Whole Story

The Official Whole Foods Market® Blog

Kid-Friendly Foods for the Whole Family

Finding a meal adults will agree on is hard enough, but throw kids into the mix and you’ve got a recipe for nightly disaster. Although I’ve been lucky enough to be blessed with an adventurous eater, we still have to deal with spur-of-the-moment taste changes and almost nonstop requests for the foods he adores. It seems there’s no way around kids being, well, kids, at mealtime, but thankfully there are dishes out there that are sure to please your small fry without resorting to French fries. Here are some of my picks for picky eaters (big and small):



Do you have any special recipes or tips to help entice your kids to eat well? I’d love to hear about it in the comments and I’m sure our readers would too!

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Gwen @SimplyHealthyFamily says …

It's so refreshing to see this sort of variety of meals. I love the oatmeal bake and carrot cashew dip. I have 4 children with a variety of taste bud challenges. It's been my mission to find healthy, home made foods that my kids will eat willingly which is why I started jotting down my recipes on my blog in the first place. My tips? If you call something "dip" kids are more likely to try it. If you serve it with a straw, if it has "sprinkles" on it which can be parmesan, sesame seeds or paprika they'll be more willing to eat it. My biggest struggle has been trying to reduce or eliminate refined foods from every meal like bread and pasta or empty calories such as white rice. I refuse to give in to all to common battle of "I don't like that!" I don't believe my kids will starve to death and I won't make them something other than what's for dinner. I ask that they try one bite and if they don't like it they don't have to finish it but they are well aware that there will be nothing else to eat if they don't eat what's on their plate. Mind you, I serve a variety of foods for each meal so they have their choices. Thanks for the fun new kid friendly recipes and keep em coming!

Kate says …

Children will eat it if they help prepare it! One day i made smoothies with a preschool class and all the children saw carrots peas avocados, etc and yelled, "i wont eat that!" So i had them help me make the smoothie by putting all the veggies in with other yummy ingredients and not only did they drink it, they ALL loved it!!! Mom's get back in the kitchen and take your kids with you!!!!!!!!!!

Heather Wormsley says …

One meal all 5 of us love is posted below. Better yet, it's made in the slow cooker, so I don't have to slave over it! Slow Cooker Lentils and Sausage SORSHA24 (from food.com) serves 12 1 (16 ounce) package dry organic lentils, sprouted 2 (14 ounce) cans beef broth (I used homemade chicken stock) 3 cups water 1 organic carrot, chopped 2 pounds kielbasa (Polish) sausage, cut into 1/2 inch pieces 1 stalk organic celery, chopped 1 (16 ounce) can diced tomatoes In a slow cooker, stir together the lentils, broth, water, carrot, sausage, and celery. Cover, and cook on High for 4 hours, or Low for 7 to 8 hours. Add tomatoes the last hour. Stir well before serving. 358cal 7.9g fiber

Annemarie says …

Great recipes! I'll have to try that carrot cashew spread. One recipe the grown-ups and children in my family can agree on is chicken tortilla soup: http://realfoodrealdeals.com/2012/05/27/chipotle-tortilla-soup/.

Sandy says …

A recipe that I just tried and to my surprise everyone really liked was this: A salad made with 2 cups of raw broccoli, 1/2 cup grated cheese mix, dried cranberries, toasted slivered almonds and 1/2 cup of roasted garlic and bacon dressing. It was really good and even the picky eaters that don't usually eat broccoli, ate it and enjoyed it.

Jen Fischer says …

These no-bake cookies/granola bars are high in iron and protein and low in sugar (we use organic maple syrup instead of sugar) - plus they're fun for little ones to help you make. http://jennifischer.blogspot.com/2012/07/3-ingredient-no-bake-cookies.html. Whole wheat pasta salads are also a hit.

Kimberly says …

My daughter is such a picky eater. She would not one of those items. She would actually go hungry before eating any of that. It is so frustrating. I love cooking and trying new and different recipes and she won't try any with out a fight.