30 Easy Family Meals for April


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Take some of the work off of your plate this month with easy ideas for your family for each meal of the day. The recipes and ideas here are all straight forward, kid-friendly, and made with approachable ingredients so you don’t have to go to 4 stores to make dinner.

april-meal-plan-grid-of-6Healthy Family Meals for April

This meal plan keeps the reality of feeding a family in mind, and also has a few fun ideas to help you celebrate Easter (if you do). This plan follows a basic theme structure to make meal planning easy, so each day of the week we start with a category and have a lot of flexibility with in it.

This means that you’re never starting from scratch when deciding what to make, which can make things so much easier!

TIP: you can grab a downloadable version of my templates here.

easy meal rotation for april

Family Meal Plan Rotation

I’m offering ideas for breakfast, lunch, snack, and dinners for each week to hopefully give you plenty of options. This meal plan is built around the ideas of themes, which is meant to help reduce decision fatigue—since you start with narrower categories—and make it a little easier to feed your family.

april-week-1 meal plan

Week 1

I like to add simple sides to main meals to round them out and ensure that there’s always something on the table that the kids like. Things like fruit, veggies, cheese, or crackers are my go-tos.

Breakfast

Chia Seed Oatmeal (3 Ways)

With an easy method and the option to flavor with a range of fruit, Chia Seed Oatmeal is a delicious, nutritious breakfast for kids…and us parents! See the flavor options for ways to customize this recipe for your family.

Get the recipe.

chia-seed-oatmeal-with-blueberries
Strawberry Smoothie with Veggies

Make the simple base recipe or try one of the variations with a veggie and more nutrient-dense add-ins. All are delicious! Freeze the banana ahead of time.

Get the recipe.

strawberry banana smoothie with cauliflower in glasses
The Best 2-Ingredient Pancakes (Baby and Toddler Approved)

This recipe makes one small batch of super tender 2-Ingredient Pancakes. It usually makes 1-2 little-kid-size servings. To make more, simply double the recipe. These are delicate pancakes with a texture that’s sort of custardy like French toast, so be gentle when flipping them. See the NOTES at the bottom for the flavor variations.

Get the recipe.

2-ingredient-pancakes-4-flavors

Lunch Ideas

Add a simple side of fruit or applesauce, or matchstick-size slices of cucumbers or bell peppers, to round out any of these lunch ideas.

Easy Veggie Muffins

I like to grate the carrot on a box grater and cut the top of each broccoli floret off and finely dice with a knife. Avoid the stems since they won’t blend into the batter as well.

Get the recipe.

veggie muffins on gray towel
Easy Spinach Quesadillas

You can also do this with full size spinach if that’s what you’re able to find. Just discard any stems before starting the recipe.

Get the recipe.

spinach quesadillas
Lentil Falafel with Carrots

These have the flavors of traditional falafel, but are made with iron-rich lentils. They’re a nice vegetarian main dish option.

Get the recipe.

lentil-falafel-with-couscous-and-strawberries

Snack Ideas

Pair with milk or water as needed and remember that some kids may be more or less hungry for snack—that’s normal!

Favorite Lemon Blueberry Muffins

Serve these warm, at room temperature or cold. We like a little extra honey on top, but jam, almond butter, or butter would work too. (Adapted from my Raspberry Baked Donuts recipe.)

Get the recipe.

lemon-blueberry-muffins-on-wire-rack
Healthy Banana Cookies (to Share with the Kids)

These are an easy whole grain cookie to share with the kids—they’re a great baby cookie! Try them for snack, dessert, or as a breakfast cookie

Get the recipe.

banana cookies on wire rack
Favorite Mango Yogurt

You can use fresh or frozen mango, or start with mango puree. All three options work similarly. This is an easy way to make flavored yogurt at home for breakfast or snack.

Get the recipe.

mango yogurt in containers

Dinners

Try a side of roasted veggies to go with any of these meals, or easy Cornbread Muffins.

Easy Instant Pot Butter Chicken

Forget takeout—deliver this popular Indian dish to your table instead. Shredded chicken thighs are coated in a rich, buttery sauce with hints of tomatoes, ginger, and garam masala—a messy but very flavorful finger food. Posted with Permission from The Multi-Cooker Baby Food Cookbook

Get the recipe.

instant-pot-butter-chicken
Quick Teriyaki Shrimp with Zucchini and Rice

We like this with rice or rice noodles, but you can adjust how you serve it to fit your family!

