41 Fun and Easy Meals for Kids: Kid Friendly Recipes They’ll Love!

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Do you ever have this issue of not finding many good options when trying to find great meals for kids and great recipes for kids? Have you ever gone on the hunt for kid friendly recipes or kid friendly recipes for dinner and you look at the list of ideas and you’re like … what kids do they think they’re catering to? Yeah, me too.

It happens. It happens a lot. 🙂

In fact, it happens more often than not when I’m on the hunt for new recipes.

There’s no way my somewhat picky eaters would even try a lot of that stuff, unfortunately. (I do encourage them to try everything we make, but I don’t force them … Sigh.)

But I promise that these meals for kids really are made from kid friendly recipes that you’re four-year-old won’t turn her nose up at.

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Making Kid Friendly Meals

When you want to make easy kid friendly meals, stick with simple ingredients that you are familiar with and that you generally keep on hand.

For me, those are items like chicken breasts, ground beef, different varieties of pasta, rice, potatoes, cheese, and in season fruits and vegetables. We also keep a wide array of basic herbs and spices on hand. And I’m not afraid of Googling to find a substitute seasoning if needed. 🙂

Note: A few of the recipes below are Instant Pot recipes. We just got one of these last year, and they are so convenient! They are really a great time saver. I love ours!

You can learn more about the model we got here, or click on the image below to learn more about the benefits of getting an Instant Pot.

I hope you enjoy these easy kid friendly recipes!

Check out these related articles:

Easy Ways to Save Money on Kid Friendly Meals (Meals for Kids)

There are great ways to make easy family meals even more budget friendly.

For example, three of my favorite apps for saving money on groceries are IbottaRakuten (formerly Ebates), and Fetch Rewards (use XGGVM to get 2,000 bonus points when you sign up!). They are an easy way to save money on groceries every time you shop.

For example, you can get $20 just for signing up with Ibotta (probably still my favorite grocery money saving app), and you also get a $20 bonus when you sign up for Rakuten. And you can even stack your savings by using Ibotta, Rakuten, and Fetch all to save money on the same shopping purchases!

You can also save more money when grocery shopping by taking advantage of the sales and discounted items, buying produce in season, buying less expensive cuts of meat, buying generic brands rather than more popular name brands, and more.

You can find tons of ideas for how to slash your food and grocery budget here.

An Easy Option for Meal Planning

If you are looking for an easy (and budget friendly!) solution for getting meals on the table, then a great solution for you is a service like $5 Meal Plans$5 Meal Plans costs just $5 per month, and they do all of the planning for you!

They plan the meals you will eat and include the ingredients you will need to buy and the recipes you will need to follow to prepare them. Pretty cool! With $5 Meal Plans, the dinners themselves also cost less than $5 per meal to make! And the service comes with a 14-day free trial, so you have nothing to lose! If this sounds like a good option for your family, you can check out $5 Meal Plans here.

41 Easy and Delicious Meals for Kids (Recipes for Kid Friendly Meals)

In the list below you will find ideas for some of my favorite easy kid friendly meals that are delicious and also budget friendly.

You will find easy family breakfast ideas, easy family lunch ideas, and easy family dinner ideas that your whole crew will love!

Kid Friendly Breakfast Ideas (Breakfast Meals for Kids)

In this section I share some of my favorite breakfast ideas for kids.

Easy Fruit Smoothies

One of my kiddos’ favorite breakfasts are simple fruit smoothies. To make them, we use a couple of cups of milk, a cup of yogurt, a banana, a couple of cups of mixed berries, and ice. Delish!

Mickey Mouse Pancakes

Pancakes are a pretty fun breakfast on their own with all of the fun toppings you can add, but when you make Mickey Mouse pancakes, you take the fun up another notch. This is the simple recipe we use.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon white sugar
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs, beaten (if desired)
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil

Directions

  1. In a large mixing bowl, mix the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Add the milk, eggs, and oil. Mix until smooth.
  2. Heat a lightly oiled griddle or frying pan over medium high heat. Pour about 1/4 cup batter onto the griddle for each pancake. Lightly brown on both sides until desired doneness.
  3. Serve warm with butter and syrup, powdered sugar, jam, or other favorite toppings.

Fruit and Yogurt

Fruit and yogurt is a perfect and simple meal for kids.

If you have fresh berries, those are pretty much always a hit with kids. If they are not in season so they’re really expensive or just don’t have any on hand, than frozen berries and fruit work great, too.

