A great round-up of healthy, family-friendly recipes for breakfasts, snacks and dinners to make meals easier now that school is back in session.
My boys headed back to school yesterday and my mind immediately switched from lazy breakfasts, fun poolside snacks and late dinners TO quick breakfasts, healthy after-school snacks and easy family-friendly dinners. If I don’t have a plan for the next day (or even better, the whole week), we end up eating boxed cereal for breakfast (which is totally fine sometimes!), driving through somewhere for an after-school snack (ice cream and french fries, anyone?!) and cheese quesadillas every night for dinner (boring!).
So, we’ve rounded up some of our favorite recipes to make the weekdays a little easier yet still delicious. This year, I’m hoping to come up with a meal plan each Sunday so I’m ready for the week. A few meals that take no time to pull together and some that take a little more time, but provide for leftovers that can be eaten over a few nights or even packed in the boys’ lunchboxes.
And speaking of lunchboxes, if you’re looking for lunchbox inspiration, be sure to check out my post for 6 Great School Lunchbox Ideas…
We’ve broken these awesome recipes down into breakfasts, snacks and dinners. Remember you can always prep meals on the weekend or even the night before. Think about your week ahead and plan accordingly. If we have a super busy week ahead, I’ll make a double batch of pancakes on Sunday so we have leftovers to reheat in the toaster throughout the week. I’ll also plan on a few slow cooker or casserole dinners that make a lot so we have leftovers for the next night. I like to wash all our fruit for the week on Sunday as well as clean and cut up any veggies to make cooking meals easier. I usually buy pre-washed containers of greens and baby carrots so we have no excuses when it comes to adding veggies to our meals. I hope some of these tips and recipes are helpful and make your back to school meal prep a little easier…
Breakfast Cookies – one of my most popular recipes and rightfully so! Nutritious and delicious!
Whole Wheat Banana Pancakes – I’ll make a double batch over the weekend and store them in a resealable baggie in the refrigerator so we can just pop them in the toaster for breakfast throughout the week. A family fave!
French Toast Roll Ups – a special breakfast treat that’s easy to make and easy to eat. Kids and adults love them!
Chunky Homemade Granola – I’ll bake a batch of this granola over the weekend for us to eat with milk or put on a yogurt parfait with berries and honey. It’s great to snack on too!
Super Smoothie for Kids – Charged with antioxidants and fiber, this smoothie is perfect for back to school breakfasts and after-school snacks.
Egg & Cheese Mini Muffins – a protein-packed breakfast to get everyone going in the morning!
Banana Breakfast Bars – yummy banana bars that are easy and healthy!
Whole Wheat Peanut Butter Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins – muffins always make the mornings better and these have all our favorite flavors combined!
Greek Yogurt Banana Bread – love using Greek yogurt in quick breads to make them healthier.
Avocado Toast – one of our favorite breakfasts right now and here are 11 different ways to make avocado toast.
Whole Wheat Baked Banana Donuts – because we all really just want donuts for breakfast, so why not bake them for a healthier breakfast treat?! 😉
Creative takes on Toast – Baker loves toast for breakfast, so I try to mix it up with some of these energy-boosting toppings.
Blueberry French Toast Casserole – great casserole for eating on throughout the week.
Best 100 Smoothies for Kids – we love this smoothie cookbook with 100 smoothie recipes that we can choose from for breakfast or a snack.
5-Ingredient Granola Bars – these are seriously delicious and so easy to make. Oh, and did I mention they’re no bake!
No-Bake Monster Cookie Balls – a fun and yummy treat that we keep stocked in the fridge.
Slow Cooker Chex Mix – because who doesn’t love a good savory snack mix to re-energize in the afternoon?! Love that it’s made in the slow cooker!
Homemade Fruit Cups – genius! All kids love fruit cups and this homemade healthier version would be perfect for an after-school treat!
Two-Ingredient Banana Chocolate Chip Ice Cream Bites – got overripe bananas?! Turn them into these yummy banana chocolate chip ice cream bites and keep them in the freezer for a healthier sweet treat that tastes like ice cream!
Homemade Cheese Crackers – my boys beg for cheese crackers, so I’m loving this home-baked version for a healthier option for them to snack on.
How to Pop Popcorn in a Brown Paper Bag in the Microwave – who knew you could make your own microwave popcorn in a brown paper bag? So fun and yummy yum!
