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26 Low-Calorie Dinners Your Kids Will Actually Eat

If you’re cooking healthy meals for yourself, there’s no need to make a second option for your little ones. These kid-approved low-cal dinners will leave everyone feeling satisfied.

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Mexican Turkey SkilletTaste of Home

Mexican Turkey Skillet

This family-friendly main dish with turkey, black beans and vegetables has a rich Mexican flavor that may seem indulgent, but it’s delightfully light. Created by our Test Kitchen, it cooks in one skillet, so it’s a snap to clean up for a weeknight supper.

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Chicken Nuggets Exps Sdon18 1500 E06 13 1b 7

Chicken Nuggets

I like to make these golden chicken nuggets because they’re so quick and easy. My whole family loves them. You can also use the seasoning to cook chicken breast halves. Stack them on rustic bread with mayo, lettuce and tomato for delicious sandwiches. —Annette Ellyson, Carolina, West Virginia

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Sneaky Turkey MeatballsTaste of Home

Sneaky Turkey Meatballs

Like most kids, mine refuse to eat certain veggies. In order to feed them healthy foods, I have to be sneaky sometimes. The veggies give these meatballs a pleasing texture while providing valuable nutrients—and I'm happy to say my kids love 'em. —Courtney Stultz, Weir, Kansas

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BBQ Chicken SandwichesTaste of Home

BBQ Chicken Sandwiches

With four small children at home, I need quick yet filling meals. This family-favorite BBQ chicken sandwich filling is a cinch to make. For a spicier taste, eliminate the ketchup and increase the amount of salsa to 1 cup. —Leticia Lewis, Kennewick, Washington

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Turkey Sausage PizzaTaste of Home

Turkey Sausage Pizza

If pizza night is a must in your house, double this recipe and freeze one for later. —Melissa Jelinek, Apple Valley, Minnesota

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Southwestern Goulash Exps Sddj17 39880 16 C08 03 3b 1

Southwestern Goulash

I had some extra cilantro in the fridge and didn't want to throw it away. Instead, I came up with this delightful and filling family recipe. Everyone just loved it! —Vikki Rebholz, West Chester, Ohio

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Tuna Noodle CasseroleTaste of Home

Tuna Noodle Casserole

Families are sure to love the creamy texture and comforting taste of this traditional tuna casserole that goes together in a jiffy. I serve it with a green salad and warm rolls for a nutritious supper. —Ruby Wells, Cynthiana, Kentucky

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Fabulous FajitasTaste of Home

Fabulous Fajitas

I've enjoyed cooking since I was a girl growing up in the Southwest. When friends call to ask me for new recipes to try, I suggest these flavorful fajitas. It's wonderful to put the beef in the slow cooker before church and come home to a hot delicious main dish. —Janie Reitz, Rochester, Minnesota

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Tender Sweet 'n' Sour Pork ChopsTaste of Home

Tender Sweet 'n' Sour Pork Chops

The recipe for these moist, tender pork chops was given to me years ago by my best friend. It's become one of my family's favorites and we enjoy it often. Hope you do, too! —Gina Young, Lamar, Colorado

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Family-Pleasing Sloppy JoesTaste of Home

Family-Pleasing Sloppy Joes

My grandma gave this recipe to me years ago, but I made a few changes to give this yummy supper more pizzazz. —Jill Zosel, Seattle, Washington

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Asian Style Round Steak Exps Sscbz18 35369 D09 08 4b 3

Asian-Style Round Steak

My friend gave me this recipe two decades ago. All I added was a little more meat, the celery and mushrooms. My family loves it! —Marilyn Wolfe, Des Moines, Iowa

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Four-Cheese Spinach LasagnaTaste of Home

Four-Cheese Spinach Lasagna

This rich cheesy lasagna has become one of my specialties. It's packed with fresh-tasting vegetables like spinach, carrots, red pepper and broccoli. I'm never afraid to serve the colorful casserole to guests, since it's always a huge success. —Kimberly Kneisly, Englewood, Ohio

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Hamburger CasseroleTaste of Home

Hamburger Casserole

This hamburger casserole recipe is such a hit it's traveled all over the country! My mother originated the recipe in Pennsylvania, I brought it to Texas when I married, I'm still making it in California, and my daughter treats her friends to this oldie in Colorado. It's hearty, yet simple to prepare. —Helen Carmichall, Santee, California

