No kid can live on microwaved chicken nuggets alone. If you have a picky eater or two (or more) on your hands, it may seem impossible to get them to try anything new. Short of sneaking veggies in disguise into their diet (à la Chocolate-Spinach Brownies), what can you do? Come dinnertime, don’t fret! We’ve rounded up healthy, homemade versions of kid favorites like mac and cheese (and nuggets) that are sure to please the pickiest of palates.
Cooking at home with fresh ingredients from the fridge and kitchen pantry cabinet is a healthy alternative to processed foods, and lets you control the ingredients that go into their growing bodies. It’s also a fun activity families can do together! According to Choose My Plate – Tips for Picky Eaters from the USDA (US Department of Agriculture), kids are more likely to be excited about trying new foods when they help make meals. So gather your crew around the kitchen island and let’s get cooking!
Baked Parmesan Chicken Nuggets
Unlike most homemade chicken nugget recipes that call for whole chunks of chicken breast, this recipe from Gimme Delicious is truly picky-eater friendly. Fresh chicken is pureed in a blender with Parmesan cheese, then hand-shaped and coated in a crunchy Panko breading before baking. Similar to store-bought nuggets in texture, these nuggets are super healthy and easy to make at home. Best of all, they can be kept in the freezer for over a month and heated in the microwave or toaster! For the full list of ingredients and instructions from Gimme Delicious, click here.
Stovetop Mac and Cheese
If you’re looking for an easy-to-make, kid-friendly mac and cheese recipe, look no further than Super Healthy Kids. We especially love that this homemade mac and cheese is cooked on the stovetop, just like the kind that comes in a box — because we all know baking mac and cheese in the oven and topping it with toasted breadcrumbs is not going to fly with a picky eater (no matter how delicious it is)! While the recipe calls for whole wheat pasta noodles from your kitchen pantry cabinet, you can always substitute “white” pasta made with 100% semolina wheat. You’ll also need garlic and onion powder from your spice drawer.
What kid doesn’t like pizza? This easy pizza dough recipe is fun to make at home as a family, and calls for only five basic ingredients (we bet you already have them in your kitchen pantry cabinet). When you make your own pizza, you can satisfy everyone, including the pickiest of eaters who don’t like cheese or tomato sauce! And maybe by getting the kids involved in meal prep around the kitchen island, they will be willing to try a few of those veggie toppings they would never eat before. For the recipe for Easy Homemade Pizza Dough from Joy Food Sunshine, click here.
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