Encouraging your child to eat more things beyond PB&J and macaroni and cheese can be a challenge. But picky eaters don’t have to stay picky eaters! The goal is to encourage your child to try new foods without it being a battle. Experts say the best ways to do this are by setting realistic expectations, changing up your menu, giving kids options and involving them in the meal prep.

For many parents, it’s more protein they want in their child’s diet. Kids are often good at eating fruits and dairy, but they struggle with vegetables and proteins. Fortunately, chicken is versatile. Below are some tasty and healthy chicken dishes that any picky kid will love!

Chicken and Broccoli Mac and Cheese

This recipe combines the creamy taste of mac and cheese with broccoli and grilled chicken. Kids love it because it tastes just like mac and cheese, and parents love it because it has chicken and broccoli. To simplify the recipe, use a rotisserie chicken or leftover chicken from the night before. Don’t forget to add the breadcrumb topping! You can also prep the meal ahead of time, and enjoy leftovers for days!

Baked Popcorn Chicken

Popcorn chicken is always fun for the littles because they count as finger foods (no silverware required!), and they can be dipped into ketchup, ranch, honey mustard or barbecue sauce. To make this dish healthy, bake your chicken instead of frying it. No one will know the difference, and you can feel good knowing that your kids are getting oven-baked chicken without all the oil and fat. This recipe calls for kettle chips and takes about 25 minutes to cook.

Chicken Quesadillas

Another staple you should have on your kid-friendly menu is chicken quesadillas. A lot of kids won’t eat tacos, but they will eat cheesy quesadillas! So for your next Taco Tuesday, consider making this healthy recipe. All you need are small tortillas, shredded cooked chicken and shredded cheese. Plus, when you use small tortillas, they’re perfect for tiny hands! Better yet, the kids can help with this recipe!

Chicken Soup

When the weather gets cold, or your little one gets sick, chicken soup is a great way to warm the soul. Families also appreciate that chicken soup is affordable to make, and goes a long way. Plus everyone in the family can eat it! This particular recipe calls for chicken, peas and couscous instead of noodles, but there are plenty of variations to try. For example, you can replace the couscous with pasta, rice or quinoa.

Homemade Chicken Nuggets

It might seem easier to grab a bag of frozen nuggets from the store, but we promise that homemade is SO much better! And once you get the hang of it, they’re not hard to make at all! There are many ways to make homemade nuggets, but you can expect the staples: chicken breast, eggs, breadcrumbs, flour and spices. Pop the breaded nuggets in the oven or an air fryer and serve with an assortment of dips.

Feeding a picky kid might feel like a marathon some days, but it does get easier! To incorporate more protein into your child’s diet, try one of these recipes. Chicken is versatile, and because it doesn’t have a strong taste, most kids are willing to try it. And if you're ever on the go and looking for an alternative to fast food, stop in to La Rosa Chicken and Grill!

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