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Italian BurritosTaste of Home

Italian Burritos

No beans about it: Nothing but beef, cheese, garlic and sauce is stuffed inside these baked burritos. My family is very picky, so I came up with these to satisfy everyone—and it worked! —Donna Holter, Centennial, Colorado

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Skillet Pork Chops with ApplesTaste of Home

Skillet Pork Chops with Apples

Our family loves to use apples to brighten savory dishes. We experimented with pork chop and apple recipes to find the perfect pairing. —Amanda Jobe, Olathe, Kansas

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Creamy Dijon Chicken

This chicken dish is extremely fast and economical. It makes a nice sauce that works well over brown rice or wide noodles. If you want extra sauce for leftovers, double the recipe. —Irene Boffo, Fountain Hills, Arizona

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Sausage & Pepper PizzaTaste of Home

Sausage & Pepper Pizza

All pizza should satisfy a craving. This one easily beats delivery service to your table. —James Schend, Pleasant Prairie, Wisconsin

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Texas Tacos

I created this recipe by combining a bunch of taco ingredients that my kids like. Once it’s ready, I often keep the beef mixture warm in a slow cooker so the kids can quickly fill taco shells after an afternoon of rigorous soccer practice. —Susan Scully, Mason, Ohio

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Mini Turkey Meat LoavesTaste of Home

Mini Turkey Meat Loaves

These turkey loaves are tender, hearty and convenient. They're loaded with flavor—not to mention oats, turkey and veggies! Bake them ahead and top them with cheese before serving—or freeze them for later. —Janice Christofferson, Eagle River, Wisconsin

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Quick Chicken ParmesanTaste of Home

Quick Chicken Parmesan

My mother inspired me to develop my first pasta sauce. It's tangy, simple and really satisfying. The longer it simmers, the better it gets, so keep that in mind if you have time to spare. —Danielle Grochowski, Milwaukee, Wisconsin

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Crispy Pork Tenderloin Sandwiches

Crispy Pork Tenderloin Sandwiches

This breaded tenderloin rekindles memories of a sandwich shop in my Ohio hometown. Even though I've moved away, I'm happy to say my family can still enjoy them thanks to this recipe. —Erin Fitch, Sherrills Ford, North Carolina

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One-Pot Meaty SpaghettiTaste of Home

One-Pot Meaty Spaghetti

I used to help my mom make this when I was growing up, and the recipe stuck. It was a beloved comfort food at college, and is now a weeknight staple for my fiance and me. —Kristin Michalenko, Seattle, Washington

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Maple-Dijon ChickenTaste of Home

Maple-Dijon Chicken

Eating dinner as a family every night is really important to us, and this recipe is one that we all love. It's our favorite skillet chicken dish. —Courtney Stultz, Weir, Kansas

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Mini Barbecue Meat LoavesTaste of Home

Mini Barbecue Meat Loaves

I gave classic meat loaf a tasty twist by adding barbecue sauce. My kids usually get bored with beef entrees, but they keep asking for this dish. It's become a dinner staple at my house. —Vicki Smith, Okeechobee, Florida

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Tacos on a StickTaste of Home

Tacos on a Stick

Teens like assembling these creative kabobs almost as much as they like devouring them. The whole family is sure to love the sensational Southwestern flavor of this twist on beef shish kabobs. —Dixie Terry, Goreville, Illinois

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Loaded Chicken Carbonara CupsTaste of Home

Loaded Chicken Carbonara Cups

Spaghetti cupcakes with a chicken carbonara twist make for a tasty, fun family dinner. Whole wheat pasta and reduced-fat ingredients make these quick and easy little pasta cakes nutritional winners, too. —Jeanne Holt, Mendota Heights, Minnesota

Peggy Woodward, RDN
Peggy is a Senior Food Editor for Taste of Home. In addition to curating recipes, she writes articles, develops recipes and is our in-house nutrition expert. She studied dietetics at the University of Illinois and completed post-graduate studies at the Medical University of South Carolina to become a registered dietitian nutritionist. Peggy has nearly 20 years of experience in the industry. She’s a mom, a foodie and enjoys being active in her rural Wisconsin community.

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