12 Easy Family Dinner Ideas

These family dinner ideas are total crowd pleasers: they’re easy to whip up and main dishes that everyone at the table will love.

Family dinner ideas

We know: dinnertime is hard. Right? Even as food bloggers and cookbook authors, Alex and I find ourselves with evenings where we’re uninspired and we have a hungry toddler. But never fear: we’ve got countless family dinner ideas to come to the rescue! Here’s are all our top family dinner ideas that are 1. delicious crowd-pleasers 2. relatively healthy and nutrient-dense 3. easy to make at home. Here a few tips on how to survive dinner time: and then our top family dinner ideas? Ready to go?

Tips for cooking dinner for family

Now that we’ve got a 2 year old around, Alex and I know what it’s like to try to find and cook family dinner ideas that work for everyone! Here are a few tips that we have for getting dinner on the table:

  • Start with veggie snacks. While you’re cooking dinner, one way to avoid hungry kiddos is to start with some veggie appetizers. Put out a plate of carrot sticks, sliced peppers, and snap peas, and you’ll find the kids will go right for the veggies to cure the hanger! (You could even set out some Greek yogurt ranch dip too.)
  • Work together. If you can, work with your spouse or partner on dinner and corralling the family: it’s easier with 2 people working together! Alex and I always cook together as a
  • Don’t sweat it if it doesn’t go over the first time. One thing we’ve learned about cooking for kids is to not define dislikes. It takes 7 times of introducing a new flavor for it to stick. Our son Larson’s tastes change daily — so when we try some family dinner recipes a second time, he loves them even if he didn’t like them the first!
  • Find healthy ways to end the meal. If our kiddo doesn’t eat enough during the meal, sometimes we bring out Peanut Butter Dip and apple slices as a healthy post-meal snack that seems like a treat. (But it’s full of healthy ingredients!)

And now: our top family dinner ideas!

Looking for more easy dinner recipes?

Aside from our top 10 family dinner ideas, we’ve got lots more! Here are some of our favorites:

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About the Authors

Sonja Overhiser

Cookbook Author and writer

Sonja Overhiser is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best healthy cookbooks of 2018. She’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the food blog A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Sonja seeks to inspire adventurous eating to make the world a better place one bite at a time.

Alex Overhiser

Cookbook Author and photographer

Alex Overhiser is an acclaimed food photographer and author based in Indianapolis. He’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the recipe website A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Alex is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best vegetarian cookbooks by Epicurious.

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