If your kiddos like granola, then you can include granola, as well, for an added boost of protein (and crunch!).

Crepes

Crepes is another one of my own kiddos’ favorite breakfast meals. We like to have a wide variety of toppings available, including syrup, fruit, candy sprinkles, cinnamon and sugar, hazelnut spread (Nutella), and powdered sugar. Other toppings I’ve used are cheese or cheese and ham (for savory crepes), peanut butter, and jam.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Directions

  1. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, eggs, milk, and salt. Beat until smooth. (But if you have a few lumps, don’t worry about it; they still taste great.)
  2. Heat a lightly oiled frying pan over medium high heat. Pour about 1/4 cup batter onto the frying pan for each crepe. Tilt the pan in a circular motion so that the batter coats the surface evenly.
  3. Cook the crepes for about 2 minutes, until the bottom is lightly browned. Then loosen with a spatula, and flip to cook the other side.
  4. Serve warm with powdered sugar, syrup, jam, cinnamon and sugar, or other favorite toppings.

Bacon and Egg Cups

We recently started making these on a fairly regular basis, and I think they are so good. And the kids (well, 2 out of 3 of them; you can’t win them all :)) love them, too.

Ingredients

  • 1 package turkey or chicken flavor stuffing mix
  • 12 eggs
  • 6 slices of bacon, cut in half
  • 1 cup shredded cheese

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
  2. Prepare the stuffing mix as directed on package.
  3. “Line” each muffin cup with a half-slice of bacon.
  4. Press about 1/4 cup stuffing firmly onto bottom and up sides of 12 muffin cups.
  5. Crack 1 egg into each stuffing cup.
  6. Sprinkle with cheese.
  7. Bake about 20 minutes (until yolks are set).
  8. Let stand about 5 minutes before serving.

French Toast

My dad often made French toast when we were growing up, and it’s something that we do with our own kiddos, as well. Yum!

Ingredients

  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 cups milk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla (optional)
  • dash of salt (optional)
  • Cinnamon and sugar mixture
  • 16 slices of your favorite bread

Directions

  1. Preheat a large griddle or square frying pan, and coat it with non-stick cooking spray (or butter or margarine).
  2. Whisk together the eggs, milk, salt, and vanilla in a square baking dish or pan. Dip each slice of bread in the batter, coating one side and then flipping to coat the other side.
  3. Place the bread slices on the griddle or frying pan, and sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar. Cook on medium heat until golden brown on each side (about 2 to 3 minutes), or until desired doneness (I like mine pre-golden brown :)).
  4. Serve warm with butter and syrup, powdered sugar, jam, or other favorite toppings.

Cinnamon Rolls

We love cinnamon rolls (what’s not to love about all that sweet goodness?!), but one thing I don’t love is how long they traditionally take. So I’ve tried different hacks over the years to speed up the traditional cinnamon roll making process.

One of the things I generally do is to make “cinnamon blobs,” rather than cinnamon rolls, so that I don’t have to take the time to roll them out and cut them. (And they taste just as good!) But you may not be ready to go that extreme. 🙂 I also use a quick rise method.

This Quick 45 Minute Cinnamon Rolls recipe is similar to the one that we use.

Easy Cheesy Breakfast Casserole

For mornings when you have a little more time (or make it the night before!), this breakfast casserole is bound to be a hit! There are lots of ways you can make this dish, but I like this simple breakfast casserole recipe.

Blueberry Muffins

With their sweet goodness, blueberry muffins are a perfect meal for kids!

We never had blueberry (or other berry) muffins from scratch growing up as a kid (not that I blame my mom; there are 10 of us kiddos in my family, so she had her hands full!). But now she does make berry muffins from scratch, and they’re delish! If your kiddos love blueberry muffins from a box, delight them with those homemade version!

Substitute mixed berries (such as a mix of blueberries and raspberries) for the blueberries, if you like!

Ingredients

  • ½ cup softened butter
  • 1 to 1.5 cups sugar (depending on how sweet you want them)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 cups flour
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ cup milk
  • 2 cups blueberries (or mixed fresh berries)

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Cream the butter and sugar.
  3. Add the eggs, and beat well.
  4. Add vanilla.
  5. Sift together the flour, salt, and baking powder, and add to the creamed mixture.
  6. Add the milk, and mix.
  7. Fold in the blueberries.
  8. Line 12 cup muffin tin with cupcake liners (if desired), and fill each cup about 1/2 full with batter.
  9. Bake for about 30.
  10. Remove muffins from the tin, and let cool (about 30 minutes).

