Skip to main content

10 healthy family meals to add into your weekly rotation to spice things up

These 10 recipes are a great start to healthy family meals

While the new year is when many of us typically pledge to start anew by exercising regularly and eating better, there’s no wrong time to start adding healthy meals into your weekly meal rotation. Only it’s not as easy as it sounds, especially when you’re the person in your family who is responsible for making meals that everyone will eat (and hopefully enjoy).

Life is busy and it can be stressful trying to come up with healthy meals that everyone in the family will enjoy. Thankfully, there are many options for healthy family meals that, with a bit of planning, can help keep everyone on track. If you’re trying to eat better, these healthy family meals are sure to please everyone.

Grilled chicken salad with avocado
Image used with permission by copyright holder

What makes a meal healthy?

Pledging to eat more healthfully is one thing, but to succeed, we need to truly understand what makes a meal healthy. You can make meals healthier by simply limiting the number of sugars, fats, and salt you consume and replacing them with more vegetables and fruits as well as whole grains and lean meats.

Harvard suggests that half your plate should be comprised of fruits and/or vegetables (excluding potatoes) and the more color the better. One-quarter of your plate should contain whole grains: foods like quinoa, brown rice, or whole-wheat pasta. The other quarter should be comprised of lean proteins like chicken or fish. Red meat should be consumed on a limited basis and you should drink lots of water daily.

It can take a while to get used to eating this way, especially if you have kids who tend to be picky eaters or you are busy and tend to grab a lot of meals on the go. It may be easier to start implementing one healthier meal a week than feeling overwhelmed and trying to change everything all at once. Baby steps help lead to long-term success. Here are some healthy family meals that everyone in the family can enjoy and you can begin to rotate through your weekly meal plans.

Healthy family meals

Salmon cooked with lemon slices and asparagus
Image used with permission by copyright holder

1. Chickpea curry

Eating healthy doesn’t have to be bland, and this chickpea curry recipe proves that! This easy-to-make recipe was a staff favorite at Eating Well and is super simple and quick to make. It uses canned beans and tomatoes and spices you probably already have in your pantry. You can serve this with basmati or whole grain rice or even some naan bread if you have some carb lovers in the house. The best part is you can adjust the recipe to add more or less spice if you prefer, and if you’re trying to eat less meat, this is also a great, satisfying meal option.

2. Barbecue chicken burger

You don’t have to give up your favorite burgers to eat more healthfully, you just have to get a bit more creative when it comes to making them. These barbecue chicken burgers from A Mind “Full” Mom give you all the flavor and heartiness you love in a beef burger in a more healthy, chicken option. You can choose a bun of your choice, including whole wheat, or opt for an even healthier approach and use a lettuce wrap instead. There are so many different ways to serve these delicious burgers that everyone in the family will be satisfied and at just 220 calories a serving, these will quickly become a go-to recipe.

3. Grain bowls

Grain bowls are a great way to serve a healthy dinner while also giving everyone at the table different options. Healthline suggests using whichever grain you prefer as your base, whether it’s whole grain rice, quinoa, or something else. You can then top the grains with your choice of vegetables and protein, like chicken, fried or hard-boiled eggs, grilled shrimp, or salmon. Bowls are a great dinner option because you can allow everyone in the house to choose their own toppings, allowing them to customize their own meal. You can also substitute the grains for lettuce and create salad bowls.

4. Cauliflower pizza

Have you heard about the latest trend with cauliflower? You can cook healthy meals using cauliflower instead of flour or other simple carbohydrates and enjoy a low-carb, gluten-free meal! This is good news for pizza lovers. Now pizza night looks a little different from your usual takeout if you’re making healthier choices, but you don’t have to sacrifice flavor. Follow Good to Know’s recipe to make your own cauliflower crust, and then top your healthier pizza with lots of fresh veggies and your choice of low-fat cheese.

5. Skinny Alfredo

Eating healthy doesn’t mean you have to give up the foods you love; it just means you may need to make some changes. This recipe for skinny pasta Alfredo by Delish calls for whole-wheat pasta and plain Greek yogurt as an alternative to heavy cream. It’s a great way to still enjoy pasta night while making healthier choices.

6. Chipotle shrimp tacos

Taco Tuesday just got a bit spicier with these chipotle shrimp tacos by Cooking Classy. You can make these shrimp tacos as spicy or as mild as you like, and you can even get creative with your toppings by adding a mango or pineapple salsa or stick to the avocado, red cabbage, and cotija cheese the recipe calls for. The seasonings in this recipe will give these tacos so much flavor you may forget that you’re eating healthy!

