H.M. asks from Peoria, AZ on May 01, 2008
Easy Kid-friendly Weeknight Recipes
What are your favorite weeknight family dinners? I'm looking for simple but delicious meals we can all enjoy (without any kid complaints). We seem to be in a very boring rut of tacos, homemade pizza, roast chicken and spagetti. What meals do you and your kids look forward to? I'm sure you all have a ton of great recipes to share. Thanks so much!
5 moms found this helpful
G.A. answers from Phoenix on May 02, 2008
My husband came up with 2 great meals and my kids absolutely love them.... One is pizza sandwiches.... basically a grilled cheese using mozzarella cheese and pepperoni's (where you would normally just add cheese) cut it in three strips and then you give them pizza sauce to dip them in.
The other sounds a little gross but it absolutely wonderful.... it is called macaroni and cheese pizza...
Basically, you make a box or two of mac and cheese as directed. Then you throw in a egg and mix it up... this helps hold it all together... put in a casserole pan and spread out along the bottom of the pan to be the crust.(does not have to be a thin layer.... Then put on pizza sauce, cheese and whatever other toppings you want... Put it in the oven for 20 mins and then serve.... It is great. Kids love it.
F.H. answers from Phoenix on May 02, 2008
Hi H., I have a couple favorites of the family. Good old Chili-Mac! Make 2 boxes of mac and cheese, stir in 2 cans of chili! YUM! also, buy a big 6 pound bag of frozen meat balls at Costco, put in a crock pot on low with your favorite BBQ sauce. Serve over white rice. And a salad. Also great for parties!
Also search the internet for "easy recipes". Tons of them come up. One of my favorites is www.razzledazzlerecipes.com but there are many and when you get in them you can search again for quick and easy and it narrows it down more.
There is also a cookbook with 5 and 4 ingredients or less and those are quick and easy.
1 mom found this helpful
J.C. answers from Phoenix on May 01, 2008
Taco Salad-Lettuce, taco meat, tomatoes, kidney beans, cheese and ranch dressing.
Refried beans w/ cheese, warm whole wheat tortilla
Rice Casserole-Rice, ground turkey or canned chicken, ROTEL in a can(tomatoes and green chilis) 1 can of water per can of Rotel-Brown meat and then combine all ingredients. Place in oven and cook for about 20 min or until rice is done. Then add cheese or fritos. Cook until cheese is melted. You can omit the fritos, we do now that we are eating healthier.
Pizza Pie-Make mashed potatoes first and brown ground turkey. Add 2 cans of tomato sauce, 1 jar of pizza sauce or 1/2 jar of spaghetti sauce to the meat. Put meat on the bottom of a casserole dish, layer with potatoes and top with cheese. Everything is already cooked, so I usually just stick it in the oven for about 5-10 min, so everything can goo together and the cheese can melt. You can add green beans to this as well, but in my experiences the kids like it without:)
Aside from this we just do chicken and veggies, homemade pizza, tacos, etc. We did just have Swedish Meatballs w/ angel hair pasta and the kids LOVED it. They actually like any type of meatballs. We only used ground turkey at our house, but you can always use ground beef for any of the above recipes.
I also just made pizza muffins using the homemade pizza dough. I put the dough in a greased muffin pan, made a hole for the sauce and topped with cheese and they loved that too!
I make all of these for my daycare children too and they all love every recipe! Happy Cooking:)
1 mom found this helpful
V.J. answers from Phoenix on May 02, 2008
You could try something like grilled chicken with pasta salad. Cook bowtie pasta and cool it down, then add Italian dressing and some chopped veggies. Serve chilled. We have roasted turkey breast sometimes instead of chicken and I serve it with a baked sweet potato and a veggie. Kinda like Thanksgiving dinner but more modest portions.
We also like to have baked pasta. I brown some ground sirloin and add it to pasta sauce with some chopped mushrooms and a little frozen spinach. After it has cooked together for 15 minutes or so, I add about 1/4 cup of lowfat ricotta cheese and mix in cooked pasta. Transfer it to an oven safe dish and top with shredded mozzarella. Bake at 350 until the cheese melts.
We like fish a lot, but it can get boring. Aside from lemon pepper or garlic dill, I like to grill salmon with teriyaki sauce on it. I serve it with brown rice and steamed broccoli (or carrots for my son who hates broccoli).
