If you’re a gourmet cook, I’d suggest you skip this post. If you want some quick, healthy and economical dinner ideas for kids and your family, read on! We usually would have 4-5 of these dinners per week, 1 night out and 1-2 nights we’d have take-away when we absolutely cannot be bothered cooking.
I have to make lots of decisions at work and so when I get home I usually don’t feel like making another one about what we will have for dinner. Therefore, without a dinner plan already worked through we would be having take-away every night!
Same as for breakfasts and lunches, to make my top 7 list:
- The food needs to taste good and be something that the whole family can eat
- It needs to be healthy-ish, including some fruit or veggies and protein
- From start to finish take less than 7 minutes to prepare
The base of many of the dinners below do need some easy prep work:
- Cook up lots of veggies on Sun night. A friend of mine calls it “the big chop!”
- We usually cook up carrots, beans, broccoli and cauliflower (but use the cauliflower in the first few days). You can even leave the skin on the carrots to make “the big chop” faster. Just chop all veggies and put them in boiling water for 10-15 mins
- We also cook up loads of rice in our rice-cooker. It takes 1 min to throw the rice and water in together and hit the “cook” button
- Once cooked, let the veggies and rice cool and then store in the fridge in air-tight containers to get you through Mon-Thurs
Here are our “go to” dinner ideas for kids
1. Veggie stir fry:
- Get out enough bowls for each family member just before dinner time
- Grab a handful of veggies and rice from your Sunday cook up and put in each bowl
- Cover and microwave for about 50 secs … Voila!
2. Cook fish / chicken / sausages / steak and add veggies from your cook up:
- Grab enough handfuls of veggies from your containers in the fridge for each family member. Put on a big plate, cover and microwave
- Cook meat. My favourite meat is salmon: get enough pieces of aluminium foil for the pieces of salmon you’re cooking, put a piece of salmon on each bit of aluminium foil, put some mustard (e.g. seeded or Dijon) on top and some soy sauce, get the edges of the aluminium foil and scrunch them together so the salmon is in a covered pouch. At the same time heat an old frying pan, add the salmon pouches when the pan is hot, cover the pan and cook for 6 mins
- Add cooked meat to the plate of microwaved veggies and you’re done!
3. Lazy pasta:
- Similar to “the big chop”, the first step is best done in a big batch every few weeks. Boil some pasta, let it cool down and then put in ziplock bags in family-size serves and freeze
- To reheat, simply pop the frozen pasta in boiling water for about 3 mins and then strain
- Add a tin of tuna, olives, sundries tomatoes or whatever else you like that doesn’t require lots of chopping or cooking. Great for breakfast too!
4. Store bought tin of soup or baked beans, toast and heat up some of the veggies from your cook up. As a result, a simple yet delicious meal!
5. Scrambled eggs on toast with chopped avocado / raw carrot / celery / capsicum / cucumber / cherry tomatoes. Consequently this works just as well for dinner as for breakfast!
- Cook mince
- While mince is cooking get out taco shells and microwave per instructions
- From the fridge grab some cheese (I buy it already grated), jar of salsa and jar of sour cream
- Chop some lettuce and tomatoes
- My kids are in charge of mashing some avocado and adding salt and pepper for guacamole
- Everyone puts together their own dinner at the table
- Mix some eggs and milk in a bowl
- Put a frypan on a low heat and add the mixture from the bowl
- Add ham and some of the chopped veggies from your cook up (I chop them a little more before putting in the pan)
- Flip into an omelette when it is cooked enough to do so
- Finally, serve and add salt and pepper to taste