Anyone struggle with figuring out how to make a healthy dinner with minimal time? Anyone find the dinner, decision making process exhausting and overwhelming? Coming up with new family dinner ideas has to be one of the hardest jobs as a parent! And of course finding the time to actually make dinner is a whole other challenge!
I have created a list of 7 simple meals my family eats in a typical week, as well as how I maximize my time in the kitchen to get dinner on the table in record time. My hope is this list of meals will help take some of the decision making fatigue out and allow you to get dinner on the table before you hear the words, “Mom, I’m starving!”
When I think about my meals for the week, Fridays are usually pizza or take out night and Sundays are usually leftover/clean out the fridge night, which means I have 5 nights I need to plan for. I love to cook big batches of food so I don’t have to prep much the following night. “Cook once eat twice” is one of my favorite mantras along with “keep it super simple.“
Below you will find 7 family dinner ideas, as well as how I batch cook food to minimize my time in the kitchen.
• Grilled chicken thighs or a rotisserie chicken- Double the amount of thighs for Tuesday’s dinner.
• Roasted Rooted Veggies– Make a double batch for Thursday’s dinner.
• Salad- Make a big salad for Wednesday.
Kids not into salads YET? Check out my post on How to Raise a Salad Lover.
• Chicken Rice Soup- I like to cook a batch of rice and steam peas (double the amount), carrots, and broccoli (double the amount) all separately so I can use them in future meals. I also add hard-boiled eggs for an added protein boost and deliciousness factor!
Wednesday: Our busy night
• Sweet Potato Quiche– Make ahead of time and reheat.
• Avocado toast
• Side salad- Already made on Monday.
• Grass fed burgers on the grill
• Roasted root veggies- Use leftovers from Monday.
• Steamed broccoli- Reheat from Tuesday.
• Pizza- I love to use Zeia’s frozen pizza crust that is gluten, dairy, corn, and soy free. You can buy the crust locally at Vernon Family Farm. Our favorite go to toppings are mushrooms, spinach, and hot dogs.
• Homemade Mac and Cheese with broccoli, peas, and hot dogs. Everything is already cooked from prior meals except for the Mac and Cheese.
• Leftover/ Clean out the fridge night- Take out all the leftovers, and any veggies that need to get cooked. I put the leftovers in the oven in their glass containers to reheat and then chop up any veggies to make a simple stir fry. My girls love this night because they get to choose exactly what they want!
I hope this of 7 simple meals and perhaps new way of thinking about dinner prep is helpful and provides you with a few easy steps to make dinner a little less overwhelming.
If you have a picky eater, like so many of us do, or you are just looking for new kid-friendly and healthy recipes to add to your collection, I offer virtual kids cooking classes designed to help kids get excited about cooking and trying new foods. The recipes we make together are gluten free, naturally sweetened, and nutrient dense. If this is of interested to you and your children please take a look here.