7. Vegetarian Mediterranean sheet pan dinner

This vegetarian Mediterranean sheet pan dinner from Crowded Kitchen isn’t just a flavorful, healthy dinner recipe but also a great option for those who are looking to eat less meat. This recipe is made with tofu, potatoes, vegetables, and a creamy yogurt tahini sauce that isn’t just delicious but also super fast and easy to make. It’s vegan and gluten-free and you can use whichever vegetables you prefer.

8. Jerk chicken kabobs

Kabobs are a great way to combine your protein and vegetables or in the case of these jerk chicken kabobs by Real Food by Dad, your jerk chicken, and pineapple! Healthy food doesn’t have to be boring and these kabobs, which are roasted in the oven, are anything but. The recipe gives you the option to turn up the heat or tone it down and is a perfect meal paired with a side salad.

9. Baked salmon in foil with asparagus and lemon garlic butter sauce

This baked salmon in foil recipe by Eat Well 101 isn’t just healthy, it’s also low-carb, paleo, gluten-free, and keto-friendly! It’s also super easy to make and super easy to clean since you’re cooking your salmon and your asparagus together in your foil with the lemon garlic butter sauce. Dinner is that much better when clean-up is a breeze!

10. Chicken parm stuffed peppers

It can be hard to eat healthy because you often feel like you’re missing out on your favorite dishes, but his recipe for chicken parm stuffed peppers by Delish will make you forget you’re not eating pasta. You can also play around with the recipe, substituting ground chicken for the breaded chicken cutlet, or any other kind of ground meat.

A family with a toddler sitting down to dinner.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Eating healthy can be fun

Eating healthy doesn’t have to be boring, and it also doesn’t have to be plain. It can take some time to get everyone in the house on board with eating better but these delicious and healthy meals can be a good start.

Editors' Recommendations

Kelli Catana
Contributor
Kelli is a freelance writer who has covered the world of entertainment, pop culture, parenting, and lifestyle for various…
Yummy family-friendly recipes to spice up Cinco de Mayo
Bring Cinco de Mayo home with these family-friendly recipes
Plate of Mexican food to help celebrate Cinco de Mayo

Cinco de Mayo may be a minor holiday in Mexico, but in America, May 5 has evolved into a fun and tasty celebration of Mexican culture. May 5, 1861 marks the Mexican army's defeat of France at the Battle of Puebla. Many people confuse it with Mexican Independence Day, which actually happened 50 years before Cinco de Mayo.

Los Angeles, Chicago, and Houston have the largest Cinco de Mayo festivals, but many places large and small mark the day with traditional Mexican food and music. Busy families don't often have the time or the budget to head to a local restaurant to enjoy Cinco de Mayo. Don't worry. You can actually bring Cinco de Mayo home.

Read more
These TikTok hacks will get your kids eating more fruits and veggies this summer
Reduce food waste with these tasty food hacks your kids will love
Mother and daughter eating vegetables

The struggle is real when it comes to feeding kids. Children may love strawberries one day, and hate them the next, usually right after you've stocked your fridge with freshly picked berries! Or maybe your little one loves to eat apples or bananas, but is just too little to eat the entire fruit. Dealing with picky eaters and food waste can be frustrating and hard on the wallet.

Amy Palanjian is a recipe developer and cookbook author who goes by the handle @Yummytoddlerfood on TikTok. She's sharing some of her ingenious hacks that will not only save those bits of leftover fruits and vegetables your little one loves, but Palanjian is also offering excellent tips on how to preserve and serve those healthy foods you may not have thought of.

Read more
Save money and avoid food waste: This site finds family dinner ideas using what you already have
This website helps eliminate food waste by creating meals from ingredients your kids love
Family cooking together

Nothing is more frustrating than throwing away food because you didn't prepare it before it expired. With the increased cost of groceries, not only is this wasteful but it can get expensive, too. According to Feeding America, approximately 119 billion pounds of food is wasted in the U.S. each year, with 39% of that total coming from homes across the country.

Not everyone has the ability to plan their meals and shop for specific groceries every week, which often leads to food waste, especially if your schedule only allows for one big grocery order every week or two. A new website is offering some hope for families that struggle with finding recipes and family dinner ideas that not only will their kids love, but this site also helps combat food waste.

Read more