Waffles

Waffles is another regular staple at our house. And we like to make the waffles extra fun by letting our kids pick the color of the waffles (by adding food coloring). This is the simple recipe we use.

Ingredients

  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon white sugar (we generally leave out the sugar)
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Directions

  1. Preheat your waffle iron. Crack the eggs and put them in a large bowl. (Beat them at this point, if you want, for fluffier waffles. I never worry about doing that. :)) Add the flour, milk, vegetable oil, sugar, baking powder, and salt, and mix until smooth.
  2. Spray the heated waffle iron with non-stick cooking spray, and pour about 1/2 to 3/4 cup cup mix onto your iron (depending on the size of your iron). Cook until desired doneness. (If you like them more well done, cook until they are golden brown.)
  3. Serve warm with butter and syrup, powdered sugar, jam, or other favorite toppings.

Kid Friendly Lunch Ideas (Lunch Meals for Kids)

These are easy and budget friendly lunch ideas for kids at home.

Macaroni and Cheese

I’m gonna be honest; more often than not, we eat the macaroni and cheese right from the box. As long as you use the right amount of butter (don’t skimp on the butter! gross! :)), it tastes great. And our older daughter has gotten to the point where she can pretty much make it herself (yay!), with supervision, of course.

But if you prefer to cook from scratch, this is the homemade recipe I like.

Ingredients

  • 12 ounces elbow macaroni (or other pasta you have on hand)
  • 1/4 cup butter (or margarine)
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 3 cups milk
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese 

Directions

  1. Boil noodles as directed.
  2. In a separate pan, melt butter and sprinkle in flour to make a roux.
  3. Add milk, cheese, salt, and pepper.
  4. Combine with noodles. For a creamier texture, add a little more milk.

Grilled Cheese Sandwiches

This is another one of our favorite kid friendly meals. They’re so easy you may not need a recipe, but if you are one who likes to follow the book, here you go!

We often add sliced ham to them to make them more hearty.

Ingredients

  • 8 slices bread
  • about 6 tablespoons butter or margarine
  • 4 slices cheddar cheese (or substitute your cheese of choice)

Directions

  1. Preheat large square skillet (or griddle) over medium heat.
  2. Butter one side of 4 slices of bread.
  3. Place bread butter side down onto skillet bottom and add 1 slice of cheese to each.
  4. Butter 4 more slices of bread on one side, and place butter side up to top the sandwiches.
  5. Grill sandwiches until lightly browned and flip over; continue grilling until cheese is melted. 
  6. Serve with tomato soup or cream of mushroom soup (or other favorite soup), if desired. (My cousins liked to dip their grilled cheese sandwiches in ketchup growing up, so that’s an option, too …)

Quesadillas

This is another fun and easy recipe for kids.

Ingredients

  •  8 large tortilla shells
  • about 6 tablespoons margarine or butter
  • about 1 1/2 to 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
  • additional ingredients such as spinach, lunch meat, cooked chicken, and so on, if desired

Directions

  1. Heat a large skillet on medium heat.
  2. Spread margarine or butter on one side of a tortilla shell.
  3. Cover tortilla shell with shredded cheese and other toppings as desired.
  4. Spread the second tortilla with margarine or butter, and place on top of first tortilla and cheese.
  5. Lightly brown on one side, and then flip and lightly brown on the other side.
  6. Repeat with remaining tortillas and toppings.

Peanut Butter Sandwiches

I have to admit: I still love a great PB&J sandwich, on soft, yummy bread. And if peanut butter and jelly or jam gets old, you can do peanut butter sandwiches with banana, peanut butter with honey, or something I haven’t tried (but just thought of that I bet is delicious!), peanut butter and hazelnut spread (Nutella).

Or try other nut butter sandwiches, for variety. Sun nut butter (from sunflower seeds) works great.

Tuna Fish or Chicken Sandwiches

Both of these taste great and are great kid friendly meals. Our kiddos like tuna fish sandwiches with relish or diced pickles.

For both tuna and chicken sandwiches, I don’t follow a recipe; I just add enough mayo to make it have the taste and consistency I want. (You can also use salad dressing, if you prefer.)

