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a week of kid-friendly recipes for $45…shopping list included!

It’s green.

I hate onions.

You want me to eat what?

Tomatoes?  Yuck.

That smells.

I’m NOT eating that.

Whoops, it fell on the ground.

How many bites?

Do these phrases/demands sound familiar?  I heard them last week at our dinner table.

Somehow I have this idea that I have been a foodie since birth, eating sushi out of the womb, but the reality is that I was probably a picky eater as a kid too, just like our kids are (what planet are you from that you don’t like caramelized onions, my beautiful offspring?).  I had previously put together some thoughts on how to help encourage our kids in the food department, and now I’ve assembled some go-to dishes I think your kids will enjoy for when you just don’t care to fight with them anymore.  Try them all and you’ll spend about $45 for 7 meals!

Meal #1:

Mexican Chicken and Rice Bake

Prep and Cooking Time:  35 minutes

Total:  $8.70

Why kids will love it:  Chicken, rice, beans, cheese, and veggies having a party in a pyrex pan.  It’s so creamy and flavorful the kiddos will never mind that there are so many nutritious goodies thrown in.

Meal #2:

Turkey Meatballs with Golden Raisins and Pinenuts

Prep and Cooking Time:  25 minutes

Total:  $7.91

Why the kids will love it:  These meatballs are sweet, salty and a little crunchy.  Plus they have a yogurt dipping sauce…what kid doesn’t like to play with his/her food?!

Meal #3:

Grilled Lime Chicken with Garlic Black Bean Sauce

Prep and Cooking Time:  2 1/2 hours (most of that marinading and black bean simmering)

Total:  $5.60

Why kids will love this:  Grilled chicken can be shredded and served with black bean sauce on top of tortillas.  From there the sky’s the limit for options – guacamole, cheese, avocado, you name it.  Hooray for toppings!

Meal #4:

Honey Peanut Chicken with Brown Rice

Prep and Cooking Time:  2 hours, 15 minutes (most of that marinating)

Total:  $5.39

Why kids will love this:  This dish is sweet, salty and peanut buttery, PLUS your kids can choose what veggie will get tossed in!  They DO get a say in what they eat after all!

Meal #5: 

Cottage Cheese Pancakes

Prep and Cooking Time:  15 minutes

Total:  $2.68

Why kids will love this:  What’s not to love about crepe-like pancakes?  They’ll never know you’ve included protein-packed cottage cheese!  Plus throw on some fruit and maple syrup and they’ll think they’ve died and gone to breakfast (or dinner) heaven.

Meal #6:

Green Chile Chicken Enchiladas

Prep and Cooking Time:  1 hour (after cooking chicken)

Total:  $8.12

Why kids will love this:  They can get into the assembly of these enchiladas, and there’s creamy and cheesy chicken goodness to enjoy!  It’s a win for everyone.

Meal #7:

Creamy Sausage and Tomato Pasta

Prep and Cooking Time:  20 minutes

Total:  $6.80

Why kids will love it:  Who doesn’t love pasta with sausage and cheese?  The cook on duty will love that this dish can be whipped up in 20 minutes, with the results being spectacular.

Total for 7 kid-friendly recipes:  about $45!

Based on finding items for approximately what I pay for them using this little spreadsheet.

Shopping List:

Meat and Seafood

  • 10 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 pound ground turkey or chicken
  • 1 pound italian sausage (I prefer chicken but pork would work great too)


  • 3/4 cup corn
  • 1/4 cup sliced green onions
  • 1 3/4 cup chopped cilantro
  • 2 onions
  • 1 lemon
  • 6 limes
  • 1 head garlic
  • veggies for honey peanut chicken
  • pancake toppings (various fruit, if you’d like it)
  • avocados to make your own guacamole or put on grilled lime chicken


  • 6 cups cooked brown rice
  • 2 15-ounce cans black beans (or make your own!)
  • 4 ounce can green chiles
  • 1/2 cup salsa
  • 1/2 cup pine nuts
  • 1/2 cup golden raisins
  • 1/2 cup breadcrumbs
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons peanut butter
  • 8+ corn tortillas (more if you’d like them with the grilled lime chicken with black beans)
  • 1 16-ounce jar green chile salsa
  • 1 28-ounce can diced tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup basil


  • 3 1/2 cups plain greek yogurt
  • 2 cups cheddar or jack cheese, shredded (use for mexican chicken and rice bake and enchiladas)
  • 9 eggs
  • 1/4 cup grated asiago cheese
  • 1 1/4 cup cottage cheese

Need more meal plans?  I’ve got plenty more to share if you need inspiration in the kitchen!

Browse more plans (with shopping lists!) here.

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6 Comments Post a comment
  1. Barbara #

    I can’t figure how to find a print friendly version of your recipes. Would love to copy a few of them.

    June 18, 2012
    • Barbara – I’m so sorry about the print stuff. I’m trying to figure out a way to add that feature. Will keep you posted!

      June 18, 2012
  2. These sound great. I am suprised my mother didn’t kill my brother and i with our fussiness.

    June 19, 2012
  3. Jill #

    Delurking here – love your website 🙂 But I think your link for green chile enchiladas is actually linking to your honey peanut chicken!

    June 24, 2012
    • Thanks! My apologies! I will fix right away.

      June 24, 2012
  4. I have just discovered this wonderful bit of internet and I am loving it! I live with some picky room-mates and I am sure even they would love these recipes.

    July 16, 2012

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