27 Healthy Back-to-School Dinner Ideas

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Going back to school and looking for ways to keep on eating a healthy diet? Make these healthy back-to-school dinners!

Do you have school-age kids? Then you know how hectic the back-to-school season can be.

You have to get your kids back into their school schedule. And you have to help them with their homework.

Let’s not forget about those after-school activities either. You know – karate, ballet, swimming lessons…the list goes on.

All that busyness can leave you feeling frazzled – and having takeout on speed dial.

But takeout can get pretty expensive. And usually, it’s not very healthy either.

That’s why I’ve put together these Healthy Back to School Dinner Ideas. They’re delicious, healthy, and best of all, kiddo-approved.

So, what are you waiting for? Let’s dive right in!

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back-to-school dinners

1. Honey Chicken Wings

Honey Chicken Wings

Credit: allnutritious.com

Before you had kids, you probably spent some nights at the bar. Or let’s be honest: several nights at the bar.

But now you’re a full-fledged adult with tons of responsibilities – like making sure your kids don’t kill each other.

My Honey Chicken Wings are sure to bring back memories. They’re crispy and savory.

And they are coated in honey. So, the wings are nice and sticky – you and your kids will be licking your fingers.

But even though they’re super tasty, they’re straightforward to make. All you need to make them are 3 ingredients: chicken wings, Italian seasoning, and honey.

Start by tossing your wings in the Italian seasoning. Then place your wings on a foil-lined baking sheet.

Bake for about 40 minutes. Then drizzle your wings with some honey.

Easy peasy.

To make it a meal, add a simple Garden salad or steamed veggies. This steaming basket should make steaming your veggies so much easier.

Per Serving:

  • Calories: 527
  • Fats: 37g
  • Protein: 26g
  • Carbs: 23g
  • Fiber: 2g
  • Sugar: 6.2g


2. Instant Pot Minestrone Soup

Instant Pot Minestrone Soup

Credit: lifemadesweeter.com

Back to school signals the end of summer. And it means welcoming fall and winter…. Brrrr!!!!!

And on those cold nights, it’s nice to have something warm – like soup.

This Minestrone soup is sure to be a hit. It’s warm, filling, flavorful, and super comforting.

And it contains tons of veggies such as celery, carrots, tomatoes, zucchini, and spinach.

So, you can feel great feeding this soup to your kids.

What’s more, it takes only 8 minutes of cooking time. So, you can whip it up really quickly.

To save time without sacrificing flavor, you’ll be using an Instant Pot. I find Instant Pots to be a lifesaver, particularly when you’re short on time.

Don’t have an Instant Pot? You can get one at a pretty reasonable price here.

Serve with crusty Italian bread. Yum! Check out more 200 calorie meals.

Per Serving:

  • Calories: 269
  • Fats: 10g
  • Protein: 12g
  • Carbs: 41g
  • Fiber: 10g
  • Sugar: 7g


3. Slow Cooker Shredded Chicken Tacos

Slow Cooker Shredded Chicken Tacos

Credit: thetoastykitchen.com

Is your family sick of eating the same old thing for dinner? I have a solution for that.

Having themed nights can take the boredom out of dinner. For example, one day could be Meatless Monday, the next could be Taco Tuesday.

And yet another night could be Meatball Wednesday…you get the idea.

These Shredded Chicken Tacos are perfect for Taco Tuesday. The chicken is juicy, tender, and spicy – but not too spicy.

So, the kiddos can definitely handle it. And the avocados and sour cream tone done the slight heat.

What I love most is that these tacos take only 5 minutes of prep time. Then you let your slow cooker do the cooking.

To make these tacos, add your chicken breasts (or thighs) to your slow cooker. Next, add taco seasoning, coating well.

Finally, add salsa on top, and cook on low for 4 to 5 hours.

Are you going to be prepping this dish before you head off for work in the morning? Then it’s a great idea to use a programmable slow cooker like this.

It comes with a digital timer that lets you program your cook times. So, you can program your chicken tacos for 5 hours.

