It’s hard to believe it’s almost fall, but the good news is that it’s a great time of year to plan for super simple, super yummy family meals. These 30 healthy fall recipes to feed your family this September can be your go-to meal plan for healthy and yummy meals for everyone at the table.

fall meal plan image with 6 squares

Healthy Fall Recipes

My family’s schedule is just as likely as busy (and unpredictable?) as yours so this meal plan has a focus on easy recipes that can be made on weeknights. There are lots of slow cooker and one-pot options, plus meals that work well to be made ahead of time.

And since apples are back in season at local US markets, there are more healthy fall recipes including apples for breakfast and snacks at the end.

TIP: Add fruit, simple sides, and drinks to round out any meal as needed.

meal rotation graphic

Easy Meal Rotation

Here we go, your family meal plan for September week by week!

september meal plan in grid

September Week 1

I know that it’s unlikely that anyone will make every single meal from scratch each day, so I have a few recipe ideas here and trust that you’ll fill in with shortcuts like cereal, yogurt and fruit, and toast for breakfast. Find no-cook lunch ideas, cold lunch ideas, and snack meal ideas here.

Breakfast Ideas

Mini Cinnamon Muffins
Made with a base of applesauce and whole grain flour, these easy mini muffins are sweet enough to taste like a treat!
Mini Cinnamon Muffins
healthy-cinnamon-muffins on wire rack
Banana Bread Oatmeal (to Share with the Kids)
When you use a really ripe (or over ripe) banana in this recipe, it tastes so much like banana bread—but is much faster! See the options for which toppings make this even more delish.
Banana Bread Oatmeal (to Share with the Kids)
banana-oatmeal-in-three-bowls
Banana Oatmeal Breakfast Cookies
You can use peanut butter, almond butter, or Sunbutter in this recipe. Choose creamy unsweetened if possible.
Banana Oatmeal Breakfast Cookies
breakfast-cookies-on-white-plate

Lunch Ideas

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.
Easy Egg Cups (with Zucchini and Cheese)
Feel free to double the recipe to make a full 24 mini muffins! We like to stash these in the fridge to eat all week, so having more is usually helpful in our house.
Easy Egg Cups (with Zucchini and Cheese)
zucchini egg cups with berries and crackers
Easy Apple Smoothie
You can use any kind of apple in this recipe. It will taste best if your apples taste sweet. There’s a big range of flavors in apples, so just know the final flavor it connected to the flavor of the apples. Honeycrisp and Pink Lady are good options.
Easy Apple Smoothie
apple-pie-smoothie-with-apple-slices

Snack Ideas

Best Homemade Chocolate Milk
You can make this right before serving or make it up to 24 hours ahead.
Best Homemade Chocolate Milk
chocolate-milk-in-jar-with-pink-straw
Easy Crockpot Applesauce
With just a few basic ingredients and fresh apples, your crock pot can do the rest of the work of making applesauce!
Easy Crockpot Applesauce
crockpot applesauce in jar on towel
Easy Pear Sauce
Transform fresh pears into the most delicious fruit sauce with this simple method. It's a delicious fruit puree to share with a baby or toddler that you can serve on its own or mixed with yogurt or oatmeal.
Easy Pear Sauce
pear sauce on counter

Dinner Ideas

Pasta Salad with Chicken
This simple Pasta Salad with Chicken works well anytime of the year, but the flavors are particularly great in summer. Try it for dinner, a potluck, or to meal-prep lunch.
Pasta Salad with Chicken
pasta salad with chicken in bowls.
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
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
Roasted Sweet Potato Hash
Try this easy breakfast-for-dinner idea the next time you need a super easy and nutritious family dinner.
Roasted Sweet Potato Hash
sweet-potato-hash-on-two-plates
Moroccan Lamb Meatballs
With a mellow, kid-friendly flavor, veggies tucked inside, and an easy baking method that makes cleanup a breeze, these Lamb Meatballs are a delicious family dinner recipe to pair with pita, grains, or pasta.
Moroccan Lamb Meatballs
lamb-meatballs-with-rice-and-carrots-in-white-plate

TIP: We usually do pizza, takeout, or leftovers once or twice during the week to add another easy meal to the mix.

september-week-2 meal plan

September Week 2

The breakfast, snacks, and lunches here an all be made ahead and served quickly at mealtime to make sure it’s actually doable for you. The lunch ideas can also be packed in a thermos if you’re sending a kiddo to school or daycare.

