Do YOU have any idea what are you serving for dinner tonight? Any ideas on lunch or brunch this coming weekend? It can be a very discouraging task to come up with meal ideas each and every day, especially if you have kids who are picky eaters. Here are ten quick ideas for family meals. Why not reduce the stress and try one tonight?
1. Spaghetti – It’s so easy to throw some noodles in a pot of boiling water and simmer some spaghetti sauce. Spaghetti sauce is also very nutritious and versatile: ground beef or turkey, diced vegetables and a variety of herbs and seasonings and you can make it all your own. For a low calorie meal, use spaghetti squash in place of traditional noodles.
2. Tacos – If your family happens to likes Mexican food, whip up a batch of tacos for dinner. You can easily mix up a batch, providing hard and/or soft shells for variety. For family menu planning, slice and dice your preferred toppings ahead of time so you can just pull them out on taco night. If you’re into bulk cooking, it’s easy to cook up a large batch of taco meat and spices, freezing it for a later date.
3. Macaroni and cheese – What kid doesn’t like this as a dinner main dish? Spice it up with diced tomatoes, crumbled turkey or chicken bacon, or hamburger.
4. Pizza – and I don’t mean store-bought or delivery. Keep several prepared pizza crusts on hand, or make your own with whole wheat flour instead of all-purpose. On pizza night, let the entire family choose which of their favorite toppings they want on their pizza. Preparation time is fun, and because of this you can get supper in the oven in no time flat. Wait about 20 minutes to cook and you’re ready to eat!
5. Skewers – you can create tasty chicken, seafood or beef kebabs quickly. Skewer the meat and your favorite vegetables, placing them in a sealed container until meal day. This is the benefit of meal planning – getting prep work done early. Cook your tasty kebabs on the bbq, or use a grill pan indoors.
6. Hot dogs – You can find turkey or chicken wieners (check and make sure it ‘real’ or ‘100%’ poultry) in most grocery stores, and there are even some ‘light’ varieties. Boil or grill them, add your favorite toppings and you’re done! Thank you Oscar Mayer!
7. Chef salad – Salads are always quick to fix but they usually lack something in the taste department. With a chef salad you get your portion of protein from lean chicken or turkey. The taste comes from the add-ins: turkey or chicken bacon crumbles parmesan cheese, tomatoes, shredded cheese, black beans and cucumbers. Use other ingredients that your family likes.
8. Grilled cheese sandwich – Dinner doesn’t need to be a four-course meal. For a new taste, add a few slices of a juicy tomato or side this with soup.
9. Tortilla wraps – Create quick and yummy sandwiches with your favorite flavor of tortilla. Glaze with mustard or low calorie mayonnaise. Add crunchy veggies and diced chicken, fish or beef.
10. Leftover creations– Use leftovers to create salads, casseroles, sandwiches and soups. Don’t let anything go to waste if it can be used for new meals.
I hope these ideas help spark some of your own creative ones which will not only save you time and money, but allow you to enjoy time with your family as well.