Once it hits 5 hours, it shifts to a warm setting. This way, your chicken doesn’t get dry and overcooked. Check out more 400 calorie recipes.

Per Serving:

  • Calories: 403
  • Fats: 14g
  • Protein: 31g
  • Carbs: 39g
  • Fiber: 5g
  • Sugar: 6g


4. Brussel Sprouts with Bacon

Brussel Sprouts with Bacon

Credit: allnutritious.com

Chances are that you hated eating Brussels Sprouts as a kid. And now, your kids hate them too – ain’t karma nice?

Thankfully, your kids will love eating these Brussel Sprouts. After all, who doesn’t love eating bacon?

You’ll be sauteeing your Brussels Sprouts in the leftover bacon grease. So, make sure you don’t wipe your skillet after cooking your bacon.

You’ll also be adding dates and water to the skillet. So, you get a nice, sweet glaze on your Brussels Sprouts.

All this will make your Brussels Sprouts sweet, savory, and full of flavor. Don’t be surprised if your kids ask for seconds!

Check out more macro-friendly recipes here!

Per Serving:

  • Calories: 251
  • Fats: 18g
  • Protein: 7.6g
  • Carbs: 17g
  • Fiber: 5g
  • Sugar: 8.6g


5. BBQ Lentil Power Bowls

BBQ Lentil Power Bowls

Credit: veggieinspired.com

A lot of families are adding more plant-based meals to their weekly meal rotation. And for excellent reasons.

Eating more plant-based is good for you and the environment. However, it can be hard to reduce the amount of meat that your family eats.

These BBQ Lentil Power Bowls make plant-based eating so much easier. And they taste amazing.

You’ve got crunchy coleslaw, savory lentils, caramelized roasted broccoli, red onions, and bell peppers. And the addition of the vegan mayo and BBQ sauce ties everything together nicely.

Besides being delicious, these Bowls are filling. That’s because they’re packed with protein.

They also contain a ton of fiber. In fact, one serving provides a whopping 40% of your daily fiber needs.

Per Serving:

  • Calories: 334
  • Fats: 13g
  • Protein: 16g
  • Carbs: 40g
  • Fiber: 10g
  • Sugar: 19g


6. Bulgur Wheat Salad

Bulgur Wheat Salad

Credit: allnutritious.com

Looking for some more vegan eats? My Bulgur Wheat Salad is a great option.

Yes, I know what you’re thinking: “salad for dinner?” Yes, salad for dinner.

After all, we could all do with more greens, right?

This salad is creamy, sweet, and full of green – literally. There’s green from broccoli, avocados, green onions, dill, and romaine lettuce.

But don’t let all that green scare you off. This salad is filling too.

That’s because you’re adding bulgur as your grain. Bulgur contains more protein than, say, rice.

And it contains a ton of manganese. In fact, one cup of bulgur provides more than half of your daily manganese needs.

It also contains magnesium, another bone-building mineral. Nutrition aside, bulgur adds a pleasant nutty taste to dishes.

Besides using bulgur in salads, you can add it to soups, stews, or even chilis. If you’d like to give bulgur a try, you can get some here.

Per Serving:

  • Calories: 342
  • Fats: 15g
  • Protein: 9.7g
  • Carbs: 49g
  • Fiber: 14g
  • Sugar: 2.7g


7. Chicken Sheet Pan Dinner

Chicken Sheet Pan Dinner

Credit: beyondthechickencoop.com

Are you the one stuck doing dish-duty? Then you’ll love this Chicken Sheet Pan Dinner.

Not only is it delicious, but it’s also fuss-free too. You toss your potatoes and chicken in olive oil and spices.

Then place in the oven. Partway through, add your seasoned green beans, and bake some more.

The aroma of the chicken baking in your kitchen will bring your family to the kitchen. You may even be able to “bribe” them to do the dishes.

But if you can’t, no worries. All you’ll have to scrub is one sheet pan.

Now that’s how I like to roll.

