In this week's meal planner, kid favorites get an adult-friendly update while still maintaining their kid appeal. To start, asparagus adds a boost of nutrition to the classic pasta dish. A splash of vodka works as a flavor enhancer, adding a little jolt to creamy alfredo sauce. Don't worry; the alcohol cooks out of the sauce, but you can substitute water if you like.
Credit: Photo: Brian Woodcock; Styling: Claire Spollen
Your kids already love the grilled cheese and tomato soup combo, so why not combine the two in each ooey-gooey bite? If you're feeling decadent, add a slice of cooked bacon to each sandwich, and then round out the meal with your go-to side salad. Serve with: Side salad
Credit: Photo: Hector Sanchez; Styling: Buffy Hargett Miller
Fire up the slow cooker for this Mexican favorite, which gets an update with loads of fresh toppings. Be sure to leave plenty of room in your bowl for add-ons like crispy tortilla strips, queso fresco, sliced avocado, cilantro, and a squeeze of lime. Let your kids pick their toppings; then be prepared to get many more requests for this delicious soup.
Credit: Photo: Randy Mayor; Styling: Lindsey Lower
Think of this dish as an update on fish sticks, complete with the crispy coating and creamy sauce. Spices like ground cumin, coriander, and red pepper are the fresh additions that make this recipe stand out. Sides like couscous and shaved carrots provide a hint of sweetness to contrast the spice-crusted tilapia. Serve with: Red Pepper Couscous Shaved Carrot Salad
Credit: Photo: Jennifer Causey; Styling: Lindsey Lower
Stray from the traditional cheese and pepperoni, and make individual pita pizzas instead. Shredded cheddar cheese, Fuji apples, walnuts, and applewood-smoked bacon give these pizzas an adult feel, while their compact size makes them appealing to kids as well.
Credit: Photo: Antonis Achilleos; Styling: Gerri Williams
A Dutch baby is like an extremely fluffy, rich pancake that's made for sharing. For a special dessert or Saturday morning breakfast, surprise your kids with a giant pancake stuffed with apples, brown sugar, and cinnamon.