Breakfast Ideas

Healthy Zucchini Muffins (Vegan)
With an easy method (no squeezing the zucchini required!) and super moist results, these healthy Zucchini Muffins are a yummy breakfast or snack (that you'll enjoy too!). They happen to be vegan and they store well for days.
Healthy Zucchini Muffins (Vegan)
vegan zucchini muffins on plate.
Fresh Apple Pancakes
These apple pancakes are hearty and filled with freshly shredded apples and oats, so expect them to have a lot of texture!
Fresh Apple Pancakes
stack-of-apple-pancakes
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.
Easy Overnight Oats with Applesauce
applesauce-overnight-oats-in-jars

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 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.
10 Easy Wraps for Kids
Try these easy wraps for kids as an easy lunch or meal when you want to change up the usual sandwich options. Nutrition info will vary according to the ingredients you use.
10 Easy Wraps for Kids
wraps-for-kids-on-plates-on-countertop

Snack Ideas

Add a side of crackers or cheese or something else easy to these to make them more substantial as needed.

Easy Strawberry Popsicles (with Greek Yogurt)
With just 5 simple ingredients, these Strawberry Popsicles are a packed with vitamins and protein. They're a great toddler snack, baby popsicle, and dessert to share.
Easy Strawberry Popsicles (with Greek Yogurt)
strawberry frozen yogurt pops in molds on blue plate
So Easy Sliced Baked Apples
Transform fresh apples into Sliced Baked Apples as a simple snack, side dish, or as baby led weaning apples. The super simple method takes just 5 minutes to prep, and they work as a topping for oatmeal, yogurt, pancakes, and more!
So Easy Sliced Baked Apples
baked apple slices on plate
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
Healthy Banana Cookies (to Share with the Kids)
banana cookies on wire rack

Dinner Ideas

If you have access to fresh tomatoes, they work beautifully in the spaghetti sauce!

Easy Tomato Sauce from Fresh Tomatoes
This slow cooker tomato sauce method is the easiest way to transform fresh tomatoes into delicious sauce. Scale the recipe up or down for a smaller or larger slow cooker. You don't have to be precise! And the chopped tomatoes can be very roughly chopped.
Easy Tomato Sauce from Fresh Tomatoes
slow-cooker-spaghetti-sauce-in-freezer-containers in storage containers
Homemade Broccoli Tots (Better Than the Freezer Aisle!)
Crispy on the outside and tender in the middle, these tots are a seriously fun way to serve broccoli. You can cook the rice up to 5 days ahead of time and store it in the fridge until you're ready to bake the tots.
Homemade Broccoli Tots (Better Than the Freezer Aisle!)
homemade broccoli tots
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.
Easy Spinach Quesadillas
spinach quesadillas
Fluffy Zucchini Pancakes
These fluffy pancakes are a yummy way to serve vegetables for breakfast and use up zucchini should you find yourself with extra. These can be served plain or with a side of yogurt or applesauce to babies and younger eaters, or with maple syrup—they are very versatile!
Fluffy Zucchini Pancakes
zucchini-pancakes-on-teal-fork-on-plate
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!
Quick Teriyaki Shrimp with Zucchini and Rice
easy teryiaki shrimp

september meal plan week 3 in grid

September Week 3

The breakfast muffins can be used for snacks or even lunches if you want to mix up how you serve them. Find more lunch ideas for one year olds and daycare lunches here.

Breakfast Ideas

Easy Zucchini Carrot Muffins
I prefer to grate my own carrots to ensure that the texture is finer and isn’t very noticeable in the baked muffins. See the Notes for allergy substitutions.
Easy Zucchini Carrot Muffins
zucchini-carrot-muffins-on-yellow-plate
So Good Spinach Egg Muffins
These mini Spinach Egg Muffins mix up in minutes and are one of our go-to easy meals. They're packed with iron and protein, and you can make them ahead and stash them in the fridge until you need them for the kids.
So Good Spinach Egg Muffins
spinach-egg-muffins-on-blue-divided-plate
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

Lunch 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.
Favorite Pumpkin Smoothie
This creamy Pumpkin Smoothie has delicious pumpkin-pie-like flavor and is a delicious meal component or snack. This makes two toddler-size servings, or a smoothie to share for a parent and toddler. You can freeze any leftovers into a freezer pop!
Favorite Pumpkin Smoothie
two cups of pumpkin smoothie with yellow straws.
Healthy Pumpkin Bars Recipe
These bars are tender when warm out of the oven, so do be sure to let them cool completely before slicing.
Healthy Pumpkin Bars Recipe
sliced pumpkin bars on cutting board

Snack Ideas

I aim to make one homemade snack each week and then rotate with easy store bought snacks.