Get the recipe.

easy teryiaki shrimp
Easy Taco Buffet (No-Cooking Required!)

I prefer to make these vegetarian since it’s easier, but you can of course add in cooked chicken, beef, or shrimp if you like! Add another can of beans or additional corn to feed a larger family or appetites.

Get the recipe.

taco-buffet-ingredients-in-white-plates
Easy Pesto Pasta Salad Recipe

This is an easy family dinner or lunch. I like to use Spinach Pesto for this, but any will work if you prefer to buy it pre-made from the store.

Get the recipe.

pesto-pasta-salad-in-bowl
Homemade Chicken Nuggets with Sweet Potato

You can double this recipe to feed a family of 4-6. Or make this smaller batch and serve to your toddler throughout the week. Try serving these with ketchup, ranch, or marinara sauce.

Get the recipe.

homemade chicken nuggets
Easy Spinach Grilled Cheese

You can also do this with full size spinach if that’s what you’re able to find. Just discard any stems before starting the recipe.

Get the recipe.

spinach-grilled-cheese-on-plate
Homemade Pesto Pizza Rolls

With just 5 simple ingredients, you can bake Pizza Rolls with delicious flavor from pesto. These are versatile, perfect for any age, and a great make-ahead lunch or dinner option.

Get the recipe.

pizza rolls on wooden plate
Healthy Oatmeal Cookies with Apples and Carrots

Make a batch of these healthy oatmeal cookies for dessert, snack time, or a special breakfast. You can make these half the size using 1-tablespoon batter for each cookie and reducing the baking time to about 16-18 minutes, or until the edges are lightly golden brown.

Get the recipe.

healthy oatmeal cookies with apples and carrots on tray

TIP: Get my Master List of Lunch Ideas for Kids here.

april-week-2 meal plan grid

Week 2

Make a batch of muffins to have on hand for easy breakfasts or snacks—they all freeze really well too! I also recommend keeping a running list of meals that everyone likes on the fridge (or somewhere you’ll see it often) so you always have a few ideas to turn to when you need them.

Breakfast

Favorite Banana Bread Muffins

Be sure to use super ripe bananas—the more black and brown spots, the better the flavor and sweetness will be!—for the best results here.

Get the recipe.

banana-bread-muffins-on-bear-plate
Easy Overnight Oats with Applesauce

You can easily double (or triple!) the recipe to make more servings. It uses a 1 to 1 ratio of yogurt to applesauce so you can easily scale it up. Mix these up the night before you plan to serve them.

Get the recipe.

applesauce-overnight-oats-in-jars
Simple Blueberry Banana Smoothie

Frozen banana will create a slightly thicker smoothie, so if you plan to serve this through a straw, I recommend doing either frozen blueberries OR bananas, but not both. You can do all frozen fruit if you plan to serve it through a pouch or in an open cup—or if your child is used to drinking thick smoothies!

Get the recipe.

blueberry-banana-smoothie-in-cups

Lunch

Add some fruit, toast, or cheese to make these lunch ideas more substantial.

Healthy Carrot Cake Muffins (Low Sugar, SO Good)

These are delicious served warm soon after baking, at room temperature or even chilled, so see what your family prefers. They are naturally dairy-free and can be made gluten-free and egg-free as well. See the Notes section for details.

Get the recipe.

carrot-cake-muffins-in-white-bowl
Easy Baked Tofu (to Share with the Kids)

Learn how to make the easiest, most delish Baked Tofu with basic pantry staples and a hands-off method. This is our favorite way to turn an affordable plant-based protein into a meal component to share. We like this over rice noodles, rice, or quinoa, but it’s very versatile.

Get the recipe.

baked tofu on purple plate
How to Make Eggs in the Microwave

You can season the cooked egg with a little salt, butter or cheese if you’d like, but it’s very good as is. See the Note about the heat setting when cooking in a microwave.

Get the recipe.

microwave-eggs-on-blue-kids-plate

Snack Ideas

Embrace the spring flavors with these easy snack ideas.

