Picky eaters are everywhere, and they’re not just kids. Adults tend to have their own boundaries when it comes to food and they can really run the gamut, from no gluten, no dairy, or no carbs, to factors as specific as texture. There are ways to satisfy your picky eater at mealtime, you’ve just got to be creative and open to trying new techniques, while also willing to keep things simple. Not every meal has to be an elegant affair; in fact, most picky eaters will appreciate being served something that isn’t over the top when it comes to spices and seasonings, but just tastes really good. Our guide to 17 healthy recipes for super picky eaters ticks all the boxes and offers a variety of proteins and cooking techniques, guaranteed to appease even the pickiest of eaters.
Baked Chicken Nuggets
Chicken nuggets aren’t just for the kids – adults, especially pickier eaters, love them too. These tasty nuggets are coated in breadcrumbs and parmesan cheese and baked until crispy and golden brown and go great with a variety of dipping sauces on the side.
30 minutes 180 calories Easy
Healthy Mac & Cheese
Adult picky eaters may be intimidated by the heaviness of a classic mac & cheese, but this recipe keeps things on the light and healthy side. It’s low in fat and calories and high in protein, and still has the same ooey gooey cheesiness that makes mac & cheese so loveable.
30 minutes 250 calories Easy
Healthy Low-Fat Whole Wheat Banana Pancakes
Pancakes are a weekend staple in a lot of households, but not everyone is a fan of the traditional buttermilk variety. Give the picky eaters in your life something to look forward to at breakfast with these fluffy whole wheat banana pancakes that taste great with a few glugs of real maple syrup.
10 minutes 120 calories Easy
Simple Tortilla Pizzas
Delivery pizza always sounds like a good idea until you order it and are faced with the heaviness of grease on each slice. Making pizza at home means you can keep things light for dinner, without missing out on your favorite pizza toppings. Plus, you still get the crispy, flaky crust using tortilla shells, and who doesn’t love that?
15 minutes 220 calories Easy
Roasted Vegetable Pasta Sauce
Traditional tomato sauce can sometimes be too overpowering for picky eaters. This roasted vegetable sauce starts with a tomato base, but adds roasted celery, carrots, onions, zucchini, broccoli, and bell peppers to smooth out the flavor and seriously increase the nutritional value.
4h 15m 50 calories Easy
Juicy Turkey Burgers with Zucchini
The secret to making these turkey burgers extra juicy? Grated zucchini. Even the pickiest of eaters will go crazy for these juicy burgers served on a whole wheat bun with as many (or as few) toppings as they want.
20 minutes 160 calories Easy
Cheesy Broccoli Chicken Ranch Wraps
Sometimes being a picky eater means you need to cover everything you eat in ranch dressing to enjoy it. These wraps combine broccoli, cheese, ranch, rice, and chicken for a tasty lunch or dinner that just so happens to be nutritious.
20 minutes 600 calories Easy
Crispy Carrot Fries
Picky eaters, even adult picky eaters, sometimes do their best to avoid eating vegetables, but what if the vegetable looked like a French fry? Carrot fries are crispy and cheesy and are ideal as a side dish for turkey burgers or baked chicken nuggets.
25 minutes 75 calories Easy
Baked Turkey Meatballs
The best part about baked turkey meatballs? The flavor profile is entirely up to you. Add some Thai red curry paste and fish sauce if you’re feeling spicy, dried Italian seasoning for a classic flavor profile, hoisin, soy sauce, and ginger for an Asian twist – the possibilities really are endless.
30 minutes 160 calories Easy
Broccoli Cheese Soup
This comforting, cozy soup is lightened up by swapping out heavy cream for milk, and is ready to go in just 30 minutes. For the picky eater with an issue when it comes to food texture, this soup can be kept chunky or can easily be pureed for a smoother consistency.
30 minutes 350 calories Easy
Keeping your flavors simple is sometimes the best way to placate a picky eater, no matter their age. These chicken quesadillas are loaded skinless chicken breast, onions, bell peppers, and a simple spice mixture that make these quesadillas delicious without being over the top.
45 minutes 390 calories Easy
Egg Muffins with Sausage, Spinach, and Cheese
For a tasty breakfast on-the-go, these egg muffins are the key. Filled with sausage, spinach, and sharp cheddar cheese, everyone will love these simple and delicious egg cups.
30 minutes 200 calories Easy
Honey Orange Sesame Chicken
Keep the takeout menus in the drawer tonight, because there’s a much better option that you can make right in your own kitchen. This sticky and sweet honey orange sesame chicken is lighter than the takeout alternative, and makes for great leftovers the next day.
20 minutes 240 calories Easy
Quick Lemon Broccoli Pasta Skillet
Broccoli and spinach are mild greens that won’t scare off picky eaters who may be intimidated by more bitter alternatives. This meal is made in one skillet with plenty of veggies and parmesan cheese, and gets a brightness from that squeeze of lemon juice.
25 minutes 465 calories Easy
Paleo Crock Pot Slow Cooker Cauliflower Mash
Cauliflower mash keeps the carbs low, and offers a blank slate to flavor however you like. Sprinkle in some chopped green onions, crispy bacon, or even some horseradish to make this mash completely your own.
1h 10m 100 calories Easy
Baked Egg and Sweet Potato Nest
Spiralized sweet potatoes baked in an iron skillet get a crispy texture that’s easy to love and even easier to eat. The baked egg on top provides a rich sauce from the runny egg yolk, but if your picky eater isn’t a fan of runny yolks you can make your eggs any way you like.
40 minutes 240 calories Easy
Mint Chimichurri Lamb Chops
If the picky eater in your life is looking for more protein in their diet but is tired of chicken and turkey, perhaps lamb is a good way to go. Grilled lamb chops are easier to prepare for a weeknight dinner than you might think, and the mint chimichurri sauce is what makes them truly sing. Marinate your chops ahead of time, fire up the grill, and get cooking.
1h 25m 490 calories Easy