By: Kristin Orr
When I went back to work full time, my son was just about the age where he was eating three full meals a day. Luckily, the nanny handled the first two meals, but I was in charge of dinner each night. My son was a great eater so that wasn’t the issue, but I struggled with finding new meals each night that were both healthy and quick. I found myself making his meal, cleaning up, then starting all over to make dinner for my husband and myself. My constant thought was, “There has to be an easier way!” I began to think through my go-to weekly dinners that my husband and I enjoyed and started to modify them to meet a younger palette. What I ended up with were at least five weekday meals that fed my husband and son but only required me to prep for once. Tonight I’m sharing a week of grown-up friendly kids dinners.
A Week of Grown-Up Friendly Kids Dinners
At least once a week my husband and I like to cut back on any meat with dinner. I don’t mind because I’m not a big meat eater, and neither is my son. He has Italian blood running through his veins so pasta night is always a favorite! It’s the one night a week where I can guarantee his plate is empty at the end. I like to try new flavors with him as well, so trying pesto was a bit on the daring side, but he loved it!
KIDS: Pasta with pesto sauce, cherry tomatoes, fresh cubed mozzarella, & broccoli
I have participated in Taco Tuesday since I was a child myself! Tacos have been one of my favorite meals since then, and I keep up the tradition with my own family. It’s an easy, quick meal and can be mostly prepped early and the meat can be kept on the stove low to be reheated for when my husband comes home from work. For my son, I put some cheddar cheese on top of the turkey meat to include some dairy (he’s not a big milk drinker so I try to get dairy in whenever I can). I included the typical toppings we put on our tacos, but you could add others like beans, peppers, or guacamole.
KIDS: Turkey meat with cheddar cheese, sweet corn, & avocado and tomato “salsa”
Breakfast for Dinner Wednesday
Wednesday’s in our house are always a little crazy. My husband usually comes home post-dinner time, so I have no help in prepping dinner or watching a one year old. That is why Wednesday’s are breakfast for dinner days! Breakfast is the easiest meal to whip up quickly and is a great option for a well-balanced plate. My son likes scrambled eggs, but any type will do. I also like using scrambled eggs to sneak in some vegetables that are not always liked by toddlers.
KIDS: Scrambled eggs with bell peppers and broccoli, hash browns, & chicken sausage
While the weather is still warm, we try to use the grill and eat outside as much as possible! Grilling is a weekly must- not only because the season has changed but grilling means my husband is the chef! Mom gets a night off from cooking (somewhat) and it’s a quick clean up afterwards. I grew up loving the traditional grilled favorites- hot dogs and cheeseburgers- so I was quick to introduce my son to these summer staples. He is a big fan of hot dogs (who isn’t) and I love how many options they have out there from uncured to organic and more. Cauliflower is also a favorite, regardless of how it’s cooked, but when we cut them into slices and grill them as such, they are a fan favorite. And what’s a summer meal without watermelon?
KIDS: Grilled hot dog, grilled cauliflower “steak”, & watermelon
Easy Peasy Friday
Friday’s are for fun, right?! Nothing about Friday should stress you out or make you work extra hard, especially when it comes to dinner. On Friday I look to one place to make up a meal for my son- the freezer. There are so many great, healthy freezer options for kids. When I think of a freezer meal, I immediately think of those Kid Cuisines I used to beg for as a child because they came with a brownie. My mom always said no, and promised she would make me something even better (and definitely more healthy) at home. The freezer section now has so many options, whether it’s gluten free, dairy free, or organic. I can get my little guy the “fun” dinner he might beg for in the near future with the knowledge that I’m giving him a well-balanced meal.
KIDS: Chicken nuggets, veggie “nuggets”, & french fries
*all meals are made with organic meats and produce
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