A Month of Healthy Dinner Ideas for Kids
Healthy Oven-Fried Pork Chops
These whole-wheat panko breadcrumb-coated pork chops get just as crispy as fried chops, but they're healthier. Oven-frying saves you fat and calories while producing chops that are crispy on the outside, yet juicy inside. Serve with steamed broccoli and baked sweet potato for a satisfying weeknight dinner.
Slow-Cooker Chicken Parmesan Meatballs
Turn classic chicken parm into meatballs with this easy load-and-go appetizer recipe with a cheesy surprise inside. Making meatballs for a party? Switch your crock pot to "warm" for serving all party long.
Ground Beef & Pasta Skillet
Sneak extra vegetables into your child's day (and yours too!) with this easy one-skillet pasta recipe. Finely chop mushrooms to resemble the texture of ground beef and stir them into a classic meat sauce for an extra-healthy twist on a dinnertime favorite.
Stovetop Chicken & Broccoli Casserole
We trimmed 9 grams of fat and almost 100 calories in this makeover of cheesy chicken-and-broccoli casserole. All the raw ingredients are layered in a skillet, then simmered for a quick weeknight dinner.
BBQ Carrot Dogs
Shock everyone with this recipe for veggie dogs that actually taste like hot dogs. They're an amazing (and healthy!) vegan alternative to traditional meat hot dogs. Serve in whole-wheat hot dog buns and top with all your favorite toppings, such as sauerkraut, relish, ketchup and mustard, for the ultimate barbecue meal.
Spaghetti with Quick Meat Sauce
Instead of opening a jar of sauce, try this easy spaghetti with meat sauce on a weeknight. Serve with steamed broccoli and garlic bread. The recipe makes enough for 8 servings. If you're serving only four for dinner, cook 8 ounces of spaghetti and freeze the leftover sauce.
Loaded Twice-Baked Potatoes
Potatoes are one of the great comfort foods, especially when stuffed with a satisfying mixture of lean ground beef and broccoli florets plus reduced-fat sour cream and Cheddar cheese. Add a tossed salad and you have a healthy and hearty meal that will leave you feeling good.
Chickpea Curry (Chhole)
Made with convenient canned beans, this quick and healthy Indian recipe is an authentic chickpea curry that you can make in minutes. If you want an additional vegetable, stir in some roasted cauliflower florets. Serve with brown basmati rice or warm naan.
Sheet-Pan Chicken Fajitas
One sheet pan is all you'll need to whip up these zesty chicken fajitas. They're quick and easy to make and cleanup is even faster!
Sweet Potato & Black Bean Chili
Make a double batch of this quick vegetarian chili, full of black beans and sweet potatoes, and eat it for lunch the next day or freeze the extras for another night. We love the smoky heat from the ground chipotle, but omit it if you prefer a mild chili. Serve with tortilla chips or cornbread and coleslaw.
Cheddar Cauliflower Soup
Start your meal off with a bowl of this satisfying, easy cheesy cauliflower soup.
Chipotle Chicken Quinoa Burrito Bowl
This chipotle-flavored burrito bowl recipe is even better than takeout and just as fast. Loading it with vegetables and using quinoa in place of rice adds nutrition for a healthy dinner.
Corn & Broccoli Calzones
These calzones are stuffed with a summery combination of corn and broccoli, but you can use whatever you have in your fridge. Part-skim ricotta and mozzarella make our pizza pockets lower in saturated fat. Plus a whole-wheat crust adds a nutty flavor and extra fiber. Serve with your favorite marinara sauce for dipping.
EatingWell's Pepperoni Pizza
Pepperoni pizza gets a healthful makeover with whole-wheat pizza dough and a flavorful tomato sauce that, thanks to the addition of pumpkin puree, provides extra beta carotene and fiber. We've topped the pie with low-fat turkey pepperoni, but if you like, use your favorite sliced vegetables instead.
