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
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.
Easy Pumpkin Oatmeal
pumpkin-oatmeal-in-white-and-pink-bowls
Sweet Spinach Muffins with Banana
These healthy spinach muffins taste like a delicious banana muffin, but with the added nutrition of a big handful of spinach. These store well, so you can make them ahead of time and pull them out of the fridge or freezer to serve.
Sweet Spinach Muffins with Banana
spinach banana muffins on pink plate
Favorite Mango Smoothie Recipe
This fresh Mango Smoothie is thin enough to drink through a straw and thick enough to eat with a spoon. And of course, it's super creamy!
Favorite Mango Smoothie Recipe
mango smoothie in cups lined up on counter
Best 2-Ingredient Baby Pancakes
Blend up a fruit or veggie with an egg for the fluffiest, easiest, healthy baby pancakes. These use just 2 ingredients, have four flavor options, and are a perfect texture for both babies and toddlers. See the NOTES at the bottom for the flavor variations.
Best 2-Ingredient Baby Pancakes
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.
Easy Spinach Grilled Cheese
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.
Quick Pizza Quesadillas (An Easy Kids Meal)
pizza-quesadillas-on-blue-plate
Fluffy Sweet Potato Muffins
Tender and moist, these muffins are lightly sweetened with warm spices. Plan to prepare the sweet potatoes at least an hour—and up to 3 days—before you start making the muffins to allow time to cool. You can make these plain, with chocolate chips, or with lemon zest.
Fluffy Sweet Potato Muffins
sweet-potato-muffins-in-pan

stack-of-homemade-granola-bars

Snack Ideas

Creamy Vanilla Cottage Cheese Dip
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.
Creamy Vanilla Cottage Cheese Dip
cottage cheese dip on plate with fruit and graham crackers
Easy Homemade Granola Bars
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!
Easy Homemade Granola Bars
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
Lower Sugar Banana Bread (SO Good!)
baked-lower-sugar-banana-bread
Baked Oatmeal Cups
Transform plain oats into a yummy and easy-to-eat finger food with this baked oatmeal cups recipe. You can double the recipe to make more if desired.
Baked Oatmeal Cups
baked-oatmeal-cups-on-plate

