Health, Food & Nutrition

Fast, Healthy Recipes That Everyone Loves

Between soccer practice and long commutes, it seems we’re always rushing to get food on the table before starving kids melt down. Here are fast, healthy meal ideas for busy families with picky eaters.

A woman looks up healthy meal ideas while preparing breakfast for her children.
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Fast, Healthy Meal Ideas

Between soccer practice, gymnastics, and long commutes, we parents always feel we're rushing to get food on the table before starving kids melt down. Add ADHD to the mix, and mealtime can be a nightmare. Here, we’ve compiled healthy meal ideas into 10 quick and easy recipes — most ready in 30 minutes or less — packed with taste, plus the protein and fiber to keep ADHD minds and bodies going strong.

Chicken pizza is a healthy meal idea for kids with ADHD.
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Chicken Parmesan Pizza

For this protein-packed main dish, simply add chicken strips, pizza sauce, cheese, and basil to frozen garlic bread or pre-made pizza dough. Your kids will love it, and it can easily be adapted to whatever ingredients you have on hand. We like to adapt this recipe by throwing extra veggies on top and using chicken sausage. Either way, it’ll still be ready in less than 30 minutes. Get the full recipe here.

A two-bean burrito is a healthy meal idea for families with ADHD.
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Two-Bean Burrito

In a casserole dish sprayed with nonstick cooking spray, mix 1 can each of: refried beans, diced tomatoes (drained), black beans (drained), sliced black olives, and reduced-fat cheddar cheese. Heat at 350 degrees for 30 minutes, then serve with whole-wheat tortillas, plain Greek yogurt, rice, and your favorite jarred salsa.

Contributed by Jill Weisenberger, MS, RDN, CDE

[Free Guide: What to Eat (and Avoid) for Improved ADHD Symptoms]

A quick version of chicken and rice that is a healthy meal idea for families.
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Chicken and Rice (the Easy Way!)

This "minimalist" recipe for chicken and rice from The New York Times’ famous foodie Mark Bittman is easy enough for even the most inexperienced chef. Add onions, a few spices, and lemon wedges for garnish, and you have a full meal in just half an hour! Read the complete recipe here.

Baked tilapia is a healthy meal idea for kids with ADHD.
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Baked Tilapia with Crumb Crust

Studies suggest that omega-3 fatty acids — like those found in fish — improve focus and concentration in kids with ADHD. Plus, the cottage cheese crust in this recipe provides a boost of protein and flavor that your kids will love.

Recipe courtesy of Daisy Brand Cottage Cheese.

Salmon salad is a healthy meal idea that offers the additional benefit of omega 3's.
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Salmon Salad

Drain a can of salmon (again, omega-3 fatty acids!) and toss with thawed broccoli florets from your freezer. Add any vegetables you have on hand — chopped zucchini, diced red onion, or bell pepper — then add one can of chickpeas or white beans (drained and rinsed). Dress with oil and vinegar or your favorite Italian salad dressing. Round out the meal with pita bread or crackers and some fresh fruit.

Contributed by Jill Weisenberger, MS, RDN, CDE

Pork fried rice is a quick, healthy one-skillet meal for families with ADHD.
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Quick and Easy Pork Fried Rice

If you have leftover rice on hand, use it to whip up this quick and delicious one-skillet meal with a medley of fresh or frozen veggies. It also works with chicken, beef, tofu, or purely vegetables! Get the full recipe here.

[25 Smart Snacks for Growing ADHD Brains]

BBQ shrimp is a kid-friendly and healthy meal idea.
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Barbecue Shrimp

Five ingredients and 30 minutes of baking is all you need to prepare this delicious New Orleans style shrimp that the whole family will love. For an easy side dish, try steaming some broccoli and covering it with the rich buttery sauce. Get the full recipe here.


Slow cooker beef bourguignon is an easy healthy meal idea for busy families.
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Slow Cooker Beef Bourguignon

Don’t be put off by the fancy name — this recipe is really just a classic roast, made in a slow cooker. Throw in all the ingredients in the morning and dinner will be ready by the time you get home! Get the full recipe here.

Summer corn and tomato pasta is a healthy meal idea.
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Summer Corn and Tomato Pasta

Take advantage of summer vegetables while you can, with this simple and delicious pasta that kids will love. It’s perfect as is, or you can customize it with your favorite sauce or any meat you have on hand. Get the full Rachael Ray recipe here.

Sloppy joe sliders can be a healthy meal with this recipe.
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Sloppy Joe Sliders

This cafeteria staple gets a twist in the form of sliders. Kids will delight in the mini sandwiches, and parents will enjoy the fact that they can have dinner on the table in less than 20 minutes, even with a side dish of steamed broccoli or green beans. Get the full recipe here.

[Free Handout: 12 Surprising Sources of Omega-3 Fatty Acids]

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