Chicken Nuggets and Tater Tots

I’m going to be honest; I’ve never actually made chicken nuggets from scratch. We just eat them from the bag or box, with tater tots or fries. But homemade chicken nuggets would be an excellent kid friendly lunch (or dinner). This homemade chicken nuggets recipe has great reviews.

Luncheon Meat and Cheese Sandwiches

We prefer ham and cheese sandwiches in our house, but of course you can also use sliced turkey and cheese, chicken and cheese, or beef and cheese, if you prefer.

You can add sliced tomatoes and lettuce (or spinach), if your kids like those, plus mustard or mayo or salad dressing.

Or have just the meat and cheese and heat the sandwich in the microwave. It’s a little bit quicker than making a grilled cheese sandwich (and saves washing a dish or two :)).

Chili

My kiddos love chili from the can, but here is a simple kid friendly recipe we also use. You’ll be able to tell when you read it that I’m ultra precise when I make it. ;-P

Ingredients

  • 1 pound hamburger
  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 1 to 2 cans of chili
  • 1 can of chili beans or kidney beans (optional)
  • 2 or 3 cans tomato sauce
  • 2 tablespoons ketchup
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin (optional)

Directions

  1. Brown the hamburger with the onion in a large pot.
  2. Drain the grease.
  3. Add all ingredients to the pot, and heat until warmed through.

Soup

Soup is another great idea for easy kid lunches. And there are tons of options, like alphabet soup, chicken noodle soup, taco soup, or tomato soup.

My kiddos love taco soup, so here is an easy recipe for that.

Taco Soup

Ingredients

  • 1 pound hamburger
  • 1 packet taco seasoning
  • 1-2 cans diced tomatoes
  • 1 can red kidney beans
  • 1 can chili beans
  • 1-2 cans corn
  • shredded cheese (optional)

Directions 

  1. Brown a pound of hamburger, drain it, and add taco seasoning.
  2. Then add a can or two of diced tomatoes, a can of red kidney beans, a can of chili beans (or other beans), and a can or two of corn,  (Do not drain any of the cans before you add them to the pot.)
  3. Cook on medium heat for about 10 minutes, until heated through.
  4. Serve with your favorite tortilla chips or scoop chips and shredded cheese, if desired.

Ramen Noodles

Ramen noodles are another easy meal for kids. Admittedly, they aren’t the healthiest option out there, but they are fast and super cheap.

We make them healthier by adding carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, and chicken. (And two of the three kids will eat the vegetables in it; the third generally leaves them. Two out of three’s not bad!)

For the chicken, I boil it, starting about 10 minutes before boiling the vegetables. Then I cut the chicken and add it to the vegetables and noodles.

Kid Friendly Dinner Ideas (Dinner Meals for Kids)

Dinner is probably the hardest meal to make kid friendly, only because there are so many dishes that many kids would probably turn their nose up at. But … there are also so many different things that you can have for dinner that finding kid friendly dinner recipes isn’t too hard, either! Promise!

These are some of the best (truly) kid friendly recipes for dinner.

Easy Ground Beef Enchiladas

This is the way that my mother made enchiladas while we were growing up, and now my own family loves this simple kid friendly recipe.

Ingredients

  • 1 pound hamburger
  • medium onion
  • 1 can refried beans
  • 2 small cans tomato sauce
  • 1 packet taco seasoning
  • 1-2 cups shredded cheese
  • 8 tortilla shells
  • sliced olives (optional)
  • favorite toppings (sour cream, guacamole, salsa, and so on)
  1. Cook the hamburger and onion in a large skillet. While the hamburger is browning, pour one-third of a can of tomato sauce on the bottom of a 9×13 inch casserole dish.
  2. When the hamburger is browned, stir in a can of refried beans and a small can of tomato sauce. Add in taco seasoning (from a packet, or make your own!). Stir to combine.
  3. Then spoon the enchilada mixture evenly onto eight large flour tortilla shells, and roll them up and lay them horizontally in the casserole dish. Pour the rest of the tomato sauce over the rolled tortillas, and cover with the shredded cheese. Top with sliced olives if desired.
  4. Bake for 15 minutes or so, until the cheese is melted.
  5. Serve with sour cream, guacamole, diced tomatoes, shredded lettuce, sliced avocado, or other favorite toppings.

Three Cheese Spaghetti

This kid friendly recipe for three cheese spaghetti is a fun variation on traditional spaghetti. (And extra bonus: no red sauce stains!)