Oven-Fried Fish & Chips
Fish and chips are traditionally sold wrapped in paper to soak up all the grease--not a good sign. To cut the calories in half and reduce the fat, we coat the delicate fish in a crispy cornflake crust and then bake it along with sliced potatoes. Serve with: Coleslaw and malt vinegar or lemon wedges.
Sweet Potatoes with Warm Black Bean Salad
For a satisfying last-minute supper, it's hard to beat a sweet potato zapped in the microwave. The fragrant filling of beans and tomatoes adds protein. Be sure to eat the skin, which is full of fiber, as well.
Nutty-flavored fontina cheese gives this homey baked tortellini casserole a real taste twist and the cheesy breadcrumb topping makes it all but irresistible. You can easily double this recipe and make one for today and an extra to pop in the freezer for a heat-and-eat meal someday in the future.
The EatingWell Taco
Building the perfect taco is a very personal task--cheese under meat, cheese on top, no cheese at all? This is just our recommendation.
Southwestern Three-Bean & Barley Soup
Serve this zesty bean and barley soup garnished with chopped fresh cilantro and a squeeze of lime, if desired.
Chicken Taco Bowls
This chicken taco bowl recipe uses the underside of a muffin tin as a mold to bake cute little homemade “tortilla bowls.” The “tortilla bowls” are filled with a zesty chicken filling and topped like nachos. If you have 2 large muffin tins, you can make all 8 “bowls” at once. Bake them in the upper and lower thirds of the oven, rotating top to bottom about halfway through baking.
Cornmeal-Crusted Chicken Nuggets with Blackberry Mustard
Tossing chicken tenders with cornmeal gives these chicken nuggets great crunch without deep-frying. Blackberries (or raspberries, if you prefer) combined with whole-grain mustard make for a sweet-and-savory dipping sauce. Serve with: Steamed broccoli and carrots.
Pork & Snap Pea Lo Mein
Lo mein is a Chinese restaurant takeout favorite that's easy to make at home. This lo mein recipe features lean pork loin chops and snap peas, but snow peas or asparagus work well too. Serve with shredded radish and cabbage tossed with rice vinegar.
Sweet Potato Mac & Cheese
Fiber-rich sweet potato is used as the base for the cheese sauce in this healthy, homemade macaroni and cheese recipe. The bright orange color tricks your eyes into thinking this healthy macaroni and cheese recipe is loaded with cheese, but there's actually only about half as much cheese as compared to a traditional recipe.
Black Bean Quesadillas
In a hurry? These satisfying quesadillas take just 15 minutes to make. We like them with black beans, but pinto beans work well too. If you like a little heat, be sure to use pepper Jack cheese in the filling. Serve with: A little sour cream and a mixed green salad.
This retro dish will please kids and adults alike.
Grilled teriyaki chicken with pineapple can be made with just a few pantry staples. Although it's delicious when made with canned pineapple, fresh pineapple and its juice can easily be used in its place. Serve with brown rice and snow peas.
Roasted Cauliflower & Potato Curry Soup
In this healthy cauliflower soup recipe, roasting the cauliflower first adds depth and prevents the florets from turning to mush. A little tomato sauce and coconut milk give the broth a rich, silky texture. Serve with a dollop of sour cream or yogurt, if desired.
Baked Popcorn Shrimp with Sweet Chili Sauce
This healthy popcorn shrimp recipe uses tiny shrimp to make crunchy bites perfect for popping in your mouth. We also swap out mayo-based tartar sauce for a healthier Greek yogurt dip flavored with Thai chili sauce.
Barbecue Chicken Pizza
We gave classic barbecue chicken pizza a healthy twist with hidden shredded zucchini in the sauce. It's a great way to sneak extra veggies into both you and your children's diet!
Crispy Ranch Drumsticks
This easy kid-friendly dinner pairs healthier oven-fried chicken with crisp, raw vegetables and a homemade ranch dressing for dipping.
Build-Your-Own Chicken Tacos
This kid-friendly recipe keeps every element of tacos separate so your child can decide to eat them separately or have fun building their own mini tacos with their favorite toppings. Plus, it's perfect for packing into a bento box for a healthy lunch for school.