In this glorious summertime, the children are out of school and that means it's time to get babysitting. One of the more popular summer jobs, it comes with its perks. Usually, cash under the table (no taxes, a dream come true), countless trips to get ice cream, and good ole movie day when the summer skies let the rain come down. However, babysitting is not as easy as clean diapers and a child who can handle sugar without going crazy. I can't really help you with the behavioral problems because my Ph.D. didn't come in the mail yet, but I can help with meals for picky eaters.

We've all been there trying to feed a child who only eats vanilla yogurt with Lays potato chips mixed in. Oh wait, only my extremely picky sister would eat a strange combination like that, but you get the point. Here are some meals that will not only please and delight the little kiddies, but will wow the parents, too.

Mac n Cheese 

macaroni, cheese, pasta, sauce
Alex Weiner

This mac n cheese recipe can be whipped up in just a few minutes. Plop that child in front of the TV and before it's even a commercial break, it will be ready. And, it's made with real ingredients that can easily be found in most people's fridges unless the people you babysit hate cheese. Best part, you can make it in a mug so that means fewer dishes for you to wash.

Peanut Butter and Jelly

Tarika Narain

A little twist on a classic PB&J, this was one of my favorite combinations when I was little. Cinnamon swirl bread with the duo of nutty and sweet really is perfect for a picky eater. The golden foodie rule: Don't knock it till you try it.

Pasta Salad

sauce, pasta, vegetable, tomato
Kellyn Lee

For those picky eaters that just won't touch the green stuff (or any vegatable), use pasta as your secret weapon. Plus, there's cheese on this so you can just tell them it's mac n cheese with some color added to it. Or, tell them the carrots will give them super human eyes and they'll be all over it. 

Tuna Burger 

salad, cheese, crab cakes
Marina Wollmann

The kids don't like tuna from the can? No problem. Amp up that tuna game and turn it into a burger. They won't even notice a difference except that it tastes better than their mom's burgers. Beware, she'll try to steal this easy recipe



We all know kiddos love pizza and they love quesadillas. What a perfect harmony combining them into one happy cheesy dish. The children will think you are a chef mastermind, and really, why wouldn't they?

Baked Apple

sweet, apple, vegetable, bread
Zoe Guttenplan

An apple a day keeps the doctor away. And do you really want to schlep all the children to the doctor's office? No! So make their immune systems happy with this delish treat. It will be so tasty, they won't even know it's good for them.

Nutty Banana Wrap

chocolate, banana, cream
Emma Henzes

Is today picnic day? These soft but crunchy wraps are ready to be made on the fly and taken on the go. It's so quick and easy that even little hands can help.


pancake, oatmeal
Caty Schnack

Of course, you could use regular pancake mix, but if you need those picker eaters to get their servings of fruit, use this healthy recipe to get some potassium in their bellies. 

Grilled Cheese

If your child (once you are their babysitter they become your children, too) is a grilled cheese hater, are they even a child at all? Regular grilled cheese is too boring, impress mom and the kids with these 10 OTT grilled cheese combinations

Fruit Leather (Fruit Roll Ups)


This was one of my favorite snacks when I was little. It's like eating candy but there's real fruit in it. So step aside junk food. Start making it at the beginning of the day and it will be ready by snack time. Watch this quick video for watermelon flavored or go to this recipe for apple flavored.


rice, black beans, cabbage
Dina Zaret

It's the day before grocery day and their mom told you to get creative. Back in the cupboards, I'm sure there are some oats. Make this colorful oatmeal sweetened with fruit in a pinch. 

Yogurt Parfaits 


On the move again? Taking the kids to and from practices and camps? Here's the quick meal for you. These cute yogurt parfaits in jars will please any hungry child.

Ice Cream Cone Yogurt Parfait


I scream you scream hangry children scream so feed em. If those pesky kids won't eat a regular parfait, trick them with a waffle cone



Pancakes and kids are synonymous. Here's an easy way to get that picky eater to eat their pancakes and their eggs. Drizzle or dump half the bottle of maple syrup on top and they'll be asking for seconds.



From way back when Spoon University was just a little baby, someone made a brilliant article about how to jazz up cereal. Wow those little chickens with a little twist that goes something like this.

So next time those sweet little bundles of joy are hungry, you'll be fully prepared to create something they won't forget. Maybe they'll even hire you as the full time chef, too!