Ingredients

  • 12 ounces spaghetti
  • 1/4 cup butter or margarine
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 2 cups milk
  • 2 ounces cream cheese
  • 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions

  1. Cook spaghetti according to box instructions. Drain.
  2. Melt the butter or margarine in a large saucepan over medium heat.
  3. Whisk in the flour, and cook until smooth and lightly bubbling (1-2 minutes). Add in milk, and stir frequently until thickened (about 5 minutes).
  4. Add the cream cheese, and continue cooking over low heat until melted, stirring often.
  5. Slowly add shredded cheeses and stir frequently until melted.
  6. Combine with cooked pasta, add salt and pepper to taste, and serve.

French Bread Pizza

French bread pizza is another one of the best options for easy meals for kids. They are simple and quick to make, and they taste great!

  • 2 loaves French bread
  • 1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 cup tomato sauce or pizza sauce
  • 2 cups shredded cheese
  • 40 slices pepperoni
  • additional toppings (sliced olives, chopped pineapple, sausage, mushrooms, sliced peppers, and so on)

Directions

  1. Preheat your oven to 425 degrees F.
  2. Cut the loaves of French bread in half. Spread the butter or margarine over the bread, and then sprinkle the garlic powder on top.
  3. Bake the garlic bread for about 5 minutes, until lightly toasted.
  4. Remove the garlic bread from the oven, and spread the sauce on top. Sprinkle on the cheese, place the pepperoni on top, and add any additional toppings that you like.
  5. Bake for about 10 more minutes, until cheese is melted, and enjoy!

Spaghetti Pizza

If you feel like you’re in a dinnertime rut eating the same meals over and over, give spaghetti pizza a try! It takes two classic favorites and puts them together. I like this simple spaghetti pizza recipe.

Sloppy Joe Casserole

My kids love the flavor of sloppy joes, but they don’t really love how messy they are (they don’t love anything that’s too “goopy” :)).

So if your kiddos are that way, too, then try this sloppy joe casserole.

Taco Casserole

Tacos are another favorite in our house, but we also love this tasty taco casserole. And again, it’s a kid friendly dinner because the kids don’t have to hold their soft taco shell together (and I’ve never even attempted hard tacos for the kiddos :)).

Brinner

There are so many delicious breakfast meals, why relegate them just to the first (often rushed) meal of the day? By making breakfast for dinner, you have more time to enjoy the yummy food you prepare!

Anything you make for breakfast can be eaten for dinner, but some of our favorite brinner meals are egg omelets, biscuits and gravy (so delish; the kiddos love it, too!), and waffles or pancakes.

Cornbread Waffles with Chili

If your kiddos love chili, like ours do, why not spruce things up just a bit by making cornbread waffles to go with it? You can find a simple recipe for cornbread waffles with chili here.

Chicken Tenders and Fries

Do your kids love chicken nuggets? Then they are bound to love homemade chicken tenders, too! Serve them with fries, tater logs, chips, or onion rings. If your kiddos like sweet potato fries, then use those, instead!

You can find a delicious chicken tenders recipe here.

Instant Pot Lasagna

Lasagna that takes only about 20 minutes to prepare? Sign me up! Want lasagna but don’t want to wait the almost-hour that traditional lasagna takes to prepare? Then Instant Pot Lasagna is your answer.

Mini Corn Dogs

Most kids love corn dogs, and especially for younger kiddos, mini corn dogs are a lot of fun. This is another easy option when looking for graat meals for kids. Serve with fries, sweet potato fries, chips, tater tots, or onion rings.

Ingredients

  • 1 12-oz. package hot dogs
  • 1/2 cup cornmeal
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • Vegetable oil, for frying

Directions

  1. Heat oil in a large pot or deep fryer.
  2. Cut each hot dog in three or four pieces.
  3. Stir together the egg and milk in a large bowl. Add the cornmeal, flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Mix well.
  4. Dip each hot dog chunk in the batter to coat completely, shake off the excess batter, and then carefully lower into the hot oil.
  5. Fry the corn dogs until golden, about 3 minutes.
  6. Place the cooked dogs on a plate lined with paper towels to dry.
  7. Repeat the process with the remaining hot dogs, and serve.

Easy Cheesy Pizza Sticks

These easy pizza sticks are perfect for small hands (and perfect for dipping in ranch or marinara sauce, too!). This quick kid friendly dinner is ready in under 30 minutes, too!

