10 Healthy Meals for Picky Eaters
Finding healthy meals for your picky eater can feel impossible. They won’t eat the vegetables you put in front of them and may even turn down proteins like chicken or fish. Instead of trying to win another dinner battle, bookmark these recipes. Each one is packed with healthy ingredients, but presented in a way that makes it easy to convince your picky eater to indulge, while getting plenty of nutrients.
Zucchini Pizza Bites
Few kids will turn down pizza, but it’s not always the healthiest choice. Make it healthier, while keeping it kid-friendly, with these pizza bites. The healthy “crust” is a zucchini round. Just top it with sauce, cheese and a slice of pepperoni (optional) and bake. Put them out on a plate and let your little one munch away. Not only are these easy to make, but they’re perfect for lunch, dinner or as an afterschool snack.
Oatmeal With Butternut Squash
If your picky eater always says yes to a big bowl of oatmeal, you can sneak in some butternut squash without them ever knowing. All you need is pureed butternut squash, which you can often find in the grocery store if you don’t want to make it yourself. Stir in the veggie, add your healthy sweetener and you’re ready to serve.
Broccoli Cheese Nuggets
These green nuggets may be fun enough to entice your picky eater to indulge in broccoli. While the original recipe calls for breadcrumbs and cheese, mom and blogger, Laura, offers a gluten free recipe as well as a dairy free recipe too! No matter what your child’s restrictions, they can get the nutrients from these little bites.
To make it a full meal, pair with a protein or extra veggies.
Ginger Soy Salmon
Mom, blogger and pediatric dietician, Natalia, says this picky eater meal is perfect for kids who won’t eat fish. The marinade calls for a small amount of brown sugar, which she says is critical to getting your picky eater to chow down. She even shares a fun shortcut—put veggies on the pan with the fish to cook your entire meal at one time, perfect for busy nights when you still want to get a healthy meal on the table.
Similar to the broccoli nuggets, these bite-sized snacks are filled with fiber. Served in this format, however, as a “tater tot,” your little one might just ask for more. Even better: the ingredients include cooked quinoa, an egg, breadcrumbs and flour. If your child is gluten intolerant, or you like to avoid gluten ingredients, Amy, who developed this recipe, says they can also be made with gluten free breadcrumbs and gluten free flour.
To make it a full meal, pair with a turkey burger for a healthier option to traditional burger and fries.
Oatmeal, Apple and Cinnamon Muffins
What sets these muffins apart from every recipe you’ve already tried? Each muffin contains half a serving of Healthy Height, which means they’re packed with protein and vitamins. With banana and whole wheat flour as the base, your little one won’t even know they’re indulging in a healthy snack.
These veg-heavy meatballs are perfect for picky eaters who squeam when you put veggies in front of them. With zucchini, carrot and tomato, your little one will get a much-needed boost when indulging in their favorite spaghetti and meatballs dish—and they won’t even know. They’re also made with gluten free flour, making them a tasty option for celiac or gluten-intolerant picky eaters.
Creamy Penne Pasta with Veggies
This traditional pasta dish gets its creamy sauce from goat cheese and organic greek yogurt, and the pasta is made with spelt, an ancient grain. With the added zucchini, squash and kale, your picky eater will get plenty of nutrients in every creamy bite they take. This may even become a weekly staple that you and your little one will love.
Pumpkin Oatmeal Pancakes
You’ll be hard-pressed to find a kid who doesn’t want a stack of pancakes for breakfast. Make your usual Sunday morning meal a lot healthier with our favorite pancake recipe. Not only are these cakes packed with vitamin A thanks to the pumpkin, but there’s plenty of protein from two scoops of vanilla Healthy Height too.
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Instant Pot Lasagna Soup
Turn this italian favorite into a healthy soup. The recipe calls for lentils (protein) and spinach (iron), so your kiddo is getting plenty of extra nutrients. It’s also meat free, so you’ll use vegetable broth, making it even more nutrient-rich. The best part: it only takes 30 minutes, allowing you to get a healthy dinner on the table quickly and easily.
Bonus: Picky Eater Snacks
If you’re looking for some fresh snack ideas too, we have a few irresistible picky-eater friendly recipes for you to try.
High Fiber Chocolate Bites
These mini chocolate bites are filled with fiber thanks to the main ingredient: prunes. They’re also made with whole rolled oats, nut butter and your choice of protein powder (check out Healthy Height!). Pop these into your kids lunch for a sweet and healthy treat, or put them out after school for a filling snack.
Frozen Greek Yogurt Bites
Give your picky eater some extra fat and protein with these cute little greek yogurt bites. Just scoop yogurt into a bag, cut off the tip, and put drops on a baking sheet. Then add the topping of your picky eater’s choice, like chocolate chips, sprinkles, blueberries, or raspberries. Freeze for an hour and enjoy. Your picky eater can even help squeeze out the yogurt or add their toppings.
Healthy Height Protein Date Balls
Jennifer, from Kids Eat in Color, created this recipe because of a common picky eater concern she hears a lot, “One concern that a lot of moms have is protein for their kids. My hack to making sure my kids get enough protein, is to have an easy protein-rich snack I can throw in their lunch box. I try to always have date balls ready to go in the fridge.” These are easy to make and toss in with lunch, or serve as a quick and easy after school snack.