Fresh Strawberry Puree

This simple puree is no-cook, so be sure to start with great tasting berries. It’s a perfect fruit puree for a baby, or a delicious way to add flavor to yogurt and oatmeal for older members of the family. (It’s also great with ice cream and waffles!)

Get the recipe.

strawberry puree in white bowl
Raspberry Lemon Baked Doughnuts

These bright and fresh baked donuts have the texture of a cake donut, but with a zing of fresh fruit. I like my Wilton Donut Pan for this recipe, though you can also bake them in a mini muffin pan with the same timing. Adapted from Better Homes & Gardens.

Get the recipe.

raspberry-doughnuts-on-rack
Mini Carrot Cake Cupcakes

Perfectly moist mini Carrot Cake Cupcakes (with easy Cream Cheese Frosting) are a delicious dessert to share with the kids—whether for a spring holiday, Easter, a kid’s birthday, or any special occasion!

Get the recipe.

carrot-cake-cupcakes-on-white-plate

Dinners

Swap in takeout, leftovers, or another favorite recipe as desired and use these meal ideas as inspiration for easy cooking.

Slow Cooker Black Bean Soup (with Instant Pot Option)

The addition of grains helps to thicken the soup to a nice consistency for little eaters, so don’t be worried if it’s pretty thin before you add them in before serving. (This post was updated and the recipe was streamlined November 2020. You can get the original recipe here.) 

Get the recipe.

slow-cooker-black-bean-soup
Easy Cherry Tomato Pasta (to Share with the Kids)

With a no-cook, stir-together sauce, this easy Cherry Tomato Pasta is an easy family dinner. And OH so delicious and fresh. You can leave it chunky or blend it smooth—it’s so versatile for all preferences!

Get the recipe.

cherry-tomato-pasta-in-white-and-colored-bowls
Sheet Pan Black Bean Quesadillas

These easy quesadillas can be made with pumpkin puree, sweet potato puree, or butternut squash puree. You can also skip it and just go with beans and cheese! I make these as half moon shapes since it helps contain the mess a little when feeding these to kids.

Get the recipe.

sheet-pan-quesadillas-on-platter
Sweet Potato Chicken Bowls (Easy Meal Prep)

You can meal prep this recipe to have ready for future lunches or dinners to share with the kids or you can make it as a family dinner. Add flavor to your bowl with the optional ingredients.

Get the recipe.

chicken-and-sweet-potato-bowls-for-kid-and-parent
Easy Snack Dinner (to Share with the Kids!)

You can do a big family-style platter or individual ones for the kids depending on your preference. Add anything else that sounds appealing and know that the nutrition info will vary according to what you use.

Get the recipe.

family-style-snack-plate
10-Minute Flatbread Pizza (Just 3 Ingredients!)

For delicious homemade pizza without the work and in a lot less time, Flatbread Pizza to the rescue. Adjust this for allergies as you need.

Get the recipe.

flatbread-pizza-on-plates-with-apple-slices

april meal planning grid for week 3

Week 3

For the hummus sandwiches, try serving the components separated for littler kids or make an open face “sandwich” and cut into cubes for easy eating. You can also serve the chopped salad deconstructed and let the kids choose which ingredients they want to put on their plates.

Breakfast

Peach Banana Smoothie (with Cottage Cheese)

This simple smoothie is easy to make and is super creamy without many ingredients. You can even share it with your kiddo! Be sure to blend it very well to ensure the best creamy texture.

Get the recipe.

cottage-cheese-smoothie-in-glass-with-strwa
Mini Applesauce Muffins

We like these on their own, topped with nut or seed butter, or even with a smear of cream cheese. See what your littles like!

Get the recipe.

mini applesauce muffins on pink plate
Healthy Carrot Pancakes (with Yogurt!)

This is a thicker pancake batter due to the carrots and whole grain flours. If you prefer a thinner batter, add a few tablespoons of milk. Heat the oven to 200 F and keep the cooked pancakes warm on a baking sheet while you finish the batch, or serve them up as you go. (Recipe updated with more info on how to make with whole-wheat flour in March 2021.)

Get the recipe.

carrot-pancakes-in-stack-with-pear-slices

Lunch

Add a side of diced or pureed fruit to round out these easy lunch options.