alphabet-soup-in-blue-bowl

Dinner Ideas

Easy Vegetarian Burrito Bowls
Transform pantry staples into the yummiest homemade Vegetarian Burrito Bowls with this easy recipe. (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.)
Easy Vegetarian Burrito Bowls
Easy Breakfast Burritos
With just 4 simple ingredients, these easy Breakfast Burritos can be made ahead and reheated, or made in minutes and served right away. They're a protein-packed breakfast to share with the kids.
Easy Breakfast Burritos
breakfast burritos on plate with salsa.
4-Ingredient Sausage Pasta (with Broccoli)
This pasta recipe is quick and delicious and the flavor from the sausage is really key. (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.
4-Ingredient Sausage Pasta (with Broccoli)
broccoli-pasta-in-white-bowl
Easy Bacon and Egg Muffins
I like adding the thyme in these for extra flavor, but it's optional! Be sure to grease your muffin tin well with nonstick spray to help prevent these from sticking to the pan. A nonstick mini muffin pan works best here.
Easy Bacon and Egg Muffins
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 Alphabet Soup recipe. And you can start with fresh or frozen veggies. See below for options.
Favorite Alphabet Soup
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.
Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal with Raisins
apple-oatmeal-in-white-bowls
Healthy Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins
These muffins are best with very ripe bananas (they should have a lot of brown spots, which indicate sweetness). Then, simply stir everything together in one bowl and bake up a batch of delicious Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins to share with the kids.
Healthy Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins
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.
Favorite Healthy Toddler Smoothie (with Veggies!)
toddler-smoothies-in-mason-jars
Best Banana Spinach Pancakes
This is a thin batter that makes tender, naturally sweet Banana Spinach Pancakes. Be sure to let the pancakes cook until the surface is almost entirely firm before you flip them over.
Best Banana Spinach Pancakes
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.
Pizza Muffins (with Veggies!)
pizza-muffins-on-wire-rack-with-kids-hand
Easy Spinach Quesadillas
Try these healthy Spinach Quesadillas for an easy kids meal or family dinner. These are easy to make, perfect to make-ahead, and a nice way to serve spinach to kids packaged up in a familiar food!
Easy Spinach Quesadillas
spinach quesadillas on pink plate.
DIY Pizza Lunchables
Have more fun with lunch with this super quick and easy Pizza Lunchable idea. It's one of our favorite copycat recipes that makes it less expensive to recreate Lunchables at home…that you can even customize!
DIY Pizza Lunchables
homemade pizza lunchable 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.
How to Make Eggs in the Microwave
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.
Easy Strawberry Applesauce
strawberry applesauce in white bowls
Easy Cauliflower Cheese Sauce
Perfect for dipping and dunking veggies, this recipe 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.
Easy Cauliflower Cheese Sauce
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.
Baby Food Combinations (50 Easy Stage 2 Recipes)
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.
Healthy Meatballs (with Hidden Vegetables)
healthy meatballs in large bowl and small kids bowl
Favorite Vegetarian Lentil Soup
With a quick method and a variety of vegetables packed into the soup, this vegetarian Lentil Soup is a perfect weeknight family dinner—especially when you're craving comfort food.
Favorite Vegetarian Lentil Soup
bowl of vegetarian lentil soup.
Slow Cooker Chicken and Bean Tacos
With a short ingredient list and a veggie-loaded sauce, these Slow Cooker Chicken Tacos are such a delicious family meal. (You can even make it in the Instant Pot for dinner in just 25 minutes.)
Slow Cooker Chicken and Bean Tacos
Slow cooker chicken tacos on plate with sides.
Quick Butternut Squash Pasta with Sausage
This easy skillet dinner is super cozy and super versatile. You can use freshly diced butternut squash or precut squash from the store and frozen peas or broccoli according to what you have or prefer. See the Notes for vegetarian options.
Quick Butternut Squash Pasta with Sausage
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!
Veggie Grilled Cheese Sandwich (to Share with the Kids)
veggie-grilled-cheese-on-plate
Favorite Pizza Rolls (with Veggies)
This Pizza Rolls recipe is packed with nutrition—and even greens!—but the cheese, and silly spiral shape makes them much more appeal to toddlers and big kids. 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!) 
Favorite Pizza Rolls (with Veggies)
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. 
Overnight Oats with Yogurt and Berries
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.
Baked Banana French Toast Sticks
baked-french-toast-sticks-on-plate-with-bananas
Favorite Blueberry Banana Smoothie
This quick and easy Blueberry Banana Smoothie is a great option for breakfast, snack time, or even dessert. (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. See the Notes at the end for more tips.)
Favorite Blueberry Banana Smoothie
blueberry-banana-smoothie-in-cups

Lunch Ideas

Cauliflower Mac and Cheese (5-Ingredient)
With a simple cheese sauce—no standing and stirring over the stove here!—a solid dose of veggies, and a super creamy final result, this Cauliflower Mac and Cheese is a fast lunch or dinner option for toddlers. (And the rest of the family, too!)
Cauliflower Mac and Cheese (5-Ingredient)
cauliflower mac and cheese on teal spoon
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.
Easiest Homemade Uncrustables
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.
Granola Bites (No-Bake, 3-Ingredients)
granola bites in reusable bag
Easy Stewed Apples
Transform fresh apples into the most delicious snack or side dish to share with the whole family—babies and toddlers on up. Check out all three flavor options.
Easy Stewed Apples
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!
Easiest Animal Crackers Recipe
mini-animal-crackers-on-wire-rack
italian-lentils-with-rice-and-cucumber

