The Picky Eaters Project: Melissa's Family-Friendly Recipes

Try Melissa d'Arabian's best recipes for the littlest picky eaters in your family to help them form healthy eating habits. Get this and more from Food Network.
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Photo By: Tara Donne ©FOOD NETWORK : 2012, Television Food Network, G.P.

Photo By: Tara Donne ©FOOD NETWORK : 2012, Television Food Network, G.P.

Photo By: Tara Donne ©2012, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Tara Donne ©FOOD NETWORK : 2012, Television Food Network, G.P.

Photo By: Tara Donne ©FOOD NETWORK : 2012, Television Food Network, G.P.

Photo By: Tara Donne ©FOOD NETWORK : 2012, Television Food Network, G.P.

Photo By: Tara Donne ©FOOD NETWORK : 2012, Television Food Network, G.P.

Photo By: Tara Donne ©FOOD NETWORK : 2012, Television Food Network, G.P.

Photo By: Tara Donne ©FOOD NETWORK : 2012, Television Food Network, G.P.

Photo By: Tara Donne ©FOOD NETWORK : 2012, Television Food Network, G.P.

Photo By: Tara Donne ©FOOD NETWORK : 2012, Television Food Network, G.P.

Photo By: Tara Donne ©FOOD NETWORK : 2012, Television Food Network, G.P.

Photo By: Tara Donne ©FOOD NETWORK : 2012, Television Food Network, G.P.

Photo By: Tara Donne ©FOOD NETWORK : 2012, Television Food Network, G.P.

Photo By: Tara Donne ©FOOD NETWORK : 2012, Television Food Network, G.P.

Photo By: Tara Donne ©FOOD NETWORK : 2012, Television Food Network, G.P.

Photo By: Tara Donne ©FOOD NETWORK : 2012, Television Food Network, G.P.

Photo By: Tara Donne ©FOOD NETWORK : 2012, Television Food Network, G.P.

Photo By: Grace Kim

Photo By: Grace Kim

Photo By: Grace Kim

Photo By: Grace Kim

Green Morning Smoothie

Melissa's go-to smoothie is loaded with peaches, bananas, oats and a cup of baby spinach. Sweetened with a touch of honey, it's a sure-fire way to get even the pickiest eaters in the family to eat their greens.

Get the Recipe: Green Morning Smoothie

Crispy Kale Chips

For an after-school snack, try swapping bagged chips for Melissa's better-for-you baked kale chips. They've got that all-important salty crunch, with nutrition to boot.

Get the Recipe: Crispy Kale "Chips"

Chicken Pot Pie Turnovers

Melissa gets tons of veggies into these turnovers — a fun take on chicken pot pie. Store-bought puff pastry makes them a cinch to prepare.

Get the Recipe: Chicken Pot Pie Turnovers

Turkey Lettuce Wraps

Try a new take on the taco bar. Melissa's DIY lettuce wrap spread lets little eaters pick out which veggies to include in their dinner.

Get the Recipe: Turkey Lettuce Wraps

Glazed Carrots

This simple, sweet side takes less than 30 minutes to make and can turn even the pickiest eater into a carrot lover.

Get the Recipe: Glazed Carrots

Tossed Angel Hair Pasta

On those nights when only plain pasta will do for your picky eater, try Melissa's angel hair tossed with Parmesan and lemon. Swap in whole-wheat angel hair for a boost of fiber.

Get the Recipe: Tossed Angel Hair Pasta

Rich Roasted Tomato Soup

Melissa's tomato soup gets tons of flavor from roasting the tomatoes first — this brings out their natural sweetness.

Get the Recipe: Rich Roasted Tomato Soup

Roasted Broccoli with Parmesan

Instead of steaming or boiling broccoli, try roasting it and tossing with Parmesan for added flavor.

Get the Recipe: Roasted Broccoli with Parmesan

Turkey Pad Thai

Skip takeout in favor of Melissa's easy pad thai, a great and mild introduction to Thai flavors.

Get the Recipe: Turkey Pad Thai

Sweet Potato and Bacon Tots

Sweet potatoes and bacon elevate this kid classic to new heights — the grownups at your table will enjoy them just as much. Serve them up with a creamy mustard sauce for dipping.

Get the Recipe: Sweet Potato and Bacon Tots with Creamy Mustard Dipping Sauce

Sweet Vegetable Saute

Melissa sautees zucchini and onions until they're slightly caramelized to bring out the veggies' sweetness. "Once it's done, you can turn off the heat and let it sit there on the stovetop or just let it cook some more over very low heat; the dish is very flexible," she says.

Get the Recipe: Sweet Vegetable Saute

Orzo with Thyme and Lemon Zest

This 20-minute side is a crowd-pleaser that goes well alongside any main.

Get the Recipe: Orzo with Thyme and Lemon Zest

Italian Marinated Chicken

An easy marinade makes Melissa's Italian-style chicken extra juicy and flavorful. She adds onions, carrots and potatoes to the marinade too and cooks everything in one pan.

Get the Recipe: Italian Marinated Chicken with Red Potatoes

Roasted Asparagus with Lemon Vinaigrette

Melissa loves to roast vegetables since it brings out so much flavor. This asparagus needs just 10 minutes in the oven and it's great warm or cold.

Get the Recipe: Roasted Asparagus with Lemon Vinaigrette

Fennel and Cabbage Slaw

Melissa's crunchy and colorful slaw is tossed with chopped bacon and a creamy dressing.

Get the Recipe: Fennel and Cabbage Slaw

Mediterranean Summer Pasta

Melissa serves this pasta with a no-cook "salsa cruda" of tomatoes, olives, garlic and capers. All you have to do is boil the pasta and toss it all together.

Get the Recipe: Mediterranean Summer Pasta with Salsa Cruda

Cafe Green Salad

If green salads are a tough sell in your house, try tossing them with Melissa's easy mustard vinaigrette, made with Dijon, balsamic vinegar and soy sauce.

Get the Recipe: Cafe Green Salad

Spiced Kettle Corn

Melissa's sweet-salty kettle corn is a crowd-pleasing 10-minute treat. Make it for an afternoon snack or movie night.

Get the Recipe: Spiced Kettle Corn

Applesauce Empanadas

Fill these hand-held desserts with your favorite store-bought or homemade applesauce.

Get the Recipe: Apple Sauce Empanadas

Homemade Chicken Nuggets

Melissa's plan is all about taking small steps to tackle picky eating habits. First step: Try homemade versions of your kids' favorites, like chicken nuggets.

Get the Recipe: Homemade Chicken Nuggets

Chicken Milanese

Once they've switched from frozen to homemade nuggets, kids may be ready to graduate to Melissa's Chicken Milanese, a more grown-up recipe that still features crispy chicken.

Get the Recipe: Chicken Milanese

Baked Fish Sticks

Riff on the same crisp texture that kids love in their nuggets and try Melissa's baked fish sticks next.

Get the Recipe: Baked Fish Sticks

Four-Step Chicken Piccata

This kid-friendly take on classic piccata is a go-to recipe in the d'Arabian house. You can swap the mushrooms for any veggie your kids like: onions, carrots, peas or green beans.

Get the Recipe: Four-Step Chicken: Kid-Friendly Piccata

Want more from the Picky Eaters Project?

Watch the full web series and get more tips and recipes from Melissa.