Home / Blog / 20 Best Healthy Recipes for Kids Who Can Be Picky Eaters

20 Best Healthy Recipes for Kids Who Can Be Picky Eaters

Jul 29, 2023Jul 29, 2023

Delight little ones with breakfast, lunch, and after-school snacks!

Back-to-school season can be hectic. The transition from lazy summer days to crisp early mornings and busy after-school activities can be quite the wakeup call, and it's all too easy to fall back on convenient meals that may not be the most nutritious. If anyone understands that conundrum, it's The Pioneer Woman! Ree Drummond is used to waking up at the crack of dawn to help her husband Ladd and kids get ready for a day on the ranch. To keep kids happy and fueled, you need to be prepared with kid-friendly recipes.

Even if you're serving picky or reluctant eaters, you can make healthy meals for all times of day that the entire family will look enjoy. There's no better way to wake up a snoozing house than with a healthy breakfast like yogurt parfaits, overnight oats, or tasty pumpkin smoothies. If you're packing lunch boxes, be sure to include a healthy snack or two and a school lunch that won't come back home uneaten. Oh, and you can't forget after-school snacks to keep the kids full until dinnertime! Homemade granola bars would make a great alternative to cookies and dessert bars from the local bake sale. Of course, you'll still find melty cheese, crispy breadcrumbs, and sweet treats in these healthy recipes for kids, because if it's not as delicious as it is good for you, what's the point? 😉

Sweet butternut squash is a vitamin-packed twist on classic layered lasagna. This recipe is also boosted by plenty of spinach and Italian sausage for extra protein that's totally kid-approved.

Get the Butternut Squash Lasagna recipe.


This herby dip gets its fluffy texture and rich, tangy flavor from mayo, sour cream, and a dash of pickle juice. It's the perfect creamy condiment to dunk fresh cucumbers, carrots, and sweet bell peppers.

Get the Dill Dip recipe.

Your kids will be the envy of the lunch room with these chewy homemade granola bars. They're loaded with old-fashioned oats, pumpkin seeds, and dried cranberries for lots of fiber, plus they're flavored with cinnamon (a spice that's full of antioxidants).

Get the recipe for Homemade Granola Bars.

This chopped salad is a kid-friendly way to sneak in tons of colorful vegetables, plant-based protein, and healthy fats from avocado. It also packs up well for school lunch!

Get the Chickpea Salad recipe.

These creamy shakes are an excellent morning meal or healthy dessert that kids will slurp up in record time. Yogurt adds protein and gut-friendly probiotics and a sprinkling of crushed graham crackers on top adds just the crunch little ones are looking for.

Get the Pumpkin Smoothie recipe.


If your kids can handle a little kick, they'll go crazy for this savory, crunchy snack of freshly popped corn tossed in Sriracha butter. It's great for a movie or as an after-school snack.

Get the Spicy Sriracha Popcorn recipe.

Fuel kids for an active day with this fun breakfast pizza made with Crescent rolls. It's loaded with crispy bacon, shredded hash browns, and soft-scrambled eggs to satisfy everyone's tastebuds.

Get the Breakfast Pizza recipe.

Kids won't know how healthy this high-fiber breakfast is, once they taste a creamy spoonful. You can mix and match the toppings depending on what your little ones love, and pack them up for snack time or lunch at school.

Get the Overnight Oats recipe.

Who says you can't eat nachos and salad in one dish? This recipe proves otherwise, and it's a fantastic way to feed kids a nourishing meal that feels indulgent. These nachos are loaded with pinto beans, cabbage, corn, and warm queso.

Get the Salad Nachos recipe.

Adding tender, savory eggplant to your lasagna is a great way to lighten things up and add extra nutrients. Don't worry, this version doesn't skimp on cheese or delicious, herby tomato sauce.

Get the Eggplant Lasagna recipe.


