Sept-7852
Kids, Nutrition, Picky Eaters

10 Kid-Friendly Dinner Ideas for Fall

With so many holidays and big sports games, fall is the season for food lovers—full of aromatic spice mixes, homey flavors and the return of abundant apples, squash and cranberries. You don’t have to wait for your family’s Thanksgiving Day feast to share your favorite fall flavors, either! These 10 fall dinner ideas are not only kid-friendly but also packed with memorable flavors, wholesome nutrients and enough variety to last all season long.

1. Butternut Squash Chili

When it comes to easy dinner ideas for kids, chili is hard to beat—especially when it’s freshly made and ready to serve. Nurture Life’s butternut squash chili incorporates mixed beans and farro, a hearty whole grain that’s packed with protein. In fact, just a quarter cup of farro provides nearly as much protein as 1 ounce of beef!

2. Baked Salmon Meatballs

It’s no secret that salmon is one of the most recommended superfoods for kids, as it’s a fantastic source of omega-3 fatty acids and lean protein. These baked salmon meatballs are flavored with cilantro, but you can easily substitute your kids’ favorite herbs or spices for a more familiar flavor profile.

3. Slow Cooker Chicken Corn Chowder

For busy parents, the best fall dinner ideas are often those that take the least time, which is why we love this slow-cooked chicken corn chowder. Combine boneless chicken breasts with colorful potatoes, green chiles and cream-style corn, and then let the slow cooker work its magic! If you’re trying to please a picky eater, sweet corn is a definite kid-friendly veggie.

4. Turkey and Gravy with Cauliflower Potato Mash

A wholesome take on Thanksgiving dinner, Nurture Life’s turkey and gravy is accompanied by an appetizing cauliflower potato mash—a side that provides familiar flavors and textures along with plenty of “hidden” fiber, vitamins and folate. This thoughtful balance of lean proteins, nutritious vegetables and fiber-rich carbohydrates is also a great model for building a healthy Thanksgiving plate!

5. Harvest Chicken Casserole

Casseroles are always a hit at mealtime, and their relatively low-prep nature makes them some of the most appreciated fall dinner ideas for busy weeknights. This harvest chicken casserole combines lean chicken breast with dried cranberries, brussel sprouts, sliced almonds and wild rice for a scrumptious medley of textures, colors and flavors.

6. Spaghetti Squash Pizza Nests

Spaghetti squash is often used as a low-carb pasta substitute, but did you know it can also be baked for a healthier take on crust? Just pack baked spaghetti squash into muffin tins, and then fill your spaghetti squash pizza nests with low-fat cheese, veggies or lean protein. With this recipe in your toolbox of easy dinner ideas for kids, your little ones won’t miss the frozen pizza pockets!

7. Pork Shoulder with Butternut Squash and Kale

Combining butternut squash with kale, red peppers and pulled pork, Nurture Life’s pork shoulder dish is a feast for the eyes as well as the stomach. Although pork is often passed up in favor of other lean meats, it can actually be leaner than chicken, turkey or ground beef. It’s also an excellent source of thiamin, niacin, riboflavin, vitamin B-6, phosphorus and protein.

8. Apple Cider Chicken with Caramelized Apples

It may be too cold for your kids’ favorite popsicles, but you can still offer a nutritious, lightly sweetened meal that’s quintessentially fall! Ready in 30 minutes or less, this recipe makes apple cider chicken from a slightly sweet and tangy mix of Dijon mustard, apple cider and onions. For the caramelized apples, we recommend cutting the brown sugar down to a single tablespoon or substituting with honey. Serve with a side of roasted veggies for extra fiber, vitamins and minerals.

9. Chicken Noodle Stew

Unlike many watered-down canned soups, Nurture Life’s chicken noodle stew provides a hearty serving of whole-wheat pasta, roasted chicken and traditional stewed veggies. A light mix of spices and herbs add a little warmth, while the perfectly sized, ready-to-serve portions make it one of the easiest kid dinner ideas for chilly autumn nights.

10. Mediterranean Turkey-Stuffed Peppers

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Made with a blend of lean ground turkey and aromatic vegetables, these stuffed peppers offer essential vitamins and minerals along with a light spice. Accompany the peppers with ancient grains or riced cauliflower and a side of steamed greens to boost the fiber and nutrients.

Whether you’re catering to a picky eater or a more adventurous palate, these fall-themed, kid-friendly dinner ideas are sure to please. Just cozy up to your warm dinner and enjoy the savory, spiced, rich flavors of fall together!

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RJ Bio

Rachael Janas

Rachael joined the Nurture Life team as the Marketing Production & QA Manager. From menu design to nutrient analysis, she covers all things food. Rachael is a Registered and Licensed Dietitian with a strong foundation in clinical nutrition and a keen interest in nutritious food with phenomenal flavor. Her passion for incorporating whole foods and creative cuisine while focusing on age-specific nutrient needs of children is essential to Nurture Life’s menu design. Rachael has been practicing dietetics since 2011, with the bulk of her experience in clinical nutrition at Loyola Medical Center, specializing in patients with cystic fibrosis as well as critical care nutrition related to lung disease and lung transplant. She also has experience in cardiac health and nutrition during pregnancy. Rachael received her B.S. from Saint Louis University in Missouri and completed a dietetic internship with Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston. Rachael’s interests include creative cooking at home, using a variety of ingredients, spices and herbs for a unique meal each night. She truly believes nutrition and food should be enjoyable and that all food can be enjoyed in moderation.