Per Serving:

  • Calories: 376
  • Fats: 30g
  • Protein: 20g
  • Carbs: 6g
  • Fiber: 2g
  • Sugar: 3g


8. Baked Greek Chicken and Potatoes

Baked Greek Chicken and Potatoes

Credit: scrummylane.com

Is your family getting tired of the same old chicken dishes? Serve them this dish.

It’s full of yummy Greek flavors. Your whole family will feel like they’re eating at a Greek restaurant.

But even though it’s so flavorful, it’s so easy to make.

Start by placing your potato wedges in a roasting pan. Then toss them in olive oil, baking for 20 minutes.

Next, add your chicken thighs, squeezing them with fresh lemon juice. Then drizzle your olive oil-herb mixture on the potatoes, along with some lemon juice and zest.

Add salt and pepper and bake for 45 minutes.

Want more Greek flavors? Serve with a Greek salad! Check out more healthy 500 calorie recipes.

Per Serving:

  • Calories: 512
  • Fats: 23g
  • Protein: 49g
  • Carbs: 27g
  • Fiber: 5g
  • Sugar:


9. Mexican Bean Salad

Mexican Bean Salad

Credit: allnutritious.com

And talking about salads, give my Mexican Bean Salad a try.

One thing you’ll notice is that it doesn’t contain any greens. Now, I don’t have anything against greens.

But sometimes, you want a break from that lettuce and kale.

This salad is bright, vibrant, and extra-flavorful. That’s because you’re marinating the salad in spices, fresh herbs, white wine vinegar, oil, and fresh lime juice for 2 hours.

So, the flavors really develop.

Now you will be adding jalapenos too. But to make it more kid-friendly, you can skip the jalapenos – it will still taste amazing.

What’s more, the salad tastes even better the next day. So, it’s great for meal prep.

Just make sure to double the recipe. That way, you’ll have some leftovers.

You’ll also want to store your salad in air-tight food storage containers. This will make the salad taste fresh longer.

I recommend these glass food storage containers. They keep your food odorless and fresh longer than plastic ones.

Not a fan of glass containers? These BPA-free plastic containers are a great choice too.

Per Serving:

  • Calories: 287
  • Fats: 10g
  • Protein: 12g
  • Carbs: 39g
  • Fiber: 13g
  • Sugar: 4.7g


10. Crustless Quiche

Crustless Quiche

Credit: scrummylane.com

Are you the only low-carber in your family? That can make dinner rough – er.

After all, kids are all about the carbs, right?

This Crustless Quiche is one that your entire family will enjoy. No short-order cook duty here!

It’s cheesy, creamy, and so delicious. The combination of ham and cheese is, well – heavenly.

And the mushrooms add lots of umami flavor. Yum!

Serve with a side salad.

Per Serving:

  • Calories: 197
  • Fats: 12g
  • Protein: 12g
  • Carbs: 10g
  • Fiber: 1g
  • Sugar: 3g


11. Ginger Spinach Soup

Ginger Spinach Soup

Credit: recipesfromapantry.com

With fall and winter come cough and cold season. And all those dirty Kleenexes.

That’s where this Ginger Spinach Soup comes in handy. It’s creamy, soothing, and full of antioxidants – precisely what the doctor ordered.

Good thing that it tastes great too. And the ginger is so good for those pesky colds.

Ginger has anti-inflammatory compounds. So it helps reduce the pain of sore throats.

Ginger also boosts your immune system. So ginger helps you recover from sore throats even faster. Yay!

And it has anti-microbial properties. So it may even reduce your chance of getting a sore throat in the first place.

To make this soup nice and creamy, you’ll be blending your soup. Now you don’t want to use a regular blender.

Doing so could cause your blender to explode – safety first. So instead, use an immersion blender.

This one works great for soup, smoothies, shakes, even baby food.

Per Serving:

  • Calories: 201
  • Fats: 13g
  • Protein: 7g
  • Carbs: 19g
  • Fiber: 5g
  • Sugar: 10g


12. Herb Crusted Salmon

Herb Crusted Salmon

Credit: allnutritious.com

Looking for a way to boost your kids’ IQ? Serve them my Herb Crusted Salmon.

