Healthy Family Meal Plan for January (Kid-Friendly!)


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Make it SO MUCH easier to feed your family from breakfast through dinner with these easy family meal plans for the month ahead. Each week includes recipe ideas for breakfast, lunch, snack, and dinner to give you lots of inspiration for easy cooking and eating.

Jan-meal-plan

Easy Family Recipes

This month always brings a deluge of “healthy eating” emails, marketing, and messages and while I’m all for adding more produce, whole grains, and the like, I’d like to remind you that it’s all about the big picture—and kids never need to diet. (P.S. Diets don’t work for adults either.)

Our bodies need regular fuel and there’s no such thing as a perfect toddler (or adult) diet. Do your best with the food budget, groceries, time, and cooking interest you have and try to ditch any shame or guilt or comparison.

You’re doing a great job!

Okay, now on to the meal plan. There are a few recipes for breakfast, lunch, and snack for each week, plus daily dinner ideas. I figure you can sub in easy options for the other meals!

With any of these meals, I recommend offering 1-2 simple sides such as fruit, fresh veggies, crackers, or cheese if you are at all worried that your kids won’t like the main dish. That way, they have “safe” foods on the table and you don’t need to get up to make a different meal!

jan meal plan rotation copy

Easy Meal Rotation

I do my meal plans using the idea of a rotation where you use general categories every other week to reduce decision fatigue and also give the kids a chance to see foods regularly to help them learn to like the.

I have two options for breakfast and dinner that we can choose from—I usually alternate each week—then a set rotation of lunch ideas. 
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This allows me to the number of decisions I need to make since I’m starting with narrow categories— but still have flexibility, variety, and spontaneity with all of the choices available within a category.

(Because there are a million pasta recipes we could have on pasta night, for example, which is great since my kids generally like pasta!) Adjust as you like for your family.

TIP: Download a printable pdf of this meal rotation in my Free Resource Library.

january-week-1

January Week 1

Use these ideas for each meal of the day to get a bit of a plan in place for the week—even if you just choose one or two recipes to try. Round out any meal with a simple side of fruit or fresh veggies as you like.

Breakfast Ideas

Easy Pumpkin Oatmeal (with Any Kind of Oats)

You can make this in about 15 minutes on any morning, or make the whole recipe ahead and simply warm right before serving. See the Notes for variations to make it with other types of oats.

Get the recipe.

pumpkin-oatmeal-in-white-and-pink-bowls
Sweet Spinach Muffins with Banana

These store well, so you can make them ahead of time and pull them out of the fridge to serve. (Post updated October 2019)

Get the recipe.

spinach banana muffins on pink plate
Easy Mango Smoothie

This simple smoothie is thin enough to drink through a straw and thick enough to eat with a spoon. And of course, it’s super creamy!

Get the recipe.

simple mango smoothie
The Best 2-Ingredient Pancakes

This makes one small batch which will be 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. They are NOT like regular pancakes in that they are not super bready. Which is to say: Be gentle when flipping them. I broke a few the first time I made them! See the NOTES for the flavor variations.

Get the recipe.

2-ingredient-pancakes-4-flavors
spinach-grilled-cheese-sticks-with-apple

Lunch Ideas

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
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
Fluffy Sweet Potato Muffins

Plan to prepare the sweet potatoes at least an hour—and up to 3 days ahead—before you start making the muffins so it has time to cool. See the Notes for options for the sweet potato. These are very lightly sweet. Add ¼ cup brown sugar if desired to make them sweeter.

Get the recipe.

sweet-potato-muffins-in-pan
stack-of-homemade-granola-bars

Snack Ideas

Creamy Cottage Cheese Dip with Cinnamon and Vanilla

With a smooth and creamy texture and a nice amount of protein and fats to fuel little bodies, this cottage cheese blend is perfect for spreading or dipping.

Get the recipe.

healthy cottage cheese spread
Homemade Granola Bars (to Share with the Kids!)

