What to Make for Dinner When Your Family Eats Poorly

You can’t get them to eat vegetables. Hiding a piece of broccoli in their mashed potatoes can turn disastrous.

It’s always something like chicken fingers, hot dogs, mac-n-cheese and a side of Pepsi.

So what can you make for dinner when your family doesn’t eat healthy?


Swap Foods - Swapping out your typical dinner with more nutritious options can be done! With that being said, re-training people in regard to food can be tough. Start slow. Try using spaghetti squash instead of pasta. If that works, test the waters by adding in some spiralized veggies.


Compromise - Maybe once a week, cook your family a “treat” dinner. Make their favorite so they don’t feel deprived and wind up eating junk behind your back.


Prioritize Protein - Say the veggies thing doesn’t work, PROTEIN PROTEIN PROTEIN! Check the box of eating lean and complete proteins with your dinner. Think chicken, fish, eggs and lean beef or quinoa and rice with beans if you don’t eat animal proteins.

Here’s a delish chicken recipe that only uses ONE pan!

One-Pan Pesto Chicken and Veggies

Total Time: 30 minutes
Yield: 4 servings


  • 2 Tbs olive oil

  • 1 lb chicken thighs, boneless and skinless, sliced into strips

  • 1/3 cup sun-dried tomatoes, drained of oil, chopped

  • 1 lb asparagus, ends trimmed, cut in half, if large

  • 1/4 cup basil pesto

  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, yellow and red, halved


  1. Heat a large skillet on medium heat. Add 2 tablespoons olive oil, then add sliced chicken thighs. Season chicken generously with salt. Add half of chopped sun-dried tomatoes.

  2. Cook everything on medium heat for 5-10 minutes, flipping a few times, until the chicken is completely cooked through.

  3. Remove the chicken and sun-dried from the skillet, leaving oil in the pan.

  4. Add asparagus, seasoned generously with salt, remaining half of sun-dried tomatoes, and cook on medium heat for 5-10 minutes until the asparagus is cooked through.

  5. Remove asparagus onto a serving plate.

  6. Add chicken back to the skillet, and add pesto. Stir to coat on low/medium heat until chicken is reheated, about 1 - 2 minutes.

  7. Remove from heat. Add halved cherry tomatoes, mix with the pesto and the chicken.

  8. Add chicken and tomatoes to the serving plate with the asparagus.

Don’t fret if tonight your family wants KFC. Gradual changes to your own diet will impact theirs as well. Once you feel comfortable tweaking a few things, the more healthy you and your loved ones can be. Start small and eventually they’ll be eating kale with everything.

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Jenna DavidsonComment