The definition of “kid-friendly” certainly varies from child to child, but there are a few common threads you’ll find among recipes that appeal to families. First, they’re easy for parents to throw together, and, in some cases, for kids to help out with preparing. They often draw on familiar ingredients—like pasta—and favor simple preparations in favor of complex sauces or lots of spices. And they’re usually customizable with elements that can easily be left out or swapped in, whether it’s omitting the fresh basil garnish or using familiar American cheese in lieu of sharper Gruyère.
The recipes in this collection feature something for everyone: They’re accessible for finicky eaters, but hardly boring or bland. Yes, there’s pasta (spaghetti with a speedy tomato sauce, penne with broccoli, gnocchi with peas, and a no-fail mac ‘n’ cheese)—but there’s also lots more, including dishes from some tried and true, kid-friendly cuisines, such as