We like to have these granola bars as a snack or toddler breakfast with milk or a smoothie—and they’re an excellent lunch box component too. You can make them plain or choose a flavor to add!

Get the recipe.

stack-of-homemade-granola-bars
Lower Sugar Banana Bread (SO Good!)

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. Adapted from The Salty Marshmallow

Get the recipe.

baked-lower-sugar-banana-bread
Cinnamon Raisin Baked Oatmeal Cups

Transform plain oats into a yummy and easy to eat finger food with this baked oatmeal recipe. You can double the recipe to make more if desired.

Get the recipe.

baked-oatmeal-cups-on-plate
alphabet-soup-in-blue-bowl

Dinner Ideas

Vegetarian Burrito Bowls with Rice and Beans

Prep the rice, beans, and veggies ahead if you can or want to. They store well in the fridge and simply need to be reheated. The nutrition information in this recipe will vary based on the ingredients you choose to use.

Get the recipe.

grain bowls with rice and beans
Easy Breakfast Burritos

These are called “breakfast” burritos since they have eggs, but you can serve them for any meal of the day!

Get the recipe.

breakfast-burritos-on-purple-plate
4-Ingredient Sausage Broccoli Pasta

Just a heads up that you’ll need to reserve a little of the pasta cooking water, so keep that in mind BEFORE you drain the pasta. Chicken sausage is usually leaner than pork, so when making this with chicken sausage, I like to add butter or olive oil before serving.

Get the recipe.

broccoli-pasta-in-white-bowl
Easy Egg Muffins with Bacon and Cheese

I like adding the thyme in these for extra flavor, but it’s optional! Be sure to grease your muffin tin well.

Get the recipe.

bacon-and-egg-muffins-in-bowl
Favorite Alphabet Soup

You can use ABC pasta, orzo, pastina, or ditalini—or any other very small pasta shape in this recipe!

Get the recipe.

alphabet-soup-in-blue-bowl

january-week-2

January Week 2

I love to make one homemade snack on the weekend to serve throughout the week—so you could try that approach to help you mix up store bought snacks. Or just to try out meal prepping in a way that’s not all consuming!

Breakfast Ideas

Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal with Raisins

You can double this recipe to make a larger batch to warm up and serve throughout the week.

Get the recipe.

apple-oatmeal-in-white-bowls
Whole Grain Chocolate Chip Banana Muffins

These muffins are versatile, so check the Notes to adjust them for any allergies. Recipe updated February 2021.

Get the recipe.

banana chocolate chip muffins
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
Best Banana Spinach Pancakes

This is a thin batter that makes tender pancakes. Be sure to let them cook until the surface is almost entirely firm before you flip them over.

Get the recipe.

spinach-banana-pancakes-on-white-plate
pizza-muffin-in-lunchbox

Lunch Ideas

Pizza Muffins (with Veggies!)

These work well to make ahead and warm up for an easy lunch or dinner. These taste best served warm.

Get the recipe.

pizza-muffins-on-wire-rack-with-kids-hand
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
DIY Pizza Lunchables

You can plan for the kids to eat these cold or you can warm the bread ahead and pack it in a thermos so it’s warm at lunchtime. So easy!

Get the recipe.

homemade-pizza-lunchables-on-counter
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
strawberry-applesauce-in-white-bowls

Snack Ideas

Easy Strawberry Applesauce

You can use any type of apple you like in this recipe.

Get the recipe.

strawberry applesauce in white bowls
Easy Cheese Sauce (with Cauliflower)

This makes enough for 2-3 servings, so you can store any leftovers in the fridge in an airtight container. Reheat it for 15-30 seconds in the microwave to serve. You can also toss any leftovers with pasta for a quick and healthy mac and cheese.

Get the recipe.

how to make cheese sauce
Baby Food Combinations (50 Easy Stage 2 Recipes)

For a 6 month old baby, 1-2 tablespoons baby food may be plenty for a single serving. For a 9 month old baby, they might want ¼ cup or more. Adjust the servings based on your child’s hunger, using a roughly one to one ratio of the purees in each combination. Nutrition will vary according to the combinations you use.

