell Pepper Pizzas
Recipe from Peas and Crayons
These handheld bell pepper pizzas channel the deliciousness of pizza with a healthy twist! Packing way more nutrients than the average bagel bite or pizza roll, these pizza peppers make a perfect appetizer for parties and a great lunch or snack for kids.
1 large bell pepper
¼ cup pizza sauce or spaghetti sauce
¼ cup grated cheese
pinch of red pepper flakes
pinch of basil or parsley
Toppings of your choice
- Preheat your oven or toaster oven to 350°F.
- Slice off each of the four sides of your pepper and lay flat on a baking sheet.
- Top with sauce, then cheese, followed by any protein and veggies you’d like to use as toppings.
- Bake for 10 minutes, flipping your oven to broil towards the end to make the cheese nice and bubbly.
- Add a pinch of red pepper flakes and basil/parsley if desired and dig in!
Vegan Cheesy Spaghetti Squash Pasta
Recipe from Minimalist Baker
Cooked spaghetti squash is the perfect alternative to traditional pasta. Mixed with cheesy cashew sauce, this Italian-inspired dish is gluten-free, grain-free, and vegan — not to mention absolutely delicious!
1 cup raw cashews (soaked in hot water for 30 minutes, then drained)
2 tbsp nutritional yeast
2 tbsp lemon juice
½ tsp sea salt
1 dash garlic powder
¼ cup water
¼ cup fresh parsley or basil, optional
1 large spaghetti squash
3 tbsp olive or avocado oil
1 pinch sea salt
1/4 cup diced shallot
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 pinch sea salt
Marinara sauce and meat-alternative, optional
- Begin by soaking cashews in very hot water for at least 30 minutes, up to 1 hour. Set aside.
- In the meantime, preheat oven to 400°F. Slice spaghetti squash crosswise into 2” wide rings for longer noodles, or slice in half lengthwise for shorter noodles. Scoop out the seeds and strings and rub the flesh with oil and sea salt.
- Lay squash on a baking sheet, cut side down if cut in half lengthwise. Roast until tender, about 40 minutes if roasting “rings”, and up to 45 minutes - 60 minutes if roasting two large halves. Time will vary depending on the size of your squash. Let squash cool slightly and then use a fork to separate the “noodles." Set aside.
- Once cashews are soaked, drain and add to a food processor or small blender. Add nutritional yeast, lemon juice, sea salt, garlic powder, and water and blend until smooth and creamy, scraping down sides as needed. Aim for a mostly puréed mixture with only small bits of cashews intact. Add a bit more water a little at a time if the mixture is having a hard time blending until almost smooth.
- Taste and adjust flavor as needed, adding more salt for overall flavor, nutritional yeast for cheesiness, and lemon juice for acidity. For even more flavor, you can add some fresh basil or parsley (optional).
- Heat a large rimmed skillet over medium heat. Once hot, add the oil (or water), shallot, garlic, and a pinch of salt and sauté for 3 minutes, stirring frequently. Turn down heat if garlic is browning.
- Add spaghetti squash and toss gently to combine (with tongs if you have them). Sauté for 2-3 minutes, tossing occasionally.
- Add the desired amount of cheese sauce. We recommend starting with half and working your way up. You can serve the pasta with any leftover cheese sauce on the side. Continue cooking the cheesy pasta for 2-3 minutes more to combine the pasta and sauce, tossing carefully.
- Enjoy as-is, or top with marinara sauce and vegan meatballs! You can store leftover cheesy pasta in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. We suspect that it would keep in the freezer up to 1 month but haven’t tried it ourselves. (Pasta is usually best fresh.) You can store any leftover cheese sauce covered (separately) in the refrigerator for up to 5-7 days.
When you’re trying to follow a healthy lifestyle, you don’t want to over complicate things. Forget making 3 different dinners to satisfy everyone’s tastes. These healthy recipes will have even the pickiest of eaters begging for more! For busy weeknights, take the guesswork out of your meal planning with these delicious, filling meals for your entire family to enjoy.
What’s a classic recipe that your family enjoys? Share your kids’ favorite meals below!
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