It’s flaky, succulent, fresh, delicious, and so good for your kids.

In fact, by just eating fish once a week, your kids may sleep better. And they can increase their IQ by more than 4 points!

When choosing salmon, try and use wild salmon. Wild salmon contains more minerals like potassium, zinc, and iron.

And it’s better for the environment too.

Per Serving:

  • Calories: 333
  • Fats: 20g
  • Protein: 27g
  • Carbs: 11g
  • Fiber: 2.7g
  • Sugar: 6.2g


13. Sheet Pan Chicken Thighs and Sweet Potato

Sheet Pan Chicken Thighs and Sweet Potato

Credit: recipesfromapantry.com

Feeling too tired to make dinner tonight? Make this Sheet Pan dish.

It takes just 5 minutes of prep time. And then your oven takes over.

25 minutes later, dinner is served. You have sweet potato wedges, bell peppers, red onions, clementines, and juicy chicken thighs.

So, you have the perfect blend of sweet and savory.

Winner, winner, chicken dinner.

Per Serving:

  • Calories: 476
  • Fats: 29g
  • Protein: 24g
  • Carbs: 26g
  • Fiber: 4g
  • Sugar: 8g


14. Sheet Pan Caprese Chicken

Sheet Pan Caprese Chicken

Credit: slenderkitchen.com

After kids come along, your love life tends to suffer. This is because you spend so much time and effort focusing on your kids.

And you’re too pooped to focus on your partner. That’s why having a regular or semi-regular date night comes in handy.

This Sheet Pan Caprese Chicken is perfect for rekindling the romance.

It’s full of Italian flavors, creamy mozzarella cheese, sweet cherry tomatoes, zucchini, and fresh basil.

To add to the ambiance, you can serve your Caprese Chicken on some dinner platters. These ones here are beautiful yet durable.

You can put them in the microwave, freezer, and even the dishwasher.

Per Serving:

  • Calories: 377
  • Fats: 15g
  • Protein: 39g
  • Carbs: 16g
  • Fiber: 2g
  • Sugar: 11g


15. Healthy Chicken Parmesan

Healthy Chicken Parmesan

Credit: meganseelinger.com

Here’s another Italian dinner. You can never have enough Italian, right?

-Except when you’re trying to eat low carb. But, then, Italian is a No-go.

This Healthy Chicken Parmesan is big on flavor – and low in carbs. The chicken breasts are juicy and have a beautiful golden crust.

All topped with ooey-gooey melted mozzarella cheese and marinara sauce.

To keep the carbs down, you’ll be using pork panko and almond flour as your breading.

Besides being low in carbs, almond flour is quite nutritious. It contains a ton of Vitamin E which promotes healthy skin.

And it is rich in manganese which promotes strong bones. So if you’re running low on almond flour, you can get some here.

Per Serving:

  • Calories: 417
  • Fats: 29.1g
  • Protein: 36.5g
  • Carbs: 4.1g
  • Fiber: 0.8g
  • Sugar:


16. Taco Skillet

Taco Skillet

Credit: organicallyaddison.com

Need to give Taco night a makeover? Then give this Taco Skillet a try.

It’s tasty and nicely seasoned. You have taco-seasoned ground beef, potatoes, green bell peppers, and diced tomatoes.

Like it spicy? Feel free to add some jalapenos.

As this skillet dish contains ground beef, you may want to eat it less. That’s because beef has quite a large carbon footprint.

Another option would be to use ground chicken or pork instead.

Per Serving:

  • Calories: 355
  • Fats: 27g
  • Protein: 21g
  • Carbs: 8g
  • Fiber: 2g
  • Sugar: 4g


17. Taco Rice Bowls

Taco Rice Bowls

Credit: delightfuladventures.com

Here’s another Taco makeover – vegan style.

You have Mexican-seasoned brown rice, black beans, salsa, diced tomatoes, avocados, crispy lettuce, and tortilla chips. They’re bursting with flavor and color.