Get the recipe.

baby-food-combinations-on-countertop
healthy-meatballs-on-adult-and-kids-plate

Dinner Ideas

Healthy Meatballs (with Hidden Vegetables)

With the texture you expect from a traditional meatball, but added nutrition from three types of veggies, your whole family will love these.

Get the recipe.

healthy meatballs in large bowl and small kids bowl
Lentil Soup with Veggies

I like our lentil soup with the veggies pretty blended in, which is why I chop them finely in a blender or food processor. You can also just chop them with a knife. (Recipe updated August 2020 to saute the veggies before simmering to ensure that there’s no raw onion flavor.)

Get the recipe.

lentil soup with veggies
Slow Cooker Chicken and Bean Tacos

The combination of vegetables listed below delivers really nice flavor and consistency to the sauce, but if you want to simplify, you can just use 2 of the options. This recipe was updated in September 2019 to add an Instant Pot option.

Get the recipe.

family style slow cooker chicken tacos
Quick Butternut Squash Pasta with Veggies and Sausage

You can use frozen peas or broccoli in this recipe according to what you have or prefer. See the Notes for vegetarian options.

Get the recipe.

butternut-squash-pasta-in-white-bowl-and-teal-bowls
Veggie Grilled Cheese Sandwich (to Share with the Kids)

With just 4 ingredients, including a veggie that blends right in, this Veggie Grilled Cheese Sandwich is a yummy kids lunch to share. It packs extra nutrition in the filling, yet only takes a few minutes to make. Such a great easy meal!

Get the recipe.

veggie-grilled-cheese-on-plate
Favorite Pizza Rolls (with Spinach and Cheese)

Be sure to grease your pan well and roll the dough up fairly tightly around the fillings for best results. (But it’s okay if they don’t look perfect when they go into the pan!) 

Get the recipe.

pizza-rolls-on-kids-plate

january-week-3 meal plan

January Week 3

Having healthy breakfast basics on hand and made ahead can really streamline the morning rush. All of the breakfast recipes (except the smoothie) can be made ahead and warmed up as needed.

Breakfast Ideas

Overnight Oats with Yogurt and Berries

This overnight oats recipe makes two toddler-size breakfast portions (or 1 mama-size serving). Double it to make additional servings. 

Get the recipe.

overnight-oats-with-yogurt-in-containers
Baked Banana French Toast Sticks

You can use any sliced bread that you like. I typically use whole grain or sourdough. You can also bake full slices of bread, then cut into sticks with kitchen scissors. See Notes for allergy-substitutions.

Get the recipe.

baked-french-toast-sticks-on-plate-with-bananas
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 Ideas

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
Easiest Homemade Uncrustables

You can make one sandwich at a time, or make a batch of a few to stash in the freezer. Adjust this as needed for your preference.

Get the recipe.

homemade-uncrustable-in-lunchbox
stewed-apples-in-containers

Snack Ideas

Granola Bites (No-Bake, 3-Ingredients)

A crispy dry granola, like this cinnamon flavor from Kind, works best in this recipe.

Get the recipe.

granola bites in reusable bag
Easy Stewed Apples, 3 Ways

Transform fresh apples into the most delicious snack or side dish to share with the whole family—babies and toddlers on up. With three flavor options.

Get the recipe.

stewed-apples-in-containers
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
italian-lentils-with-rice-and-cucumber

Dinner Ideas

Healthy Baked Sheet Pan Nachos

You can add some of the ingredients to some of the areas—leaving the spinach off, adding more salsa or spice—to customize for everyone at the table. I usually leave about a ⅓ of the pan for the kids with less greens and salsa and then pile it on for my husband and I.

Get the recipe.

healthy loaded potato nachos
Italian Lentils with Rice

We like this with rice, but you can also serve this with pasta if you prefer.