Dinner Ideas

Baked Sheet Pan Nachos
These Baked Sheet Pan Nachos have a tender potato base and are topped with black beans, cheese, salsa and veggies. They're a total family dinner hit. (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.)
Baked Sheet Pan Nachos
healthy loaded potato nachos
Italian Lentils with Rice
We like this with rice, but you can also serve this with pasta if you prefer.
Italian Lentils with Rice
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.
Slow Cooker Beef Burrito Recipe with Veggies
easy beef burritos on plate
20-Minute Stir Fry Noodles
Try this quick family dinner the next time you're craving fresh comfort food—and want to please the entire family! You can add a protein to this dish if you'd like. See the Notes for options.
20-Minute Stir Fry Noodles
stir fry noodles with vegetables
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. Adapted from The Multi-Cooker Baby Food Cookbook.
Easy Instant Pot Butter Chicken
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

Easy Homemade Granola (Added Sugar Free)
This healthy granola recipe uses applesauce for sweetness and bakes at a lower temperature to lower the risk of burning around the edges. Plus, find an option to make it without added sugar id desired.
Easy Homemade Granola (Added Sugar Free)
homemade granola in jar
Mini Egg Muffins with Cheese and Veggies
These tender Egg Muffins 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.
Mini Egg Muffins with Cheese and Veggies
egg-cups-on-plate-with-toast
Vanilla Whole-Wheat Waffles
These vanilla Whole Wheat Waffles are always a hit for breakfast with my kids. You can make these mini or full size. (Making them mini for sure takes longer so do what works best for you!).
Vanilla Whole-Wheat Waffles
Whole wheat waffles on kids pink plate with sides.
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.
How to Make Oatmeal with Fruit
oatmeal-with-fruit-in-kids-bowls
sandwich-roll-ups-in-stainless-container

Lunch Ideas

Easy Veggie Muffins
Serve up veggies in a kid-friendly form with these SO-good Veggie Muffins. They have broccoli, carrots, protein, and kid-approved flavor!
Easy Veggie Muffins
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.
Vegetarian Quesadillas with Beans and Cheese
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.
Quick Sandwich Roll Ups (2-Minute School Lunch)
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.
Best Chocolate Smoothie (with Veggies!)
healthy-chocolate-smoothie-with-straw
Favorite Apple Baked Oatmeal
This Apple Baked Oatmeal is delicious and hearty. It's delicate when warm, so let it cool fully before you slice it with a serrated knife. Serve it in slices like you would apple bread, or in a bowl to eat with a spoon or a fork.
Favorite Apple Baked Oatmeal
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.
Chocolate Protein Muffins (With Veggies!)
healthy chocolate muffins cooling on wire rack
pizza bites on white plate

Dinner Ideas

4-Ingredient Baked Chicken Meatballs
With just four simple and affordable ingredients, you can make tender Baked Chicken Meatballs to share with the kids. Bonus: You can tuck a veggie into the mix, and they are perfect to batch-cook and stash in the freezer!
4-Ingredient Baked Chicken Meatballs
baked chicken meatballs on cookie sheet.
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.
Shortcut Butternut Squash Risotto
butternut-squash-risotto-in-white-bowls
Easy Taco Roll Ups
This super simple riff on tacos takes just minutes to make, is really satisfying, and is great for lunch, dinner, or even snack. (This makes 6 rolled-up tacos, so you can adjust this as needed for your family.) 
Easy Taco Roll Ups
Taco roll ups on kids plate with sides.
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.
One-Pot Broccoli Mac and Cheese
servings-of-broccoli-mac-and-cheese-for-family
Homemade Hummus (Without Tahini)
With just 5 minutes and basic pantry ingredients, you can make the yummiest Homemade Hummus without tahini. This means that it's nut-free, so it's an option for school and allergy families, and it's just perfect for dunking crackers or spreading on bread.
Homemade Hummus (Without Tahini)
hummus without tahini on plate with dippers.
Favorite Pizza Bites
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.
Favorite Pizza Bites
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.

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

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  1. These monthly meal plans have literally been a game changer for our family! Thank you so much for all of the amazing free resources you provide. It has made life so much easier!!