New York Times Food editors and writers share what their kids actually eat.

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By Emily Weinstein

People with young kids often ask me what I cook for mine, since dinner can’t actually always be plain rice or pasta. (Or can it?) This goes doubly for what I put in my daughter’s lunch box: I’m sorry to tell you I don’t have any brilliant, genre-exploding solutions there.

I always have that question for my food colleagues, too. What do they make for their kids? What will their kids actually eat? (The tip lines are open. Email me at [email protected])

So I took notice when I read Kenji López-Alt’s most recent column, which is about niku udon, the Japanese beef noodle soup — a go-to weeknight dish that he makes for his family. Then I asked a few of my co-workers what they cook for their kids that actually gets eaten (as opposed to rejected with wails of anger, despair or disgust). Their replies are below. None of this is “kid food” — just delicious stuff that works for an all-ages group. (See also: My recent newsletter on feeding picky eaters of all ages, and this list of 19 more recipes kids might like.)

And finally, Thanksgiving is here. Or at least, it’s almost here. But it’s time to start planning! We have you covered with all the recipes, videos and advice you need to make the meal great. And if you subscribe right now to New York Times Cooking, you’ll get 50 percent off your first year. If you like the work we do, please consider subscribing.

1. Niku Udon (Japanese Beef Noodle Soup)

Kenji López-Alt, who makes this fast, slurpable soup for his family, writes that “if you can boil water, slice an onion and use a strainer, you can make niku udon.” Scroll down on the recipe for tips on where to find shaved beef, which is sold in different forms at the market. You can also cook the beef and serve it over rice — i.e., you can turn your niku udon into gyudon.

View this recipe.

2. Huli Huli Chicken

Margaux Laskey, one of our editors, makes this dish for her daughters. It’s adapted from Alana Kysar’s cookbook, “Aloha Kitchen: Recipes from Hawai‘i.” The recipe is written for the grill, but Margaux makes it with boneless thighs in the oven, baking them at 375 degrees for about 30 minutes. “They love the salty-sweetness of it,” she said of her daughters, “and the way the edges caramelize in the oven.” That’s a really good endorsement.

View this recipe.

3. Pasta With Pumpkin Seed Pesto

This recipe is a favorite of Genevieve Ko’s kids, and the beauty of it — beyond the baseline fact that children will eat it — lies in how it is designed to be made ahead and eaten chilled or at room temperature. It can even go in lunchboxes and be eaten at schools where nuts aren’t allowed.

View this recipe.

4. Maple-Baked Salmon

My older daughter loves salmon, which I think of as a good kid fish because it’s rich, mild and not particularly fishy. This recipe by Genevieve Ko is perfect because it’s simple and pings with maple sweetness. I’d leave the cilantro out of the glaze and just use it as a garnish for adults. You could easily make this with individual portions of fish, rather than one large fillet. Keep an eye on the oven, because the cook time will vary.

View this recipe.

5. Chickpea Stew With Orzo and Mustard Greens

This stew is one of the unsung heroes on New York Times Cooking: It’s so fast and so good. (Maybe it’s not that unsung. It has five stars, with nearly 4,000 ratings.) Melissa Clark makes it for her family — she often uses a box of baby spinach instead of the mustard greens. Her daughter eats around the greens.

View this recipe.

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