Kid friendly recipes and a free weekly meal plan printable chart. Use this meal chart to get your kids to eat and try new recipes!
A few months ago, I started doing a weekly meal chart with Caleb because he was struggling with meal time and becoming a picky eater. I’ve mentioned the chart on our blog and several of you have asked for more info. So today, I am sharing a free weekly meal plan printable, how it works, and some kid friendly recipes.
How the Meal Chart Works
- Every Saturday morning, I print off the meal chart and sit down with Caleb to meal plan for the week. I ask him what he wants to eat for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks for the entire week. I help give him ideas and direction, he can’t have pizza every night:) I make sure the week is well balanced. For ideas, I pull up recipes from our blog, Pinterest, and get out our favorite cookbooks. Caleb picks the recipes that look good to him, with my help, and we put the recipes on the chart. Sometimes, I challenge him to pick a recipe that he thinks he won’t like or that has a new vegetable.
- After we have the chart filled out, we go to the grocery store. Caleb comes with me most of the time so he can be involved in the process. He likes to help pick out the ingredients for the recipes on the chart.
- During the week, we follow the chart. Caleb is really good about making sure we don’t miss a meal. He likes to stick to the chart. He never complains about what is for dinner because he is the one that picked it.
- We like to make our meals as a family. The boys love helping out and when they do, they are more excited about eating. We like to turn on the tunes and have a little dance party while we cook too:) Food is FUN!
- If Caleb eats what is on the chart for the day, he gets a sticker. If he eats all of the recipes on the chart for the entire week, he gets to pick a special treat.
This meal planning system has worked really well for Caleb and our family. Caleb is now a champ when it comes to eating and trying new foods. He has learned that he likes salmon, asparagus, zucchini noodles, green smoothies, lentils, and more! And if Caleb doesn’t like something the first time, I wait a few weeks and have him try it again. Kids tastes change every day, so don’t give up!
Maxwell is still learning and doesn’t always eat what is on the chart, but he is two. We are getting there. He definitely eats a lot better when Caleb eats well because he wants to be just like his big brother:)
So what kind of recipes does Caleb put on the chart? Here are 10 of his favorite meals from our blog:
- Spaghetti and Meatballs
- Honey Lime Salmon Tacos
- Crispy Gnocchi with Basil Pesto
- Black Bean Quinoa Enchilada Bake
- Baked Chicken Taquitos
- One Pot Sausage Pasta
- Avocado Egg Salad
- One Pot Vegetarian Chili Mac and Cheese
- Chicken Pot Pie
- 4-Ingredient Ravioli Lasagna
Want more kid friendly recipes? Check out our Kid Friendly section in our Recipe Index. There are lots of kid friendly meals and snacks.These are recipes that our boys love and we hope your kiddos do too! I didn’t include desserts in this category because I think just about every dessert on our site is kid friendly..ha!
And don’t forget to Download the Free Weekly Meal Plan Printable so you can plan out your weekly meals!
I know every child is different, but this system has worked well for Caleb so I thought I would share it.
And some fun news, I am working on a HUGE meal planning project that will be launched this summer, so stay tuned. I can’t wait to share it will all of you!!
What a great idea! does your family eat the same thing for dinner as what Caleb picked?
Yes, for the most part. We all eat the same dinners, but sometimes Josh and I will have something different for breakfast and lunch. I usually eat roasted veggies and cottage cheese every day for lunch and my boys think that is weird..ha! I feed Caleb and Maxwell the same things though.
such a sweet idea & process maria! that picture with the meatballs…my heart!!!
Thanks! Can’t wait for our BIG meal planning announcement this summer! 🙂
Great idea! Love the printable!
How do you balance a vegetarian diet for yourself with the meat dishes on the menu? Thanks!
We eat vegetarian as a family probably 4-5 nights a week. On the other nights, I just adapt. For example, if we have chicken tacos, I make veggie tacos with beans and veggies. If the boys have spaghetti and meatballs, I eat pasta with marinara and a salad. If we make homemade pizza, we do half sausage and half veggie. It is really pretty easy!
I am 7 months and one week pregnant, with our 4th child! Needless to say the combination of pregnancy, 6 year old twin boys and an almost 9 year old picky Miss big Sis, makes meal planning hard! Throw in a husband who likes to keep things bland and you’ve got quite an issue in determining what to eat. I am so thankful for the recipes you offer and this fun meal planning tool that gets the kids involved. Sure makes for a bigger buy in! I like flavor and variety, your recipes keep it simple and yet offer that healthy variety anyone needs to stay health conscious! Thank you for helping me out of my mealtime rut!
Caleb has great taste! Love those messy faces!
This is such a helpful and inspiring post. Thank you so much for taking the time to write it. And for making the FREE printable. I’m excited to involve my 4.5 and 2.5 year old boys.
I love how you included your son throughout the whole process from beginning to end. I did the same thing with my son because he is a very picky eater. However, never thought to include him in the shopping and meal cooking process. Such a fun way to encourage picky eaters but the meal planning overall makes mom life so much more convenient. I featured you on my blog <3