Get the recipe.

italian green lentils with rice and cucumbers
Slow Cooker Beef Burrito Recipe with Veggies

If you want to make these vegetarian, try using 2 cups rinsed and drained black beans or pinto beans instead of the ground beef.

Get the recipe.

easy beef burritos on plate
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
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

january-week-4 meal plan

January Week 4

Making use of your slow cooker and/or instant pot is a great way to make cooking much easier on yourself. Pull those appliances out and get them into regular rotation!

Breakfast Ideas

Homemade Applesauce Granola

This healthy granola recipe uses applesauce for sweetness and bakes at a lower temperature to lower the risk of burning around the edges!

Get the recipe.

healthy granola recipe
Make-Ahead Egg and Cheese Mini Muffins

These soft breakfast egg cups are packed with protein and vitamins—and can be made ahead of time! Add any veggie you like, whether carrots, butternut squash, broccoli, or spinach.

Get the recipe.

egg-cups-on-plate-with-toast
Vanilla Whole-Wheat Waffles

You can make these mini or full size. (Making them mini for sure takes longer so do what works best for you!). Adapted from First Bites

Get the recipe.

whole-wheat-waffles on purple plate
How to Make Oatmeal with Fruit

The base recipe makes a large amount so you can use it throughout the week. Feel free to cut it in half to make less, or just make one serving at a time using the instructions in the NOTES section below.

Get the recipe.

oatmeal-with-fruit-in-kids-bowls
sandwich-roll-ups-in-stainless-container

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
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
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
chocolate-smoothie-on-counter

Snack Ideas

Best Chocolate Smoothie (with Veggies!)

Be sure to blend this super smooth for the best texture. Use any or none of the optional ingredients. See the Notes for how to make this with regular milk.

Get the recipe.

healthy-chocolate-smoothie-with-straw
Easy Apple Bread

This bread is free from gluten and nuts, and has an alternative if your little doesn’t do dairy. This bread is delicate when warm, so let it cool fully before you slice it with a serrated knife.

Get the recipe.

sliced-apple-oatmeal-bread-on-cutting-bard
Chocolate Protein Muffins (With Veggies!)

These simple blender muffins pack a serious nutrition punch and are dairy-free, with a nut-free option. I prefer the flavor of these once they are fully cooled and chilled in the fridge.

Get the recipe.

healthy chocolate muffins cooling on wire rack
pizza bites on white plate

Dinner Ideas

4-Ingredient Baked Chicken Meatballs

Serve with Marinara sauce, Pesto, Cheese Sauce, or with a side of ketchup or any other favorite dip. We like to have these on hand to use an easy lunch component or have them with pasta.

Get the recipe.

baked-chicken-meatballs
Shortcut Butternut Squash Risotto

You can cook the rice ahead of time and do Step 1 ahead. Or make the whole dish ahead and warm to serve when needed.

Get the recipe.

butternut-squash-risotto-in-white-bowls
Refried Bean Taco Roll Ups

This makes 6 rolled up tacos, so you can adjust this as needed for your family.  Taste the refried beans before you make the roll ups and adjust the salt and/or cumin if needed. You can also serve the ingredients in separate bowls and let your family serve themselves.

Get the recipe.

easy tacos with refried beans
One-Pot Broccoli Mac and Cheese

The method on this recipe is streamlined to cut down on dish washing. Add the optional spices for more flavor if you like! Double it to make more.

Get the recipe.

servings-of-broccoli-mac-and-cheese-for-family
Creamy Hummus Without Tahini

You can use regular plain yogurt, though I like the consistency that Greek yogurt yields a bit better.

Get the recipe.

homemade hummus without tahini
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

roasted-veggies-featured

Easy Sides to Add to Any Meal

Here are some simple sides to consider if you’re looking to round out any meal.

happy family meals ebook ad

I’d love to hear any feedback you have on my meal plans, so please comment below to share.



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