Ingredients

  • pizza dough (for one large pizza)
  • 1/2 package pepperoni
  • 16 mozzarella cheese sticks
  • 4 tablespoons butter or margarine
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried parsley
  • marinara sauce (optional, for dipping)

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.
  2. Spread pizza dough out on a large, lightly greased baking sheet (or use 2 baking sheets, if needed). Cut the dough into 16 equal size rectangles.
  3. Arrange 4 pepperoni slices and a mozzarella cheese stick on each square.
  4. Roll up the pizza dough, and pinch the seams closed.
  5. Melt the butter, and add the garlic powder and dried parsley. Brush the pizza sticks with the butter.
  6. Bake for about 10 minutes, until lightly browned.
  7. Serve with marinara sauce for dipping, if desired.
kid friendly recipes
Picture from: TogetherasFamily.com

Cheeseburger Biscuit Cups

This is another easy, cheesy (and super tasty) kid approved meal. You can get this Cheeseburger Biscuit Cups recipe here.

Stovetop Lasagna

This is another fun twist on traditional lasagna, and it takes just 30 minutes to prepare. Serve with garlic bread and salad. Yum!

Ingredients

  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 2 14 oz. cans tomato sauce
  • 1 14 oz. can diced tomatoes
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt 
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 12 oz. lasagna noodles, broken
  • 1 cup shredded cheese

Directions

  1. Brown the hamburger with the chopped onion in a large skillet over medium heat.
  2. When the hamburger is cooked through, add the minced garlic. Cook for about 1 minute.
  3. Add the tomato sauce and diced tomato to the skillet, and stir to combine.
  4. Add the seasonings, and stir. Add the broken lasagna noodles to the skillet, and stir well.
  5. Cover the pan and allow to simmer over medium heat for about 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  6. When the noodles are soft, add the shredded cheese. Stir well to combine.

Hot Dog Boats

You know, I loved hot dog boats as a kid. We didn’t have them super often, but I was always happy when we did. And I still like them. Call it nostalgia, or maybe they’re just still a great cheesy, yummy comfort food for me.

This is a super easy meal for kids that you can serve with your favorite vegetable, or with potato chips or fries or a favorite side dish.

Ingredients

  • 8 hot dogs
  • 2 cups mashed potatoes (great way to use leftovers!)
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese

Directions

  1. Place the hot dogs on a large glass plate or glass casserole dish, and then slice the hot dogs length-wise (not all the way through), so they open in the center.
  2. Fill the opening and on top of the hot dogs with the mashed potatoes.
  3. Sprinkle the shredded cheese generously over the top of the hot dogs.
  4. Heat the hot dog boats in the microwave for 3 to 4 minutes, until cheddar is melted. Enjoy! (You can also heat them in the oven for a few minutes if you prefer, instead.)

Sloppy Joe Casserole

I love the taste of sloppy joes, but they can be kind of messy, especially when little kids are eating it. So if you want all the yummy flavor of sloppy joes without so much sloppy (or if you just want a twist on a classic favorite), then enjoy this easy Sloppy Joe Casserole recipe.

Or if you want a quick, traditional sloppy joe recipe, try this Instant Pot sloppy joe recipe.

Cheesy Potatoes

This perfect recipe for kids was another regular staple in our home growing up. But we didn’t call them cheesy potatoes, and we certainly didn’t call them funeral potatoes. We called them yummy potatoes. ‘Cuz that’s what they are! 🙂

  • 3 pounds chopped potatoes or large package (32 oz.) hash browns 
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 cup cream of mushroom or cream of chicken soup
  • 1/4 cup chopped green onion (optional)
  • 2 cups cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup cooked ham (optional)
  • 1 cup chopped cornflakes, crushed

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. Cook the chopped potatoes for about 15 minutes, until tender. Drain.
  3. In a large bowl, mix the sour cream, soup, onion, and cheese. Add the cooked potatoes or frozen hash browns, and stir to combine.
  4. Pour potato mixture into a 9×13 inch baking dish. Pour crushed cornflakes on top.
  5. Bake for about 30 minutes, or until heated through.

Easy Personal Pizzas

What kid doesn’t love to have their own individual pizza, and to (help) make it themselves with just the toppings that they love? Homemade personal pizzas are a great meal for kids.