This is a Brussels sprout recipe to turn haters into lovers, thanks to sweet and sticky maple syrup and crispy, smoky bacon bits. Serve this dish alongside roast chicken for a well-rounded, veggie-packed weeknight dinner.

Get the Maple Bacon Brussels Sprouts recipe.

Pick your kid's favorite pasta shape and toss them in this savory sauce made with fresh plum tomatoes. It's an ideal early fall meal, whether at home or packed in a school lunch.

Get the Fresh Tomato Sauce recipe.

This dinnertime favorite gets a healthy upgrade from frozen cauliflower rice. Cream cheese, parmesan, and garlic ensure that your crust is far from bland, not to mention the kid-approved toppings: ricotta, mozzarella, and mushrooms.

Get the Cauliflower Pizza recipe.

Serve these sweet and crispy fries alongside your family's favorite burgers for a healthier upgrade at dinner. And don't forget the creamy honey mustard for dunking!

Get the Air Fryer Sweet Potato Fries recipe.

Not only are these pancakes easier to make than your typical batch, but they're also loaded with good-for-you ingredients: blueberries, strawberries, and chopped pecans. Add extra fresh fruit on the side for more fiber, vitamins, and minerals!

Get the Sheet Pan Pancake recipe.


Little ones love the pretty layers in this healthy breakfast made with homemade granola crunch. The twist is adding sour cream to your vanilla yogurt for a tangier flavor and thicker, richer texture.

Get the Yogurt Parfait recipe.

Everyone's favorite cheesy chicken recipe gets a little lighter when its crisped in the air fryer instead of a deep fryer. Serve this mozzarella-topped chicken cutlet with spaghetti or your favorite veggies for a healthy dinner.

Get the Air Fryer Chicken Parmesan recipe.

Skip the meat altogether with these crunchy air fryer cauliflower wings. They're coated in almond flour or breadcrumbs and served with ranch dressing for a snack or side dish the whole family will love!

Get the Air-Fried Buffalo Cauliflower Bites recipe.

Add extra crunch and veggies to Taco Tuesday by whipping up this loaded taco salad. It's complete with black beans, cheddar, tomatoes, and avocado—plus any of your usual favorite toppings.

Get the Taco Salad recipe.

Turkey offers a leaner (but no less flavorful) alternative to ground beef for burger night. Of course, there's no need to skip the melty cheese and toasted buns.

Get the Turkey Burger recipe.


You Have to Try These Harvest Bowls for Lunch

How to Make Easy, Creamy Pumpkin Mac and Cheese

Buffalo Chicken Sloppy Joes Will Fuel the Tailgate

One-Pot Chicken Primavera Is a Pasta Lover's Dream

This Chicken Fried Steak Is Ladd's Favorite

How to Bake an Easy Tomato Pie

Fettuccine Alfredo Is Pure Comfort Food

Country-Style Ribs Are Fall-Off-the-Bone Tender

French Dip Sandwiches

Scalloped Potatoes and Ham Is the Perfect Combo

Make This Homemade Hamburger Helper Right Now

It's Not Easter Without Ree's Famous Glazed Ham

Get the Butternut Squash Lasagna recipe.Get the Dill Dip recipe.Get the recipe for Homemade Granola Bars.Get the Chickpea Salad recipe.Get the Pumpkin Smoothie recipe.Get the Spicy Sriracha Popcorn recipe.Get the Breakfast Pizza recipe.Get the Overnight Oats recipe.Get the Salad Nachos recipe.Get the Eggplant Lasagna recipe.Get the Maple Bacon Brussels Sprouts recipe.Get the Fresh Tomato Sauce recipe.Get the Cauliflower Pizza recipe.Get the Air Fryer Sweet Potato Fries recipe.Get the Sheet Pan Pancake recipe.Get the Yogurt Parfait recipe.Get the Air Fryer Chicken Parmesan recipe. Get the Air-Fried Buffalo Cauliflower Bites recipe.Get the Taco Salad recipe.Get the Turkey Burger recipe.