Easy Carrot Hummus

Taste the hummus and adjust for salt as needed. You may need more depending on whether or not you started with canned beans, and sometimes after the hummus sits in the fridge, it needs another sprinkle of salt. 

Get the recipe.

carrot-hummus-on-plate
Banana Oatmeal Muffins (SO Good!)

For the best flavor and sweeteness, use bananas with a lot of brown spots.

Get the recipe.

banana oatmeal muffins
Vegetarian Quesadillas with Beans and Cheese

You can make as few or as many of these easy quesadillas as you like.

Get the recipe.

cut up vegetarian quesadillas for kids on plate
5-Ingredient Cauliflower Mac and Cheese

Use yellow or white cheese according to your child’s color expectations!

Get the recipe.

cauliflower mac and cheese

Snack Ideas

Add a drink, like water or milk, to these snacks.

Peanut Butter Oatmeal Energy Balls

These no-bake bites taste like a cross between oatmeal raisin and peanut butter cookie dough. I use natural creamy peanut butter (like the kind from Smuckers) and it works really well. (Recipe updated slightly in June 2021 to ensure the best texture.)

Get the recipe.

peanut-butter-oatmeal-energy-balls
Favorite Strawberry Yogurt

You can use fresh or frozen strawberries, freeze-dried strawberries or strawberry puree. This is an easy way to make flavored yogurt at home for breakfast or snack.

Get the recipe.

strawberry yogurt in containers
Easy Carrot Cake Bars with Cream Cheese Frosting

With simple ingredients and ample moistness, this easy Carrot Cake Bar recipe is a delicious dessert or snack to share with the kids.

Get the recipe.

carrot cake bar on pink plate on countertop

Dinners

Add a favorite instant pot or slow cooker meal to make the start of this week easy.

20-Minute Stir Fry Rice Noodles with Veggies

Try this quick family dinner the next time you’re craving healthy comfort food—and want to please the entire family!

Get the recipe.

stir fry noodles with veggies
Quick and Easy Shrimp Tacos

If using frozen shrimp, transfer it from the freezer to the fridge the night before or in the morning that you plan to make this.

Get the recipe.

shrimp tacos for kids and parents on plates
Creamy Pasta with Broccoli

Feel free to cut this recipe in half to make a smaller portion for your family. (Or make the full batch and enjoy the leftovers!)

Get the recipe.

creamy-broccoli-pasta
fish-sticks-with-ketchup-and-lemon
Mini Moroccan Lamb Meatballs

Serve these mini meatballs with grains and veggies or pasta.

Get the recipe.

lamb meatballs on divided plate
Pizza Bites (3 Ways, with Veggies!)

Fluffy pizza bites are a delicious lunch or dinner option—and you can customize the filling to please your kids! We like these with a little side of warmed marinara sauce for dipping.

Get the recipe.

pizza-bites-on-plate-with-pizza-sauce
Mini Ricotta Cheesecakes

Kids tend to love having their very own little cheesecake, but you can do this batter in a 9-inch graham cracker crust if you prefer. The baking time will be closer to 1 hour.

 

Get the recipe.

mini ricotta cheesecakes with lemon

TIP: Find 15 Easy Toddler Meals for the days you don’t feel like cooking.

week 4 of april meal plan

Week 4

If you have any challenges finding ingredients, comment below and I’ll do my best to offer suggestions for foods you can swap in!

Breakfast

Easy Carrot Cake Oatmeal

This is a nice breakfast option to share with the kids starting around 9/10 months and up.

Get the recipe.

carrot-oatmeal-in-blue-bowls
Favorite Healthy Toddler Smoothie (with Veggies!)

Learn to customize yummy smoothies for your toddler by starting with one simple recipe, then adjusting based on which fruit and veggies you’d like to use.

Get the recipe.

toddler-smoothies-in-mason-jars
Healthy Strawberry Muffins

I love the burst of flavor that the fresh lemon adds to this recipe, so it’s worth adding that ingredient if you can. These can be served at room temperature or slightly warmed according to your preference.

Get the recipe.

strawberry-muffins-on-plate-with-berries
Easy Oatmeal Bars with Blueberry and Carrot

These oatmeal bars taste like an oatmeal cookie and are great for breakfast or snack. You can make them ahead, too! (You can add the egg or leave it out. Without egg, these are a crisp cookie bar texture. With it, they’re a little cakier.)