And they’re pretty filling too. That’s because of the black beans.

Black beans are a good source of plant-based protein. And they contain several bone-building minerals like calcium, magnesium, manganese, and phosphorus.

So, eat up those beans!

Per Serving:

  • Calories: 503
  • Fats: 22g
  • Protein: 12g
  • Carbs: 69g
  • Fiber: 14g
  • Sugar: 6g


18. Lentil Shepherd’s Pie

Lentil Shepherd's Pie

Credit: nosweatvegan.com

Back to school season can be very stressful. And at times like this, you want to reach for the comfort food.

But comfort food is often high in calories. And packing on extra pounds isn’t very comforting.

This Lentil Shepherd’s pie is exactly what the therapist ordered. It’s creamy, saucy, tasty, and super-comforting.

And it’s low in calories. So, you can have an extra serving or two – and not be on your personal trainer’s naughty list.

What’s more, it’s packed with veggies. So, it’s very nutritious.

Per Serving:

  • Calories: 233
  • Fats: 1g
  • Protein: 12g
  • Carbs: 45g
  • Fiber: 13g
  • Sugar: 6g


19. Italian Spinach Pie

Italian Spinach Pie

Credit: moneywisemoms.com

Cooking with your kids has so many benefits. Not only does it build life skills, but it also helps you bond with your kids.

It also encourages healthy eating. And it promotes fine motor skills too.

This Italian Spinach Pie is one that you can make with your kiddos. Just crack your eggs in the bowl.

Then add the rest of the ingredients and mix well. Place in a greased pie plate and bake for about 40 minutes.

What you get is a moist, delicious pie. And it’s super cheesy too.

That’s because you’re using 3 different kinds of cheese: cottage cheese, mozzarella, and Parmesan cheese.

The addition of the roasted red peppers and spinach adds savory and tanginess. It’s a party in your mouth.

Per Serving:

  • Calories: 186
  • Fats: 9g
  • Protein: 20g
  • Carbs: 7g
  • Fiber: 1g
  • Sugar: 3g


20. Instant Pot Mujadara Lentils and Rice

Instant Pot Mujadara Lentils and Rice

Credit: pipingpotcurry.com

Feeding a family can get quite expensive. But this Instant Pot Lentils and Rice dish make healthy eating affordable.

On the menu are caramelized onions, aromatic, Indian-spiced rice, and brown lentils.

Brown lentils are a budget-friendly source of protein. They’re also rich in fiber which promotes healthy digestive function.

They also contain brain-boosting B vitamins. And they’re a rich source of iron which keeps your energy levels up.

Want even more protein? Feel free to add some peas. Yum!

Per Serving:

  • Calories: 222
  • Fats: 5g
  • Protein: 8g
  • Carbs: 35g
  • Fiber: 8g
  • Sugar: 1g


21. Red Lentil Curry

Red Lentil Curry

Credit: budgetdelicious.com

Craving more budget-friendly eats? This Red Lentil Curry is a great option.

It’s savory and packed with flavor. The coconut cream balances out some of the warmth from the spices.

And the chopped parsley adds some freshness.

Besides being delicious, this curry is also nutritious. It contains a ton of plant-based protein.

And it’s rich in fiber. In fact, one serving provides more than 70% of your daily fiber needs.

Want even more nutrition? Feel free to add some mushrooms and spinach.

Per Serving:

  • Calories: 381
  • Fats: 17g
  • Protein: 16g
  • Carbs: 45g
  • Fiber: 18g
  • Sugar: 8g


22. Chicken Taco Rice

Chicken Taco Rice

Credit: kidgredients.com.au

Do you have a picky kid, ahem, eater in your house? Serve them this Chicken Taco Rice.

After all, which kid doesn’t love chicken?

This Chicken Taco Rice is full of Mexican Flava. That’s because you’re using a homemade Mexican spice mix.

You’ll need several spices: cumin, chili powder, oregano, paprika, pepper, and salt. So, dig out your measuring spoons.

