Food fights take on a whole new meaning when you become a parent—and feeding a picky eater can test the best of us. If your little one gags at anything but buttered noodles and you’re wondering where they’ll get their high protein foods from, we have recipes that are quick to prepare, packed with protein and that kids will actually eat! Keep reading to see them all.
Slow Cooker Chicken Tacos
When kids can get creative with their food at the table, they start seeing it as something other than "yucky." This chicken taco filling is the starting point for dinnertime creativity—add in other taco toppings like cheese, fresh tomato, avocado and lettuce, and those picky eaters might just surprise you! Head to Dinner At The Zoo for the recipe.
Soft Boiled Eggs and Soldiers
Soft boiled eggs are ready in five minutes, and when paired with buttered sticks of toast (soldiers) which the kids can dunk in the runny yolk, they're as fun as they are convenient. Head to Eat Live Run for tips and tricks on how to boil the perfect egg.
Deconstructed Soba Noodle Soup
Don't let the picture put you off—plenty of picky eaters wouldn't go near a soup with the ingredients all mushed in together but Meredith at Feed Them Wisely says this delicious ginger coconut chicken soup can be deconstructed and all the ingredients served separately. While the soup option works for adults, kids get to taste the same flavors (and protein-packed soba noodles), just with a tweaked presentation—genius!
Power Protein Bowls
Choose-your-own-adventure meets the dinner table with this build-your-own-bowl idea from Liz's Healthy Table. With a choice of ready-to-eat teriyaki tofu, egg, edamame, bell pepper and sugar snap peas, all the choices are healthy. When kids get control over what goes on their plate, they might even be a little braver when tasting new foods.
Crispy Tofu Fajitas
Here's another recipe giving kids an element of choice—crispy crunchy marinated tofu paired with the family's favorite toppings. Kids can decide what goes into their tortillas and you can leave the sauce on the side. Ciara Attwell at My Fussy Eater knows a thing or two about feeding picky little eaters and has more tips on her site.
Sweet and Savory Chicken Stir Fry
Putting veg on the side of a simple rice dish allows kids to know exactly what they're eating and sometimes a suspicious ingredient is all it takes for a point-blank refusal to eat. This stir-fry recipe from our archives is a mix of sweet and savory flavors that's easy to prepare—just mince the onion small or omit altogether.
Butternut Squash Mac 'N' Cheese
Sneaking veggies into a mac and cheese is super tempting as a parent and this recipe from A Sweet Pea Chef contains butternut squash, as well as extra protein from Greek yogurt and parmesan cheese. This take on an old favorite can be prepped ahead of time and either stored in the refrigerator or frozen until ready to bake.
Skewered food often works for picky eaters, perhaps because there's something of the lollipop about it. With this chicken satay dish from our archives, you get double the dose of protein from the chicken and the peanut sauce.
A classic carbonara has no cream and no heavy sauce because the eggs do all the work, making it both light and decadent at the same time. This recipe from Scrummy Lane gives lots of tips on how to make the perfect carbonara.
— Emily Myers