I usually try to jot down some meal ideas for the week before I go grocery shopping so I make sure I have what I'll need. I make my husband pitch in his thoughts too. This way I don't have to feel pressed to come up with a dinner plan on a daily basis. :)
L.G. answers from Phoenix on May 02, 2008
You can change what you make your pizza on... biscuit dough (flattened out) or bagels or tortillas, etc. for individual pizza, chicken nuggets (cut up your own chicken breasts and use Shake-N-Bake), loaded baked potatoes, breakfast for dinner, pita bread filled with their favorite foods (even taco fixings), taco salad, mini meatloaves shaped in their initials or like an animal, "shish-kabobs" made of just about anything (doesn't even have to be cooked), or just cut up a dinner that they might be bored with into bite sized pieces and tell everyone they can only use a toothpick to eat dinner. Have fun!
S.C. answers from Albuquerque on May 02, 2008
I work with a company called Megan's Pantry. We are a NM based, national home party company. One of the things we make availalbe to people is Meal Plans. Each month we put out a new one with a specific theme. The theme for March was "Kids Cook". This plan was actually featured in a national publication. It has Megan's Pantry products and recipes and a shopping list for 5 different meals that kids love.
Here's the link for that meal plan:
https://www.meganspantry.com/Kids%20Cook%20Meal%20Plan.aspx (cut and paste into your browser). From there you can view the actual recipes as well as view other meal plans. The pot luck meal plan also has ideas that kids love, but go through them all.
We have a program now, called Kids Cook. This is actually designed to help kids learn business skills early AND give families something they can do together.
If you register on the site or request more info, please be sure you state that you learned about us on Mamasource. :)
Let me know if you have questions!
S. - WAHM of 8 plus a son-in-law and grandson! I am a Megan's Pantry member as well as Customer Support for the company and my wonderful hubby is our CEO (truly a family run biz!)
C.P. answers from Phoenix on May 02, 2008
A couple of things that I do,
Cut up a couple of chicken breasts cook in a skillet, Add a half cup to 3/4 cup of salsa (I use mild) and serve over white rice (or brown rice) My kids love it and they are pretty picky eaters.
Another favorite in my household is:
Get some frozen chicken breasts, turn the burner on medium heat put 1 tablespoon of butter in the pan. Fry the chicken breasts. Toss in a can of cream of mustard soup or cream of chicken soup you can also use taco soup mix or nacho cheese soup and serve it over rice or mashed potato's and a side of green beans or corn.
Step mom to 2
M.B. answers from Albuquerque on May 02, 2008
I second grilling...my kids LOVE shish ke bobs - we cube chicken, get canned new potatoes (or fresh), mushrooms and any other veggie they may eat... this turned out to be a fantastic mean and they can use their fingers to eat...I have learned that putting food on toothpicks or skewers gets my kids to eat more, go figure...(that and a side of low fat Ranch to dip is also good!)
Other ideas...corn on the cob (Sams Club sells it fresh cut in half right now, my kids adore it with grilled chicken...(we grill almost everything).
Also, a great snack (or side) that my friend introduced me to for my kids to eat while I cook is soybeans/edamame with sea salt..I am not a vegetarian and was skeptical that my kids would eat it...they LOVE them since they eat them with their hands and can pop the beans out which is fun. You can buy them in the frozen section at Sams Club in small microwavable trays with sea salt to sprinkle on top...usually we have them as a snack, but had them last nite as our veggie..
Also, fruit with a yogurt/whipped cream dip is always easy at dinner too...
Hope these ideas help.
S.C. answers from Flagstaff on May 02, 2008
My little boy has loved this since he was a baby - Italian Chicken:
1 8oz package cream cheese
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 c. chicken broth
1 package dry italian dressing mix
1.5 lbs chicken - breasts or tenders
Mix all the ingredients except the chicken in a sauce pan until smooth, then pour over chicken in crock pot. Cook on low for about 4 hours, the chicken will be tender and break up nicely. Serve over noodles or rice. This is a great alternative to spaghetti. Goes excellent with steamed brocoli, zucchini, salad, or whatever your family likes. This recipe serves about 4 adults and is easy to double/triple but of course takes longer to cook. You can use all the low/nonfat versions of the ingredients to make it healthier too. It also freezes well if you have a small family or if you like to cook once and have two meals. :)
I have also found that my toddler will eat all kinds of things if it looks familiar even if it's new. We cut different things into triangles so it looks like pizza. I have a friend with 4 children ages 3 to 8 and she cooks all kinds of things in a muffin pan, like meatloaf. Then all the kids get an individual portion and it's fun for them. Good luck, I've also been feeling a bit in a rut, so I've gotten out some of my Pampered Chef cookbooks and there are also tons of great recipes in them. One more thing I've done is bought uncooked tortillas for tacos, fajitas, etc... They are so much better! You basically just heat them up for a few seconds each side in a pan or on a griddle. It may help make tacos a little less boring. :)