We’ve cracked the code to healthy, kid-friendly dinners that will have your whole family running to the table. Are you ready to get in on the secret? It’s easy (and sometimes cheesy): Just go for the classics. No one can say no to creamy mac and cheese or chicken nuggets, and they’ll never know that there’s butternut squash and Greek yogurt hidden in that cheese sauce or that the pretzel-coated chicken was baked instead of fried.
Check out five of our favorite recipes below that will satisfy kids and adults alike.
Bobby Deen uses homemade butternut squash puree to bulk up his cheese sauce while slimming down the calories. All your kids will taste is cheesy pasta and crunchy breadcrumbs — and dishing up single servings is always more fun.
Instead of ground beef and crunchy shells, use your slow cooker to make shredded pork tacos. The little ones can go easy on the toppings, but they’ll love the sweet pineapple that Kelsey Nixon adds into the Mexican staple.
Step away from the frozen fish sticks and try Giada de Laurentiis’ baked Parmesan salmon bites. Even if your kids are skeptical about trying a new kind of fish, it’s hidden beneath breadcrumbs and cheese, and easy to dip.
Tia Mowry’s healthy tip is to add spinach to her meatballs. (She also sneaks avocado and broccoli into smoothies for her son, Cree.) Everyone will be too busy twirling their “sketti” to care what’s inside, although the spiced-up sauce for the parents is a game changer.
Lisa Lillien’s finger-lickin’-good chicken fingers are so crunchy that you may not be able to hear your family over the sound. That’s good, because no one should talk with his or her mouth full.
Watch Good to Know’s Tips for Making Kids’ Food Healthier
More kid-friendly recipes from blogs we love:
The Lemon Bowl: Yogurt Banana Splits with Muesli
Homemade Delish: Homemade Poptarts
Virtually Homemade: Gluten-Free Banana Muffins with Cinnamon Glaze
Creative Culinary: Peanut Butter Rice Krispie Treats
Healthy Eats: 6 Kid-Approved Finger Foods with a Healthy Twist
Taste with the Eyes: Banana Split Pavlova – A “Sick” Dessert For Both Adults and Kids!
Daisy at Home: Chewy Granola Bars
Weelicious: Hummus Veggie Wraps
FN Dish: A Whole Week’s Worth of Back-to-School Lunches