Get the recipe.

oatmeal-bars-on-countertop

Lunch

You can make any of these lunch ideas the night before and warm up as needed for the kids.

Quick Pizza Quesadillas (An Easy Kids Meal)

This meal is perfect for when you’re short on time or when you want to make pizza with less fuss. Add a simple side of cut up fruit, applesauce, or a salad kit and call it good.

Get the recipe.

pizza-quesadillas-on-blue-plate
Quick Sandwich Roll Ups (2-Minute School Lunch)

Pair a soft sandwich bread with your filling of choice to make this easy toddler lunch or school lunch. You can even make them the night before.

Get the recipe.

sandwich-roll-ups-in-stainless-container
Mac and Cheese with Peas (Fav Shortcut Toddler Meal)

With an easy method and a yummy, satisfying result, this quick toddler meal is one of our go-to shortcut kids meals.

Get the recipe.

mac-and-cheese-with-peas

Snack Ideas

Mix in these homemade snacks with easy store bought options.

Maple Coconut Chips

Feel free to double the recipe and use two sheet pans to make more at once.

Get the recipe.

coconut chips in blue bowl
Easiest Animal Crackers Recipe

If you use larger cookie cutters, you may need to bake on the longer end of the baking time—and mini cookie cutters on the shorter end. This makes a relatively small batch, so double it if you want extras to last all week!

Get the recipe.

mini-animal-crackers-on-wire-rack
Favorite Coconut Chia Pudding

I like to use canned full-fat coconut milk for the best flavor and creamy texture, though you can use “light” coconut milk if that’s what you can find at your store.

Get the recipe.

coconut-chia-pudding-with-berries-and-spoon
Graham Crackers Peanut Butter Balls

These should chill for 30 minutes before serving to allow the oats to soften up a bit. (You can eat them immediately, they’ll just be a little chewy.)

Get the recipe.

graham-cracker-bites-in-white-paper-cups

Dinners

Instant Pot Channa Masala with Rice

If you can’t find garam masala, you can leave it out, though it adds authentic flavor that you’d expect if you’ve eaten Chana Masala in a restaurant. This will likely make enough for two meals—I like to freeze the second half for a future week.

Get the recipe.

chana-masala-for-family with three plates
Vegetable Stir Fry with Rice and Tofu

I like to use vegetables like carrots, broccoli, bell peppers, and snap peas in this easy recipe. Plan to cook the rice ahead of time or to get it started first.

Get the recipe.

sesame-tofu-with-veggies-and-rice-in-bowl
Roasted Sweet Potato Tacos

You can try serving this to your toddler with the components separated if they aren’t quite up to holding and eating a regular taco. Simply arrange the filling, the tortillas, and toppings on a plate and let them eat them however they like!

Get the recipe.

parent and kids roasted sweet potato taco plates
Spinach Pesto Pasta with Peas

This bright green pesto is cheesy and mild, making it a perfect sauce for a quick dinner of pasta and peas!

Get the recipe.

spinach-pesto-pasta-in-blue-bowl
Easy Spinach Grilled Cheese

You can also do this with full size spinach if that’s what you’re able to find. Just discard any stems before starting the recipe.

Get the recipe.

spinach-grilled-cheese-on-plate
Homemade Pesto Pizza Rolls

With just 5 simple ingredients, you can bake Pizza Rolls with delicious flavor from pesto. These are versatile, perfect for any age, and a great make-ahead lunch or dinner option.

Get the recipe.

pizza rolls on wooden plate
Strawberry Cupcakes with Fresh Berries

This recipe was updated in February 2021 to increase the amount of cupcakes from 9 to 12. You can make the strawberry puree up to 3 days ahead of time to make this easier.

Get the recipe.

strawberry-cupcake-on-mini-cake-stand
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Happy Family Meals

If you’re looking for more guided meal plans with grocery lists, feeding tips, and a super easy approach to feeding your family, my Happy Family Meals system is ready for you—and it’s on sale! Check it out here.

I’d love to hear your feedback on this post, so please comment below so I can continue to make my posts better for you!

This post was first published April 2019.



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