We’re all busy and pressed for time in the kitchen. As a result, it’s easy to find that you’re at a loss for what to make for dinner. I usually set aside a few hours on Sunday to make 3 main dishes for the week which usually consist of some kind of protein (ex. beef or chicken) and rice and pasta sides. Since veggies are very quick and easy to make, I make those on the night of and store leftovers in the fridge for the next day. Miss O LOVES corn, broccoli and carrots so I usually rotate through these 3 options during the week. Stay tuned for a more detailed post on meal planning basics. I love this option because it saves time in the kitchen during the week and ensures my family’s eating healthy vs. something quick that might not always be the best choice (can you say fast food?).
Here are a few ideas of child friendly versions of meals that save time in the kitchen and your kids will (hopefully!) find tasty.
Lasagna with Broccoli
This is an example of a lasagna with meat sauce that I made one Sunday afternoon. Adding vegetables ensures that it’s a well balanced meal. Lasagna’s great because it’s so versatile. If you choose, you can skip the meat and load up on vegetables instead. If you like cheese you can also load up on that and experiment with different types and combinations. I used mozzarella and cottage cheese for the latest one. Another time saving tip, use oven ready lasagna. Adding lots of tomato sauce will ensure that the pasta’s cooked through completely.
Vegetable Rice with Breaded Haddock and Corn
I DO take short cuts every once in a while (gasp!). Miss O can be a little picky when it comes to eating fish so I’ve started buying frozen breaded options from High Liner. The fillets are quick to make, they only take about 24 mins in an oven set to 220 Celsius (or 425 Fahrenheit), and taste great! For the rice, I threw in frozen veggies once the water started to boil. The more vegetables to better right?
Stuffed Pasta with Carrots
I find pasta a great option because no matter what type you choose, they’re all quick and easy to make and packed with nutrients. Stuffed versions are great, whether stuffed with cheese (that’s what I used) or meats (hello protein) or vegetables. An added bonus for active kids is the carbohydrates pasta provides. If your kids are active this will provide the fuel they need to keep moving.
Baked Mac & Cheese with Broccoli
Mac and cheese is another great meal plan option so making a casserole dish full will last a few days. Miss O loves cheese so I make mine extra cheesy!
Perogies with Breaded Chicken and Corn
I recently introduced Miss O to perogies. She’s not an overly picky eater (she does has her moments though) but you never know when you introduce something new into your child’s diet. In all fairness, perogies ARE packed with lots of carbs but they taste great! Besides, I usually pair them with a mix of vegetables and protein to allow for a more balanced meal. We usually have the ones stuffed with potato and cheese (delicious!).
Hopefully these options give you a few idea of meals that your kids will enjoy. Let me know what’s working for you by sharing in the comments.