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 Strawberry Milk
Creamy and delicious, Strawberry Milk is easy to make with fresh strawberries or freeze-dried ones. The version with freeze-dried berries tastes more similar to store-bought strawberry milk; the one with fresh berries tastes more like fresh strawberries!
Favorite Strawberry Milk
strawberry-milk-in-two-cups-with-straws
Quick Sauteed Cinnamon Pears
Transform any variety of pears into these delicious cinnamon cooked pears. Serve them as a simple side or snack, or cut a little smaller for a finger food for babies.
Quick Sauteed Cinnamon Pears
sauteed-cinnamon-pears-in-teal-bowls

Dinner Ideas

Mix up the type of rice and pasta you buy for a wider range of nutrients or just to mix up the shapes—the kids might even like to pick which shape you have!

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 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
Crispy Baked Tofu Nuggets (SO Good and Easy)
Tofu is typically sold in 14-16 ounce blocks. If yours is 16 ounces, you may need 1 ¼ cup panko. The garlic powder is optional, but adds nice flavor.
Crispy Baked Tofu Nuggets (SO Good and Easy)
tofu nuggets
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
Quick and Easy Pesto Pizza
With three simple ingredients, iron and vitamin C in the sauce, and a kid-friendly format, this super easy Pesto Pizza is a perfect kids lunch or dinner that parents will enjoy, too!
Quick and Easy Pesto Pizza
pesto-pizza-on-pink-plate

TIP: If making pizza dough feels like too much, pick up a ball of ready made dough at your store and have fun putting the sauce and cheese on with the help of the kids.

september week 4 meal plan grid

September Week 4

If you want to add in a smoothie to any of these weeks, here are my go-to veggie smoothies. Or try this Peach Banana Smoothie or these Protein Smoothies.

Breakfast Ideas

Quick Cottage Cheese Pancakes
These Cottage Cheese Pancakes have just a few ingredients and are packed with nutrients. So yummy! Double the ingredients to make a larger batch to feed a family of four as this recipe is on the smaller side.
Quick Cottage Cheese Pancakes
cottage-cheese-pancakes-on-pooh-plate
Best Banana Yogurt
This recipe make enough for 2-4 servings of yogurt, depending on the appetite of your child. See the Notes at the bottom for storage tips if you have leftovers. You can also cut the recipe in half to make a smaller amount.
Best Banana Yogurt
banana-yogurt-with-slices
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

Lunch Ideas

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
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!)
Creamy Pasta with Broccoli
creamy broccoli pasta in white bowls.
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

Snack Ideas

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
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.
Peanut Butter Oatmeal Energy Balls
peanut-butter-oatmeal-energy-balls

Dinner Ideas

Add a simple side of fruit to any of these family meals.

Easy Ratatouille with Pasta
This recipe makes enough for two meals. You can cut it in half if desired, but I like to make the larger batch and keep half in the freezer for a future meal—it's the same amount of cooking effort, so why not!
Easy Ratatouille with Pasta
ratatouille-pasta-in-white-and-kids-bowl
Roasted Vegetable Enchiladas
Before you start, roll a tortilla and make sure it will fit with your baking dish. I call for small ones, but the size can vary a lot depending on whether you use flour or corn and the brand. This recipe was updated and streamlined in October 2020.
Roasted Vegetable Enchiladas
vegetarian-enchiladas-in-baking-dish
Healthy Broccoli Cheddar Soup
With plant-based protein, veggies, and cheese, this soup is a wonderful way to serve up healthy comfort food to the whole family. (Adapted from FamilyFun magazine.)
Healthy Broccoli Cheddar Soup
broccoli cheese soup recipe
Easy Pasta with Summer Squash and Beef
This dish is easy to pull together in a short amount of time and is a nice alternative to tomato based pasta dishes.
Easy Pasta with Summer Squash and Beef
zucchini-pasta-in-adult-and-kids-bowl
Instant Pot Chana Masala-Style Chickpeas
Try making a super easy Indian food recipe at home with this mild Instant Pot Chana Masala. It's easy to make, freezes beautifully, and packs extra veggies tucked right into the sauce. (This will likely make enough for two meals—I like to freeze the second half for a future week.)
Instant Pot Chana Masala-Style Chickpeas
instant pot chana masala meal.
happy family meals ebook ad

Printable Family Meal Plans

In an effort to make my monthly meal plans more easy to use, there’s an ebook that corresponds fairly closely with this post called Happy Family Meals Vol 2 in my shop. It has a downloadable digital ebook with grocery lists, meal planning templates, and lots of tips to help improve mealtimes in your house.

It’s a full service meal plan that you can use it on your device or print it!


I’d love to hear what your family likes in these meals plans so please comment below to share!

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