Don’t have pizza crust or pizza dough? No problem! You can make your pizza on a bagel, a tortilla, or flatbread, and just bake for about half the time (5 minutes)!

  • 1 can 8 oz. tomato sauce (or use pizza sauce or marinara sauce, if you have it)
  • 1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 4 individual pizza crusts (8 inches each) (from the store or homemade)
  • 2 cups shredded cheese
  • 1 package (3.5 oz) sliced pepperoni
  • additional favorite toppings (sliced olives, chopped pineapple, crumbled sausage, sliced peppers, sliced mushrooms, and so on)

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
  2. Mix the tomato sauce and Italian seasoning in a small bowl until well blended.
  3. Spread sauce evenly onto crusts.
  4. Sprinkle pizzas evenly with cheese, and top with pepperoni and any other toppings.
  5. Place pizzas on an ungreased baking sheet, and bake for about 10 minutes, or until edges of crusts are lightly browned and cheese is melted.

Easy Beef and Cheddar Casserole

This is another ooey, gooey, cheesy, pleasy tasty comfort food.

Ingredients

  • 12 oz. egg noodles or favorite pasta noodles
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 16 oz. can tomato sauce
  • 15 oz. can diced tomatoes
  • 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
  • 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
  • 2 tablespoons chopped parsley

Directions

  1. Cook noodles according to package directions.
  2. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
  3. While the noodles are cooking, cook the ground beef for 4-5 minutes.
  4. Add the onion and garlic to the pan, and cook for an additional 5 minutes, or until onion has softened and beef is cooked through. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Add the tomato sauce, canned tomatoes, and Italian seasoning to the beef, and stir to combine.
  6. Drain the noodles and add to the pan with the beef; toss to combine.
  7. Pour the beef and noodle mixture into a 9×13 inch baking pan. Top with the cheddar cheese.
  8. Bake for about 10 minutes, or until cheese is melted. Sprinkle with parsley, and serve.

Pizzadillas

Pizzadillas are another perfectly kid friendly recipe. They cook up fast, and you can customize them however you like to fit the preferences of your kiddos.

  • 8 flour tortillas
  • 2 cups shredded cheese
  • 40 pepperoni slices
  • 1 can black olives, sliced
  • 1 bottle pizza sauce or small can tomato sauce
  • additional favorite pizza toppings (chopped pineapple, chopped peppers, sliced mushrooms, and so on)

Directions

  1. Sprinkle about one-fourth of the cheese onto four of the tortillas, add the additional toppings, and then place the four additional tortillas on top of the first four tortillas.
  2. Place the pizzadilla in a skillet and cook over medium heat until light brown on the bottom (about 3 to 5 minutes).
  3. Carefully flip the pizzadilla over, and cook until light brown on the other side and cheese is melted inside.
  4. Serve with ranch or marinara sauce for dipping, if desired.

Chicken Tamale Pie

This is another tasty Mexican inspired easy meal for kids. And if you prefer, you can substitute the chicken for ground beef (or ground turkey). Works great!

Ingredients

  • 1  box Jiffy corn muffin mix
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 cup corn
  • 2 tablespoons melted butter or margarine
  • 1 tablespoon cooking oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon taco seasoning
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups cooked shredded chicken
  • 3/4 cup enchilada sauce, divided
  • 2 cups shredded cheddar
  • Directions
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F, and grease a large ovenproof skillet (or 8×11 baking pan) with cooking spray. In a medium bowl, whisk together the corn muffin mix, sour cream, egg, corn, and melted butter. Pour into a prepared skillet and bake until golden, about 15 minutes. 
  2. Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the chopped onion and cook until soft, about 5 minutes. Then add the garlic, and cook about 1 minute more.
  3. Add the taco seasoning and salt. Add the chicken and 1/2 cup of the enchilada sauce, and stir to combine. 
  4. Poke holes all over the baked cornbread with the bottom of a wooden spoon. Pour remaining 1⁄4 cup enchilada sauce over the poked holes, and top with the chicken mixture. 
  5. Top with cheese, and bake for 20 minutes more. Serve hot.

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Final Thoughts on Meals for Kids

Even when you have picky eaters, you can still find fun recipes for kids that your little ones will love! These simple meals for kids are perfect for feeding the whole family.

What other ideas for kid friendly recipes do you have? What recipes for kids do you go to again and again? Leave a comment below and let me know. I would love to hear your thoughts!

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