Super picky palates can get you into the routine of making the same plain meals day after day. Luckily, we’re here to help you add some variety! We’ve rounded up a tasty assortment of totally kid-pleasing recipes to introduce exciting new foods and flavors to the weekly meal repertoire (They’re healthy, too!). Read on for 13 foods that all kids should give a try before they turn 10.
For a great source of plant-based protein that’s packed with fiber, chickpeas are hard to beat. These savory roasted chickpeas from Jennifer von Ebers of Slim Shoppin make a healthy snack that’s perfect for little fingers. Whip up a batch for your crew and watch it disappear. You can find the recipe here.
If your kids turn up their noses at the mention of tofu, introduce them to this sweet and gingery version from Catherine McCord at Weelicious. Not only is the recipe super quick and simple, but it appeals to both adults and kids, so everyone wins at the dinner table! Try pressing your tofu before prepping, so it absorbs even more of the flavorful marinade. Get the ingredients and steps right here.
With fresh basil, garlic, parmesan and a squeeze of lemon juice, pesto makes a bright and zesty topping, dip or spread that just screams summertime. With endless variations, you can experiment and find your favorites to try with crackers, veggies, or on a crusty baguette. Try serving the kids this delicious pasta and pesto combination for a quick and easy dinner. Is your household nut free? No worries. This sunflower seed version is equally scrumptious.
photo: The Six O’Clock Scramble
Kids love noodles, and a bowl of brothy, noodle-y ramen is a tasty and creative way to pack in extra veggies and protein (And we’re not talking about those cheap packages that got you through your college days!). Our version from Aviva Goldfarb of The Six O’Clock Scramble is loaded with colorful veggies, cubes of tofu, slurp-worthy noodles, ginger and a squeeze of lime. Click here for the recipe.
Kale, kale, kale. You’ve heard all about how good it is for you. So how do you get your tiny diners to enjoy more of this super nutritious leafy green veg? Start with these irresistible, crave-worthy kale chips. With a little olive oil and salt, it become a crispy, crunchy snack that you’ll always want to have on hand. Learn how to make your own batch here.
Steamed and dipped in lemon butter or hollandaise, fresh artichoke leaves make a great no-fuss meal for spring and summer. If your little eaters are wary of tasting our favorite edible thistle on its own, try tempting them with this savory pie version, complete with creamy cheese and a flaky crust. You can get the delicious recipe right here.
photo: The Kitchen Snob
Move over, rice! Quinoa is the trendy new grain popping up in kitchens everywhere, and it’s easy to see why. It’s a complete protein, cooks quickly, and has a great nutty flavor. Try out this Greek-inspired version, jazzed up with roasted tomatoes, Kalamata olives, spinach, and feta. You can find the full recipe here.
A crunchy, juicy, slightly sweet snack sounds like a natural kid-pleaser, and jicama is just that. If you’re ready to shake up the carrot stick and celery routine, try offering your little ones a side of this tasty root vegetable instead. Use cookie cutters to make fun shapes, try it with a yummy dip, or make a batch of this colorful Southwestern Salad with a citrusy dressing, from Weelicious.
Too much heat can overwhelm little tastebuds, but a little bit of spice can introduce kids to a whole new range of delicious flavors. Try out some mild curry by making these easy Chicken Tikka Skewers with cool yogurt for dipping. Get the full recipe here.
photo: Erin Lem
With the right recipe, even the fussiest eater can become a fan of fish, and this Salmon with Green Beans and Lemon Zest is a must-try. Parents will love how simple it is to make, too. Just place all of the ingredients in parchment paper, bundle, and bake! Dinner is ready in a snap. Give the recipe a try right here.
A creamy texture, a great dose of potassium and healthy fats, and amazing versatility make the avocado one of our favorite kitchen staples (Guacamole, anyone?). Get your kids flipping for the green superstar with this Kiddie Cobb Salad by Katie Sullivan Morford of Mom’s Kitchen Handbook. With chunks of avocado, smoked turkey, hard boiled egg, and cherry tomatoes, it’s a fun new way to get those daily greens!
12. Portobello mushrooms
Plump and earthy portobello mushrooms make a fantastic meat substitute in burgers and sandwiches. Try this delish and gooey grilled sandwich stuffed with mushrooms, spinach, and three kinds of cheese. You won’t even miss the meat! Grab the ingredient list here.
Sweet and tangy teriyaki sauce adds an amazing flavor to meats, tofu, and veggies. Plus, when you see how easy it is to make at home, you won’t reach for the bottled stuff again! Try these cool and crunchy teriyaki-filled lettuce wraps from Tiny Oranges. They’re the perfect size for little hands, and sure to be a hit.
Have your little ones tried all 13 of these foods? Will you be giving any of these recipes a try? Let us know in the comments below!