Health, Food & Nutrition

My Child’s Favorite Meal

Getting our kids to focus on food isn’t always easy. Parents shared the foods, snacks, and tricks they use to tempt a reluctant tummy.

Recipes and a Tex-Mex Dinner
Recipes and a Tex-Mex Dinner

ADDitude asked: “What is your child’s favorite ADHD-friendly meal or recipe?”

Both of my sons love spaghetti pie. The base is pasta mixed with butter and Parmesan cheese in a pie plate, topped with pasta sauce and mozzarella.
-Ann, Ohio

When I cook, I put all the foods in serving dishes and let everyone serve themselves. Usually, I have a salad, a lean protein with vegetables, a healthy carb with vegetables, and a homemade salsa made of herbs and vegetables.
-An ADDitude Reader

Protein shakes are always a favorite.
-An ADDitude Reader

Spaghetti. I chop up lots of veggies, saute them with ground turkey and a little sausage, and add some sauce. It’s healthy and puts pounds on my child.
-An ADDitude Reader

My son loves anything that he can help put together himself at the table-soup with toppings, such as cheese or avocado, and burritos or fajitas.
-Amy, Virginia

Soft-shell tacos. He gets to eat with his hands, instead of being reminded to hold his fork properly.
-Aida, New York

My son’s favorite meals are pasta with pesto sauce and chicken, and 10 chicken nuggets and large fries from McDonald’s. Sometimes I feel bad about giving him junk food, but I will do anything to make him gain a few pounds.
-An ADDitude Reader

One simple, cheap, and healthy dinner my kids love is vegetable pasta with a can of plain diced tomatoes and garlic, onion, basil, light sea salt, and pepper. It is much healthier, fresher, and tastier than pasta sauce from a jar. All of my kids eat it up.
-Christine, Arkansas

I dress up healthy food to look like funny faces or animals, such as a piece of gluten-free bread with carrot hair, sultana eyes, cheese nose, apple mouth, and orange ears.
-Clare, Washington

Poor man’s stroganoff. Fry ground meat, add a can of mushroom soup mixed with milk to the desired consistency, and serve over rice with green beans.
-An ADDitude Reader

My son loves egg white, bacon, and English muffin sandwiches. They are small and portable and are a complete and well-balanced meal. There’s another plus: Since he is holding the sandwich, he doesn’t forget to eat it, and since it’s small he doesn’t have to focus long to finish it.
-Erika, New York

For breakfast, my son is particularly fond of chocolate banana smoothies. We blend together one cup of 2% milk, two scoops of chocolate soy protein powder, three teaspoons of inulin fiber, one banana, and a cup of ice cubes. It’s creamy, has plenty of protein, and there is a good balance of fat and fiber.
-Sue, Ohio

My son calls them “fast dinners.” They are small portions that can be eaten fairly quickly. It could be a hot dog, tacos, roast chicken, or gnocchi. My son, like many with ADHD, has food sensitivities, so we stick to all-natural and organic foods as much as possible!
-Pamela, Texas