6 Healthy Kid-Friendly Meals for Picky Eaters

When your fussy little foodie refuses to try new foods at nearly every meal, you might start having concerns about your child’s health and nutrition. Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered with our selection of six healthy kid-friendly meals for picky eaters. But before you start cooking, it’s best to try and understand why your kid is a picky eater in the first place.

Understanding Picky Eaters

Picky eating is a common behaviour across many children. Your child might be a picky eater for a variety of reasons. It may be a phase they’re going through, their sense of taste and texture may still be developing or—if they’re a toddler—picky eating can be how they show their growing independence. 

Whatever you do, don’t pressure them to clean their plate when they don’t want to, as that can encourage more picky eating. Instead, try to tackle the issue together as a family.

  • Start having regular family meals if you aren’t already. Family meals emphasise socialization and bonding, which can make the meal feel less like a chore for your child. 
  • Ensure your child isn’t snacking throughout the day. If they arrive at your dining table hungry, they’re more likely to try new foods. 
  • Involve your child in meal planning and preparation. Browse and pick out recipes together, take them grocery shopping and ask for their help with simple tasks in the kitchen. They are much more likely to try a meal they’ve chosen and prepared together with you. 

The Importance of Healthy Eating for Kids

Teaching your child to eat healthy can improve their well-being in the long run. While picky eating isn’t likely going to lead to immediate health concerns, it can become a bad habit that impacts your child’s future growth. On the other hand, encouraging healthy eating habits earlier can improve their health down the line by helping them:

  • Balance energy levels throughout the day
  • Build stronger bones and teeth
  • Become more alert and able to think more clearly
  • Stay at a healthy weight
  • Minimise dental cavities
  • Reduce the chances of chronic diseases later in life

6 Healthy Kid-Friendly Meals

Say goodbye to untouched lunchboxes and dinner plates. These healthy foods for picky eaters are designed to delight your child’s taste buds while also giving them the nutrients they need to thrive.

1. Butternut squash fritters

These tasty fritters are a great way for you to sneak some veggies in your picky eater’s diet. The recipe contains no saturated fats and is a good source of fibre. Butternut squash is high in Vitamin A and many B Vitamins.

Prep time: 4 minutes
Cook time: 10 minutes


  • Small butternut squash
  • ¾ cup plain flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 2 eggs
  • ½ cup milk
  • Spring onion
  • Garlic clove


  1. Peel and grate the butternut squash. Fill 2 cups with grated squash.
  2. Chop spring onion and garlic.
  3. Sieve the flour and baking powder. Add the eggs and milk and mix.
  4. Stir in the grated squash, spring onion, and garlic.
  5. Heat oil in a frying pan and add in a tablespoon of the fritter batter. Fry the fritters on medium heat for approximately 3-4 minutes on either side, or until they are golden brown and cooked through.
  6. Serve with greek yogurt for dipping.

2. Broccoli pesto pasta

Pasta is the perfect comfort food, and this pesto pasta recipe transforms the Italian classic into a nutritious delight. And there’s even some broccoli blended in so your picky eater doesn’t notice.

Prep time: 1 min
Cook time: 5 mins


  • Broccoli
  • Pasta
  • Grated parmesan
  • Olive oil
  • Basil leaves
  • Lemon juice
  • Small garlic clove


  1. Steam the broccoli until tender.
  2. Add the broccoli to a food processor along with the garlic, lemon juice, grated parmesan, basil and olive oil. 
  3. Blend until smooth.
  4. Boil a pot of pasta.
  5. Mix a few spoons of the broccoli pesto with cooked pasta.
  6. Plate and serve.

3. Overnight oats

The best thing about overnight oats: No cooking in the morning and easily customizable flavours to match the tastes of even the pickiest eaters. Add in peanut butter for more protein, or pumpkin for a vitamin packed pumpkin pie flavour.

Prep time: 5 mins (4 hours or more before serving)


  • Milk (whole, oat, almond or coconut)
  • Plain greek yogurt
  • Maple syrup or honey
  • Chia seeds
  • Old-fashioned rolled oats
  • Fresh berries, or mango, pumpkin puree, or even chocolate chips.


  1. In a jar, combine the milk, yogurt, maple syrup and chia seeds. 
  2. Stir in the oats. Make sure they are all submerged in the milk. 
  3. Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or up to 3 days.
  4. Serve cold. Add berries and/or other toppings.

4. Pitta pizza with veggies

Unlike most takeout pizzas, these pitta pizzas with added veggies are both healthy and tasty. 


  • Pitta bread
  • Tomato sauce
  • Grated carrot
  • Grated zucchini
  • Diced yellow pepper
  • Grated cheddar cheese
  • Pepperoni


  1. Preheat the oven to 180c.
  2. Put the pitta on a baking dish.
  3. Spread the sauce onto the pitta.
  4. Add the grated carrot, zucchini and diced peppers.
  5. Add the grated cheddar and the pepperoni slices.
  6. Bake for 10-12 minutes until the cheese is melted.

5. Air-fried garlic, cheese and tomato toastie

With a light cheese spread, these sandwiches are low in fat while also containing tomatoes for vitamin C and basil to boost your child’s immune system.

Prep time: 2 mins
Cook time: 8 mins


  • 2 slices of bread
  • Light cheese spread
  • Garlic dip
  • Sliced tomato
  • Fresh basil
  • Butter


  1. Add the cheese spread, garlic dip, tomato slices and basil leaves to one side of the bread. Top the sandwich with the second slice of bread.
  2. Place the sandwich in the airfryer and spread some butter on the top slice.
  3. Cook at 190c for 5 minutes.
  4. Flip the toastie, spread butter on the other side, and continue cooking for another 3 minutes.
  5. Remove, cut in half and serve.

6. Mini burgers

Looking for a fun way to get your fussy eater involved in meal prep? Try these mini burgers—a tasty lunch or dinner that’s very easy to make.

Prep time: 5 mins
Cook time: 10 mins


  • 8 meatballs
  • Half tbsp oil
  • 4 slices of bread
  • Lettuce
  • Cheese
  • Ketchup


  1. Flatten the meatballs until they are shaped like patties.
  2. Heat the oil in a frying pan. Cook meatballs for 4 to 5 minutes on either side until browned. Check if they are cooked through.
  3. Toast the slices of bread. Cut out circular burger buns from each slice.
  4. Build the burgers by adding lettuce, cheese, ketchup or any other topping of choice.
  5. Serve and enjoy.

Healthy Eating Begins Together

Encouraging your child to try a wide variety of nutritious foods begins at home. By involving them in meal planning and preparation, you’ll be teaching them about the importance of healthy eating—a valuable habit that will set them up for the future. 

However, it can be difficult to include your kid in every meal planning decision, especially when you’re a busy parent. Sometimes that means there simply isn’t enough time for packed lunch boxes. That’s why you should consider looking for preschool or kindergarten programs that ensure your picky eater is getting the nutrients they need, while also providing kid-friendly meals that appeal to their specific tastes.

Contact us today

Childventures ensures your child gets a broad selection of healthy meals. Our food program is curated by a Pediatric Nutritionist to ensure each bite fuels your little one’s active mind. Visit our website or contact us for more information.

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