18 Delicious And Easy Meals For Picky Eaters (Kids Edition)

Finding it difficult to buy or make easy meals for picky eaters? I’ve been there too. The last thing you want after a busy day are kids crying while they won’t eat their dinner. Luckily, I have tried and tested these dinner ideas kids love! Expect recipes for picky eaters that you can throw into the air fryer or slow cooker, and kid friendly dinners even picky eaters will love.

Our quick meals take just 5 minutes of prep time (and occasionally some oven time), and every single one has been tested for quality by our kids the most renowned and difficult-to-please eaters in the field!!

And, if your kids are really struggling to eat, check out these helpful books on Amazon and this post with 15 Tips for Parents of Fussy Eaters

If your kids like making their own food, then they’ll love these Kid-Friendly Charcuterie Board Ideas!

Wondering why your kids are the pickiest eaters?

18 Easiest Meals for Picky Eaters

It’s challenging to find recipes that appeal to their child’s taste buds while also ensuring that they’re getting a balanced and nutritious diet, even as a picky eater. However, with some creativity, patience, and a little bit of effort, it’s possible to find recipes that even the pickiest eaters will enjoy.

Involve your child in the meal planning process

One of the first steps in finding recipes for picky eaters is to involve them in the process before they come to the dinner table for dinner. Talk to your child about what they like and dislike and ask for their input when planning meals. This will not only help you understand their taste preferences, but also give them a sense of ownership and control over what they eat.

Make small changes to recipes

Another tip is to make small changes to familiar recipes to make them more appealing to your child. For example, if your child loves pizza but doesn’t like vegetables, try making a pizza with a cauliflower crust or adding vegetables like bell peppers, mushrooms, or spinach as toppings. You can also try sneaking in vegetables or fruits by blending them into smoothies or pureeing them into pasta sauces.

Think about food textures


It’s also important to keep in mind that texture plays a significant role in what kids will eat. Some kids may be turned off by certain textures, such as mushy or slimy foods. Experiment with different textures and presentations to find what works best for your child. For example, if your child doesn’t like cooked carrots, try serving them raw with a dip.

Introduce foods gradually

Another helpful tip is to introduce new foods slowly and gradually. Children may need to try a new food several times before they start to like it, so don’t give up after the first try. Offer small portions of new foods alongside familiar favorites for an easy weeknight meal and praise your child for trying them, even if they don’t like them at first.

Easiest Meals for Picky Kids

When you set up your monthly meal plan, make sure to include one of these easy meals for picky kids per week in case a day is more difficult than you expected.  These meals are also all frugal enough to stick to your $42 weekly grocery budget.

If you’re looking for a classic dish or a comforting meal the whole family will love, these kid friendly meals are especially perfect when you’ve run out of  Make-Ahead Freezer Meals and haven’t had a chance to put any more together.

You should also give these sheet pan dinners for kids a try!

1. Pigs In a Blanket

  • One package Lil Smokies
  • Two packages refrigerated Pillsbury crescent rolls

Kid friendly recipes don’t get any easier than this! Cut each crescent roll in half length-wise, and wrap the strip around a Lil’ Smoky.  Bake in the oven according to the directions on the crescent rolls package.

2. Chili Cheese Bread

  • Two slices of bread
  • Canned chili

Even grown ups love a good Chili Cheese Bread, which makes for an easy lunch too! Toast two slices of bread in the toaster, and warm up chili in the microwave.  Pour the chili onto the bread and top with grated cheese, tomatoes, lettuce, and whatever else sounds good.  (This is a lazy version of Navajo Tacos.)

3. Nachos

  • Bag of tortilla chips
  • Can of refried beans
  • Grated cheese

Pile tortilla chips on the plate.  Scoop on refried beans and sprinkle on cheese.  Heat in microwave until cheese is melted, and your hungry kids will eat it all up in minutes!

4. Taco Salad

  • Bag of Fritos corn chips
  • Can of kidney beans
  • Lettuce
  • Cheese
  • Ranch dressing

Pile the Fritos on your plate for this kid friendly dish. Layer your favorite taco toppings with kidney beans, cheese, lettuce, and top with ranch dressing.  Add sour cream if needed too! This is a simple recipe, and an easy and yummy dish!

5. Ham & Cheese Rollups

  • One can refrigerated crescent rolls
  • Grated cheese
  • Ham lunch meat
  • Alfredo or cheese sauce

Adults alike love ham & cheese rollups! Chop ham into small squares.  Unroll crescent rolls and sprinkle ham and grated cheese onto them.  Roll the crescent rolls and bake according to instructions on the package.  While baking, warm up sauce and use to top completed rolls.

easy meals for picky kids

6. Bagel Pizzas

  • Bagel
  • Tomato/pasta sauce
  • Grated cheese
  • Pizza toppings

Slice each bagel in half.  Spread on tomato/pasta sauce and sprinkle grated cheese.  Allow kids to top the pizza with their favorites!  (Pepperoni, ham, etc.) It’s an easy meal for picky kids!

Tip: you could also do this with English muffins instead of bagels.

7. Pepperoni Rolls

  • Can of refrigerated Pillsbury crescent rolls
  • Sliced pepperoni

Mrs. Crazy lived in West Virginia for a while, which is the home of the pepperoni roll!  While WV has some amazing ways to create these culinary delights, we’re all about easy in our home.  Just roll up slices of pepperoni into the crescent rolls and bake in the oven according to the instructions on package.

