As a mom with a toddler and a four year old with special needs, I need easy dinner ideas for kids I don’t have to think about. Simple ingredients. Quick preparation. And hopefully no complaints from my kids.
While my toddler will eat pretty much anything my four year old with autism and sensory issues is a completely different story. For me, I judge the success of a meal on whether my four year old will try a bite and eventually eat it. All of these easy dinner ideas for kids are perfect for busy moms who need quick meal ideas with low prep for difficult days!
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My Easy Dinner Qualifications
Each of the easy dinner ideas for kids that made this list are some of my kids favorites. I do have a picky eater on my hands as my four-year-old has autism and is very selective about what he eats. He has opened up to new foods recently, but trying new things takes many tries.
However, the recipe ideas that made this list, he will actually eat! That says a lot!
Some nights after speech therapy, occupational therapy appointments, plus preschool, I don’t have the time for meals with many ingredients and loads of prep time. And sometimes I simply don’t want the hassle of complicated cooking when I’ve had a bad day with the kids.
I’m sure you can relate! That’s why each of the dinner ideas on this list contain a few qualifications:
- My kids will eat it!
- They contain few ingredients
- Little to no prep time
- Can be cooked in 20 to 30 minutes
For many of the recipes below, the thing that takes the longest for the prep time is waiting for the oven to preheat! Other’s call for ground beef, which is hardest aspect of the recipe for preparing the meal.
If you’re a hectic, busy mom like I am, give some of these easy dinner ideas for kids a try this week! You won’t regret it!
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Easy Dinner Ideas For Kids
Ham and Cheese Roll Ups | Recipe Simple
My kids love these! They are a huge success! All it takes is Cresent Rolls, thinly sliced ham and cheese.
Taco Pizza | Eating On A Dime
Again, another Cresent roll recipe. I cook the ground been ahead of time in the morning. I also customize this recipe for my kids by not adding green onions and putting the sour cream on the side for dipping.
Sloppy Joes | The Rebel Chick
This sloppy joe recipe is so easy and is from scratch. Simply take mustard, ketchup, and a little brown sugar for the sloppy joe sauce. I use this amazing sauce to have grilled sloppy joe cheese sandwiches. Just take wheat bread, the sloppy joe recipe mix from above, add sliced cheese and grill.
Quesadillas | Through The Cooking Glass
Quesadillas are full of endless possibilities. While my kids will eat quesadillas with just cheese I love the recipe above because it adds more healthy protein to their diet!
Hawaiian Roll Sandwiches | Mighty Mrs.
You have not experienced food until you try Hawaiian roll sandwiches! This recipe contains simple ingredients that pair great together. The longest prep time is waiting for the oven to precook and putting the meat and cheese on the sandwiches!
Corn Dog Muffins | Hip 2 Save
What kids don’t like corndogs! This is a different take on the precooked frozen corndogs from the store and it’s super easy!
Tator Tot Casserole With Ground Beef | This Is Not Diet Food
My family’s had this dinner a few times now and it’s the ultimate comfort food. If my oldest doesn’t eat it for dinner, I separate the ground been and tater tots so he’s not so overwhelmed. (Sometimes casserole dishes can leave those with sensory issues feeling overwhelmed at the dinner table).
Cheeseburger Cups | My Fearless Kitchen
Similar to Corn Dog Muffins, but a fun and easy take on regular cheeseburgers.
Peanut Butter And Banana Rollups | Happy Foods Tube
Most moms would consider this an after school snack or a quick lunch. However, I’ve found I can pre-make these wraps when I know we will be on the road and traveling. They are more filling than they look!
You can also add extra’s to the wraps like mini chocolate chips or Rice Crispies, and even substitute regular peanut butter for PB Protein (PB Fit or PB2).
Grilled Cheese With Tomato Soup
Grilled cheese sandwiches are always a hit! Pair with a side of tomato soup for dipping!
Mac n Cheese Muffins | Swirls Of Flavor
This recipe calls for freshly made Mac n’ Cheese (from scratch or box). But, I make Mac n’ Cheese Muffins with leftover Mac n’ Cheese. If my kids don’t eat all their make and cheese the night before, I make these muffins the next night.
Lazy Lasagna | The Lazy Dish
This is about the only lasagna I can get my kids to eat and it’s one of the best super easy dinner ideas for kids because it’s only three ingredients.
Pulled Pork Sandwiches |Lauren Greutman
I use an instant pot for the pork for a faster cook time. Instead of making the sauce from scratch I use bottled BBQ sauce to make this meal even quicker. Hawaiian buns work great with pulled pork sandwiches!
Pizza Sandwiches Dipped In Marinara |Lil’ Luna
Pizza sandwiches are great for kids who love to dip! I keep all the sauces on the side instead of adding them to the food just so my boys can dip. It seems to make dinner more fun for them.
Cheese, Meat, and Fruit Kaboobs | Delightful E Made
This is a no cook anything recipe! Take sliced deli meat, sliced cheese or chunks, and add cut grapes. Always cut the grapes length-wise! You can always substitute any of the items for different pairs of meat, cheese, and fruit.
Try Harvarti cheese, roast beef slices, and kiwi!
Apple Slice Sandwiches | Simple Seasonal
A healthy take on regular sandwiches, this dinner idea is a no cook recipe. I will say that you do have to combine these Apple Slice Sandwiches with something else to fill your kids’ bellies. I pair them with organic dino chicken nuggets.
Three to four ingredent’s and your dinner is complete! Spagetti noodles, jarred spagetti sauce, ground beef/chicken, and parmesan cheese.
Philly Cheese Steak Quesadillas | Easy Peasy Pleasy
Yes, this recipe does have green pepper in it! Instead of slices, I finely chop them to try and hide them. I’m sneaky like that!
Tuna Melt With Zucchini Fries | The Kitchen Magpie
Tuna melt’s are incredible and they’re one of my favorite meals for myself! I substitute regular bread for 45 low calorie Sara Lee bread. I like to pair it with a side of zucchini fries. You don’t have to make your own (as zucchini fries require a lot of preparation). Simply by Green Giant frozen zucchini fries to give your child extra veggies in their diet.
Breakfast For Dinner
It’s said “Breakfast is the most important meal of the day.” Why not have breakfast for dinner?! Whip up some pancakes, French toast, scrambled eggs, hash browns, and more for quick and easy dinner ideas for kids.
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Dinner doesn’t have to be complicated and shouldn’t be! I love recipes that have easy preparation, few ingredients, and love them even more if my kids will actually eat it!
So take some of these easy dinner ideas for kids and put them to use ASAP for those busy nights!