These ones here are not only beautiful but durable too. That’s because they’re made with heavy-duty stainless steel.

Per Serving:

  • Calories: 384
  • Fats: 11g
  • Protein: 31g
  • Carbs: 40g
  • Fiber: 5g
  • Sugar: 4g


23. Sheet Pan Chicken and Veggies

Sheet Pan Chicken and Veggies

Credit: budgetdelicious.com

Do your kids pick at their veggies? There’s a good reason for that.

Children likely have a stronger aversion to bitter tastes – like the ones found in veggies.

That’s why it’s a good idea to serve them sweeter veggies – like the ones in this dish.

It contains sweet potatoes, grape tomatoes, and bell peppers. If your kids like onions, you can add red onions too.

The sweetness of the veggies complements the savory of the chicken nicely. And the ranch seasoning adds extra layers of flavor.

Per Serving:

  • Calories: 192
  • Fats: 9g
  • Protein: 3g
  • Carbs: 26g
  • Fiber: 5g
  • Sugar: 8g


24. Zucchini Macaroni and Cheese

Zucchini Macaroni and Cheese

Credit: goodiegoodielunchbox.com.au

Looking for another way to get your kids to eat their veggies? Feed them this Zucchini Macaroni and Cheese.

It’s cheesy, creamy, and delicious. And the grated zucchini is hidden under mounds of cheese.

Who knew healthy eating could be so sneaky?

Per Serving:

  • Calories: 588
  • Fats: 27.9g
  • Protein: 22.3g
  • Carbs: 61.6g
  • Fiber: 2.8g
  • Sugar: 7.4g


25. Coconut Chicken Tenders

Coconut Chicken Tenders

Credit: anediblemosaic.com

Frozen chicken tenders can be a lifesaver – particularly when you don’t feel like cooking.

Dump them in the oven, and you’re good to go. Unfortunately, however, they can be full of all kinds of junk.

And they can be high in sodium too.

These Coconut Chicken Tenders are savory, sweet, and crunchy. And they contain way less sodium.

So, you can feel good feeding them to your kids. The unsweetened coconut adds a nice coconut flavor that complements the savory of the spices.

What’s more, you’ll be frying them in avocado oil. Avocado oil is rich in oleic acid, a heart-healthy fat.

And it is a good source of lutein, which is good for your eyes. So besides using avocado oil for cooking, you can use it to make salad dressings and even add it to your smoothies.

If you’d like to give it a try, you can get some here.

Per Serving:

  • Calories: 335
  • Fats: 25g
  • Protein: 22g
  • Carbs: 6g
  • Fiber: 4g
  • Sugar: 2g


26. Paella


Credit: thecleaneatingcouple.com

Craving the tastes of Spain? This Paella is sure to satisfy your cravings.

It looks and smells fantastic – and it tastes great too. That’s because you’re using several spices – 6 to be exact.

But you should have most of these spices in your pantry already. The only one you may not have is probably saffron.

Besides adding flavor and color, saffron has tons of benefits. It is rich in antioxidants that reduce free radical damage.

It may even reduce PMS symptoms and help your love life too. So if you need to stock up on saffron, you can get some here.

Per Serving:

  • Calories: 523
  • Fats: 14g
  • Protein: 45g
  • Carbs: 54g
  • Fiber: 7g
  • Sugar: 8g


27. Vegetarian Chilli

Vegetarian Chilli

Credit: healthylittlefoodies.com

I enjoy meat, as I’m sure many of you do too. But sometimes, it’s nice to take a break from the meat.

This Vegetarian Chili provides a welcome change. It’s hearty, tasty, and satisfying – you definitely won’t miss the meat.

The smoked paprika adds a pleasant smokiness too. And the red bell peppers, zucchini, and red bell peppers add lots of freshness – this isn’t your typical chili.

Per Serving:

  • Calories: 399
  • Fats: 7g
  • Protein: 22g
  • Carbs: 67g
  • Fiber: 23g
  • Sugar: 14g


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