8. Pepperoni Pizza Muffins

  • Muffin tin
  • Can of refrigerated Pillsbury biscuits
  • Pasta/spaghetti sauce
  • Grated cheese
  • Sliced pepperoni

Grease the muffin tin. Open the biscuits, and pull them in half (like you were going to butter them on the inside). Lay each one at the bottom of the muffin tin. Spread on pasta/spaghetti sauce, sprinkle on cheese, and top with two slices of pepperoni. Bake in the oven at the temperature and time indicated on the biscuit package (you may need to check periodically – some ovens cook these a bit funny.)

9. Quesadillas

  • Tortilla shells
  • Grated cheese
  • Canned chicken

Sprinkle grated cheese and canned chicken onto tortilla shells. You can warm up in the microwave or cook on a frying pan or griddle. Serve with salsa, avocados, sour cream or whatever sounds good!  Sometimes we use beans or ham lunch meat instead of the canned chicken.

10. Egg Toast

  • Slice of bread
  • Egg
  • Slice of cheese
  • Slice of lunch meat

Use a cup to take a circle out of the middle of the bread.  Place on a frying pan and crack the egg into the empty circle on the bread. Fry and then flip over to the other side.  Place cheese and lunch meat over the egg until cooked through. You can also lightly toast the extra circle and top with butter.

11. Grilled Cheese

  • Two slices of bread
  • Cheese
  • Egg
  • Lunch meat

Put butter on each slice of bread.  Place one slice on a griddle or frying pan (butter side down).  Next place cheese and lunchmeat on bread and fry the egg.  Last, place egg on top of cheese, top with other slice (butter side out) and flip over to toast the other side. That grilled cheese is a huge hit in our house!

If you’re living a vegan lifestyle, try out this Vegan grilled cheese sandwich.

12. Homemade Egg McMuffins

  • Egg
  • English muffin
  • Cheese
  • Lunch meat

Toast English muffin in a bagel and fry the egg on a small frying pan.  Add cheese slice and lunchmeat. It’s an easy kid friendly dish!

13. Apple-Cinnamon Breakfast Pizza

  • Tortilla
  • Peanut butter
  • Apple
  • Cinnamon

Cut an apple into thin slices. Put peanut butter on the tortilla (lightly fried if you’d like), lay out apples, and sprinkle on cinnamon.  If you choose not to fry the tortilla, you can roll it up like a crepe or a wrap.

14. Italian-Style Loaded Potato

  • Potato
  • 1/2 cup cottage cheese
  • 1 cup baby spinach
  • 1/4 cup marinara sauce
  • Mozzarella cheese
  • Italian herb blend

Microwave potato for four minutes (after poking holes into it with a fork). Mix cottage cheese, spinach, and marinara sauce together. Slice open the cooked potato and stuff with mixture. Top with mozzarella cheese and Italian herb blend.  Then microwave one more minute to heat through.

easy meals for picky kids

15. Avocado & Egg Toast

  • Slice of bread
  • Avocado
  • Egg
  • Parmesan cheese
  • Fresh herbs

Toast the bread and slice the avocado. Fry the egg on a small frying pan.  Place egg and avocado slices on toast, then top with parmesan cheese and fresh herbs. It’s an easy meal for picky kids!

16. Chicken Burrito

  • Tortillas
  • Canned chicken
  • Diced avocado
  • Grated cheese
  • Cilantro

Mix canned chicken, avocado, cheese, and cilantro together.  Spread evenly onto tortillas and roll up.  Fry until golden brown on each side.  Bonus: make a few at once and freeze for later.

17. Super Sweet Potato

  • Sweet potato
  • Eggs
  • Cilantro
  • Avocado
  • Salsa
  • Greek yogurt.

Microwave sweet potato after poking holes into it.  Scramble eggs.  Slice sweet potato open, scoop out insides, and mix with eggs.  Stuff back into shell and top with the remaining ingredients.

18. Oven Baked Tostadas

  • Tortillas
  • Refried beans
  • Cheese
  • Lettuce
  • Tomato

Bake tortillas (brushed with oil) at 400 degrees for just a couple of minutes on each side (they will continue to crisp as they cool).  Top with refried beans, cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, and any other desired toppings. It’s an easy meal for picky kids!

An earlier version of this post was written by Tiffany on The Crazy Shopping Cart

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easy meals for picky kids

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  1. Good suggestions for those with little ones, not me lol. But even still there’s a few things I’d make myself for those non wanting to cook major nights. I’ve definitely been there many times. Thanks for sharing

  2. Love the cute ideas for picky eaters! Thank you for some great ideas! I can’t wait to try the Super sweet Potato… what a great idea!

  3. OMG I am laughing sooo hard ! I have such a picky grandbaby and I was scrolling through your list saying, “YUP! YUP! YUP!” So on point and I am going to try some of these other things on here and see how they fare with her. I LOVE THIS !!!

  4. This is such a great list and my older son is so picky he will only eat 3 of these items. I try and trick him into trying some new foods and he wants nothing to do with it. Then there’s my younger child who would eat everything on this list combined any which way. He’s a bottomless tank.

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