Finding foods that your children will eat can be one of the most challenging tasks that parents face. We all want to be sure that our children are getting enough fruits, vegetables, proteins, and all of the essential vitamins and minerals that keep us healthy and growing. One of the most frustrating things I have encountered as a parent is spending tons of time in the kitchen and having my children be unwilling to even taste the food I prepared. Crockpot meals can take away a lot of that time spent cooking. Below are some kid friendly crockpot recipes that can make your life easier and are kid approved!
Crock-Pot Mac & Cheese: #1 Kid Friendly Crockpot Recipe
What child doesn’t love Mac and Cheese? While not the healthiest recipe in our toolbox, it’s one of the most popular and definitely beats the boxed brands with fake powdered cheese. You can always had ham and steamed broccoli at the end as well.
- 8oz Elbow Macaroni
- 1 Can of Evaporated Milk (12 oz)
- 1 1/2 Cups of Whole Milk
- 1/4 Cup of Butter (melted)
- 2 Bricks of Cheddar Cheese (grated)
- 1 Tsp Salt
- A dash of Pepper
- A dash of Paprika
- Cooking Spray
- Spray the inside of the crockpot with the cooking spray, then add macaroni, evaporated milk, whole milk, butter, salt, pepper, and all but 1/4 cup of cheese.
- Cook for 3 hours on low.
- Add the last 1/4 cup of cheese and paprika on top and cook for an additional 15 minutes.
Crock-Pot Ham and Swiss Sliders
These sliders are not only fun-sized, but also delicious and great for kids and parents! Who doesn’t love some ooey-gooey melted cheese? Serve with favorite veggies and hummus for dipping.
- 12 Hawaiian rolls, kept together and not broken apart
- 1/2 lb. thinly sliced deli ham
- 8 slices Swiss cheese
- 1/2 cup butter, melted
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 1 teaspoon poppy seeds
- 1/2 teaspoon dried minced onions
- 1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- Place all the rolls on a large cutting board and take a large knife to slice all your rolls in half at the same time (do not break them apart) and gently remove the tops as one big piece.
- Layer ham slices on the bottom halves of the rolls that are still all connected.
- Layer Swiss cheese slices across the top of the ham.
- As one piece, place the top halves of your rolls back on top of the bottom part of the sliders.
- Pick up the cutting board and gently slide the sliders as one large loaf into a casserole crockpot.
- In a small bowl or coffee cup, mix together remaining ingredients.
- Brush the tops of the sliders with the butter mixture liberally with a basting brush.
- Cover and cook on high for 1.5 to 2 hours. Turn your insert halfway through if your slow cooker doesn’t cook evenly.
- If desired and your insert is broiler safe, place your rolls on the lower rack in your oven with your broiler on high for 30-60 seconds to crisp up the tops. (Watch continually and do not walk away. You can go from perfection to burnt very quickly in a broiler.)
- Cut the sliders apart and serve!
Crock-Pot Chicken Parmesan
Chicken Parm is a great way to get some of that much needed protein into your kid’s diet and help them to branch away from those frozen chicken nugget type of meals!
- Nonstick cooking spray or butter to grease your crockpot
- Boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- Salt and pepper
- Jarred marinara sauce
- Garlic cloves – minced
- Dried oregano
- Crushed red pepper flakes – optional
- Panko or bread crumbs
- Shredded mozzarella cheese
- Grated Parmesan cheese
- Fresh parsley
- Cooked spaghetti for serving
- First prepare your slow cooker by using nonstick spray or butter to grease the crockpot.
- Season the chicken breasts with salt and pepper, and place into the slow cooker in a single layer.
- Next, in a large mixing bowl combine the marinara sauce, minced garlic, oregano, and red pepper chili flakes if you’re choosing to include them.
- Pour the sauce over the chicken so that the breasts are completely covered.
- Cover and cook on LOW for 4 hours.
- Once the chicken is cooked through, sprinkle the panko or breadcrumbs evenly over the chicken.
- Add the shredded mozzarella and most of the grated Parmesan cheese.
- Cover the slow cooker, and let the cheeses melt for several minutes.
- Meanwhile, go ahead and make the spaghetti according to the package directions.
- Lastly, garnish the chicken Parmesan with chopped parsley and the remainder of the Parmesan cheese.
Crock-Pot Spaghettios & Meatballs
We all remember this from our childhood. However, wouldn’t you rather provide a healthier version? This and macaroni and cheese are head to head for first place kid friendly crockpot recipes.
- 40-50 mini meatballs, precooked (homemade or frozen)
- 8oz dried fun shaped pasta
- 30 ounces canned, plain tomato sauce (2 cans)
- 32 ounces beef broth
- Dried oregano, 1 tsp
- Garlic salt, 1 tsp
- Dried basil, 1 tsp
- Salt, 1/2 tsp
- Put your mini meatballs (fresh or frozen) at the bottom of your crockpot.
- Cover them with all the tomato sauce, beef broth, and all the spices.
- Cook on low for 5 hours.
- Add the dried noodles 30 minutes before serving. If you are using gluten free noodles, cook them separately and at them at the end.
- Serve with a favorite steamed vegetable or cucumber salad, and of course garlic bread!
Crock-Pot Honey Garlic Chicken With Veggies
This is a family favorite because the chicken is so tender and there are multiple vegetable options. I bet it will become a favorite kid friendly crockpot recipe for your household too!
- 1/2 cup soy sauce (reduced sodium)
- 1/2 cup honey
- 1/4 cup ketchup
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- Dried basil, 1 tsp
- Dried oregano, 1/2 tsp
- Black pepper, 1/4 tsp
- 8-10 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
- Halved baby potatoes, 16 oz
- Baby carrots, 16 oz
- Trimmed green beans, 16 oz
- Mix the first 7 ingredients in a bowl to make the sauce.
- Put the chicken thighs on the bottom and top them with the potatoes and carrots.
- Pour the sauce over everything.
- Cook on low for 8 hours or high for 4 hours.
- Add the green beans in the last 30-60 minutes based on how soft you want them.
About The Author
Sarah Proctor has worked with young children for over 25 years as a teacher, childcare director, nanny, and mom of two girls. She has her Bachelors Degree in Early Childhood Education and Administration from UMass Amherst. In addition, Sarah has her Director 2 certification from the Department of Early Education and Care.