So we sat down the other night thinking, how can we make this easier on ourselves. We realized, for us, there are five components to the perfect meal, for toddlers mostly, but ideally something we can make that everyone can eat (I’m not really one to make separate meals for the kids, although if we eat spicy food we typically cook two separate things).
1. Healthy. I think we can all agree that this is the most important. We all want to feed our kids nutritious foods, things that are good for their bodies & aren’t full of artificial ingredients. We do try to feed our kids mostly healthy foods, and incorporate lots of fruits & vegetables into most meals, but we also find a good balance in letting them still be kids and still have sweets & treats here and there.
2. Minimal Mess. Pasta is one of our favorite things to make, but every time we eat it, we spend an hour in the kitchen cleaning up, swearing we aren’t doing it again for months. What can we make that doesn’t require pressure washing the kitchen later?!
3. Minimal Prep Time. Lots of my favorite, healthy meals require lots of prep time. Whether it’s cutting vegetables, cutting chicken or just too many pots on the stove. We’re looking at slow cooker & one-pot meals to solve this.
4. Affordable. There are options like pre-prepped meal kits or even dining out that could solve basically all of these other issues, but they’re not always affordable. Most times, even lots of really healthy food, especially all-organic, is quite a bit higher priced.
5. And your kids actually like it. You made a healthy, affordable meal, that requires minimal prep time & results in minimal messes, but the kicker, will your kids enjoy it?
So, what fits into all of those categories?! I don’t really have the answer, but it would be ideal to start making a list of things that work for weeknight dinners. Weekends don’t count, it’s a free-for-all over here & I don’t mind spending hours in the kitchen prepping/cleaning for something delicious! 🙂
A few things that do work for us here, are most breakfast foods. The kids do so well with oatmeal, yogurt & waffles/pancakes, topped with fruit. Lunch meat or rotisserie chicken is usually a good option as well, the girls love grilled turkey or ham & cheese sandwiches with sliced apples, bananas or oranges. Steamed edamame is another favorite, super quick, healthy & they eat every last bit. But then it comes to dinners, and it’s hard to find things that fit into every category. Our plan is to work on this list & over the course of the next four weeks, come back with a solid list of dinner ideas! 🙂
For now, I’m sharing a few of the meals that have been on repeat this month for the kids.
For a bunch more ideas & a breakdown of what our current weekly lineup looks like (slightly different as this was a few months ago, but still very close), most of it is documented in this post! 🙂
Happy Friday!! XO