Recently I was asked by my friend for a weeks worth of dinner meals that meet the following criteria: kid friendly, healthy, somewhat ready-to-eat, easy to prepare, and can purchase all the ingredients on the weekend. Sound like a tall order? I was up for the challenge!
Day 1: Taco Night
Suggested Fixings: ground turkey, lettuce, LF/FF cheeses, onion, tomatoes, salsa, LF/FF sour cream, and any other toppings you know your children will eat! Tacos can be hard or soft shell — whatever your family prefers. Set up the toppings in little bowls so your children feel like they are helping / choosing toppings they will eat. Encourage them to try a vegetable!
Suggested Pairings: rice, side salad, sliced apples
Day 2: Open Face Tuna Melt
Suggested Fixings: 1 serving = 1 slice of whole wheat/grain bread, with 1/3 cup of tuna (canned in water, drained), and 1 ounce of LF/FF American or cheddar cheese. Arrange the tuna melts on a cookie sheet. Broil in the oven for 5 minutes. (Note: bread slices may need toasted prior to broiling for the cheese).
Suggested Pairings: sliced tomato, raw carrots/celery with dip, mandarin oranges
Day 3: Par-Boiled Chicken and Stuffing
Suggested Fixings: Boil boneless/skinless chicken breast until cooked thoroughly. Buy Stove Top stuffing and prepare as directed. Cut/shred the chicken into the stuffing mixture. Viola! Quick dinner.
Suggested Pairings: side salad, coleslaw, sauteed zucchini, steamed broccoli
Day 4: Salad Night
Suggested Fixings: dark leafy greens, tomatoes, cucumbers, onions, carrots, peppers, chickpeas, LF/FF cheese, LF/FF dressing, and any other healthy topping your children will eat! You can add some grilled chicken too! Set this up in little bowls like Taco Night and have your family build-a-salad individually.
Suggested Pairings: baked potato, fruit flavored yogurt, grapes
Day 5: Mac and Cheese
Suggested Fixings: Create this yummy homemade-slimmed-down version of mac and cheese for your whole family.
Suggested Pairings: fresh veggies/dip, side salad
Day 6: Crockpot Night: Beef Stew
Suggested Fixings: before leaving for work combine beef chuck, potatoes, and carrots. Beef stock can be added to make it more “stew” like. Put crock pot on low for 8 hours. When you get home, dinner is served!
Suggested Pairings: fresh fruit, side salad
Day 7: Hot Dog and Beans
Suggested Fixings: buy your favorite can(s) of baked beans and prepare accordingly. Cut up hot dogs (make them size appropriate for the age of your children) and add them to the beans. Viola! Dinner in 10 minutes.
Suggested Pairings: coleslaw, apple slices, peaches
I loved this project so much that I will have a second weeks worth of kid friendly meals meeting all the criteria again! Post will be soon!
To my friend (and you know who you are): I hope your kids love these meals. I love your family and love watching them grow up! (That was a lot of loves, but I love this friend!)
What are some meals you remember eating (and enjoying) as a kid!?
For me? I remember my parents making pizza casserole. It was noodles with sauce, pepperoni, and cheese. It was quick and easy for them to make after work and it was a very enjoyable meal.