Peanut Butter Drizzled Popcorn – this is my kind of after-school snack! Snackalicious!
Hummus & Veggies – homemade hummus with a variety of veggies to dip in it is always a favorite snack around here!
Stovetop Macaroni & Cheese – because we all love mac & cheese so let’s just keep it easy and delicious!
Turkey Quinoa Chili – our favorite healthy chili that makes great leftovers! I serve it with cornbread or chips and guacamole.
Slow Cooker Bolognese Sauce – cozy up with this slow cooker bolognese sauce served over zoodles or your favorite pasta with a quick and easy salad.
Stovetop Bolognese – this easy stovetop bolognese recipe is a weeknight winner and on regular rotation. The kids clean their plates every time!
Whole Wheat Greek Yogurt Pizza Crust – a healthier pizza crust that you can top with your favorite toppings.
Turkey Sweet Potato Potpie – comfort food at its best!
Baked Pizza Taquitos – these popular taquitos are so easy and we all love them! Serve with veggies and ranch or a big salad and dinner is done!
Chicken Parmesan Casserole – an easy spin on chicken parm that’s easy for kids to eat.
Slow Cooker Honey Sesame Chicken – this Asian-flavored slow cooker chicken can be ready by dinner time if you throw everything in at breakfast or lunch time!
Turkey & Black Bean Baked Tacos – make Taco Tuesday extra tasty with these easy baked tacos!
Homemade Spaghetti-O’s – a homemade childhood fave! Love it!
Goldfish Chicken Nuggets – your kiddos will go crazy over these and I’m not gonna lie, I love them too! 🙂
Baked Corn Dogs – healthier spin on a childhood favorite! You could even use chicken sausages in place of the hot dogs.
Broccoli Cheddar Chicken Soup – a great and comforting way to get everyone to eat their broccoli!
Sloppy Joe Casserole – an easy twist on traditional sloppy joes for a hearty weeknight meal!
Baked Chicken Nuggets – baked is the way to go! The boys love it when I put these in their lunchboxes too!
Slow Cooker Chicken Taco Chili – clear out your pantry, freezer and spice cabinet with this colorful and healthy slow cooker chicken chili!
Baked Sweet Potato Soup – warm everyone up and talk about your days over this comforting and delicious soup!
Slow Cooker Pork Ramen – this simplified version of Japanese pork Ramen broth is so easy to put together. When ready to serve, top with baby spinach and a poached or hard-boiled egg. No worries if you do not have ramen noodles around, you can substitute with linguine or yellow Chinese egg noodles.
King Ranch Chicken Casserole – perfect for a Sunday family meal and tastes great as leftovers during the week. You can also freeze half the portion to enjoy later.
Lasagna – a family favorite with a big salad and some garlic bread!
Slow Cooker White Chicken Chili Mac – keep that slow cooker busy this school year with this white chicken chili. It’ll be on rotation once you see how much everyone loves it!
Beer Chili – a beautiful chili recipe with beans and veggies. Serve with cheesy cornbread and you’ve got a home run meal!
Easy BBQ Chicken Pizza – impress the family with a quick and colorful bbq chicken pizza! This recipe only has 7 ingredients and you only have to chop 2 of them!
Slow Cooker Chicken Tikka Masala – a freezer-friendly fall favorite that uses relatively few ingredients but delivers big flavor.
Hummus Pasta Salad – a light and easy dinner that makes great lunch leftovers the next day!
Homemade Greek Yogurt Ranch Dressing – a healthier Ranch dressing that you can use on salads and for veggie dipping throughout the week.
Slow Cooker Chicken Wild Rice Soup – who doesn’t love chicken wild rice soup?! Serve with a salad and a big chunk of bread for a great family dinner!
Chicken Stir-Fry – healthier than fried rice yet still has brown rice stirred right into it. Just leave out or tone down the spice if your kiddos don’t like spicy food. A flavorful way to get those veggies in them!
Oven-Baked Salmon Sticks – These are no ordinary frozen fish sticks! Use fresh salmon for an extra dose of Omega 3’s while keeping it kid-friendly.
Happy Back to School! Wishing you and your kiddos a great year!
A special thanks to my friend, Angela, for helping me compile this list of great recipes to share.