Help Please ! Need Ideas for Lunch and Dinner.

Updated on August 07, 2011
D.D. asks from Phoenix, AZ
10 answers

So we normally have pizza, hot dogs, hamburgers, tacos, bean burritos, spaghetti, chicken soup--from a can, tomato soup with quesadillas or cheese crisps, mac-n-cheese and usually broccoli or peas for the veggie. I have one son that is kind of picky but my other one is a pretty good eater. We made a pot roast the other day and he ate his portion. Neither one have a palate suitable for spicy foods yet though. The picky eater...I admit I do bribe at times to get him to try new foods.

I am so bored with all of the above but I don't want to spend an hour+ in prep. I used to be a pretty decent cook before kids and I would spend a great deal of time making things for my husband to try. Now, my energy is lower, I have more time restrictions but still want to have a variety of good, healthy and nutritious meals.

I have a well-equipped kitchen with nearly every appliance though including a pressure cooker, crockpot, vitamixer, bread machine, waffler maker, griddle, indoor grill so I am ready to go. :-)

Thanks so much...

1 mom found this helpful

What can I do next?

  • Add yourAnswer own comment
  • Ask your own question Add Question
  • Join the Mamapedia community Mamapedia
  • as inappropriate
  • this with your friends

So What Happened?

Thanks moms! I am incorporating a few more items (and mild spices)into the meal repertoire--with success, I might add. It is taking effect slowly because when I am so busy, I fall back on the items I have memorized. My li'l one is eating better too and I am trying to get away from the bribe. However, if I offered them a PB&J or sammie substitute, they would take it every time so I don't do that because I tried it and my li'l one ended up eating those at every meal. LOL. But a sincere thanks to all the great/fun/delish/easy meals!!

Featured Answers



answers from Phoenix on

I love Taste of Home Busy Family Cookbook. There us a huge variety of recipes in there and nothing takes longer than 30 mins to make. My kids (3 year old twins) eat what I make for dinner and if they don't like it, they eat breakfast in the am. Children won't starve themselves so I am fine with it.

Good Luck

2 moms found this helpful

More Answers



answers from Las Vegas on

Hi, You could always go to lots of ideals. Here is one that I do that is simple and pleasing, Pulled pork sandwich, get yourself a pork shoulder, put it in the crock pot, put in some big chunks of sweet onion, little salt, peper and garlic cloves or sprinkle garlic powder, cover with water or even a little chicken stock if you have it. turn on high, let it cook until it wants to start pulling apart, 6-7 hours. Let it rest when done and pull into shread with a fork. Server on buns, with or without bbq sauce, if the kids dont like bbq sauce, they can use mayo or ketchup, serve with tater tots.. change the noodle up for spaghetti to Penna noodles, make sauce, toss together then add Mozzarella cheese (mostaccioli). Use a tuna Helper, they wont even be able to taste the tuna. of course broccoli taste better with melted cheese, and try Lesure Peas in the silver can, they are so much better than any peas, little sweet. Try smothered pork chops servered on rice. easy to make. check out food network. Always have lots of fruit too... Good Luck..

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

Tuna on toasted bread w/chips
Chicken Nuggets & some veggie, fruit cups for the kiddos
Club sandwiches (turkey, bacon, avocado, tomatoes etc)
Chicken Sandwiches (from a Rotisserie chicken)

Dinners -
Taco Salad (even kids like it- grd beef cooked w/taco seasoning, once
cooked add to chopped lettuce, corn, chopped tomatoes, chopped
onions, kidney beans. Mix with 1,000 island dressing, crushed
Dorito chips! Voila. Great on a hot day.)
Steaks (in a pan or grill outside. Breakfast steaks are the thin ones &
cook fast. Serve w/corn from a can, salad?
Lasagna (Buy Stouffers)
Chicken Strip tacos (I buy the pre-made Louis Rich Strips) or add these
to a big salad w/all the fixings
In my crockpot, I make stew (stew meat, mini carrots, chopped potatoes,
onions etc)
You can make savory waffles for dinner w/proscuitto etc( look up Giada's
recipe on
Rotisserie chicken w/pasta salad (you pick it all up)
Steak Fajitas (easy grill steak, cut into strips, add red/yellow/orange pepper strips (froz kind is fine)....saute for a few seconds...serve in flour

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Cleveland on

I had perch tacos the other day and plan to make at home, yum~! Also recently started using guacamole as a spread on sandwiches, so much healthier than mayo, etc.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Seattle on

We have a household rule: You don't like it, you can have a sammie or a bowl of cereal.

That's how I get to cook WHATEVER I want to and only cook once.

STRONG second to I go there all the time and have (at last count) 40 something recipes saved. I have found I REALLY like Tyler Florence & Jamie Oliver & The Neelys' recipes.

If you DON'T want to just cook as you please, and let the kids have a sammie or zapped hotdog or bowl of cereal: Here's some kicked up versions of what you're already eating (aka takes 2 mintues extra to make "yours" and "kids" since its cooked the same way/ time)

- BBQ Chicken Quesodillas (just put bbq sauce on the tortilla, then cheese, then chicken, then either pico de gallo, or tomatoes, onions, cillantro)

- Sausage instead of hot dogs. I'm particularly fond of chicken/spinach/feta, pork/cherry/chipotle/, Portuguese linguica, pork or chicken habanero, & weisswurst. My son *loves* italian sausage. We usually serve peppers and potatoes with sausage. Sometimes grilled or broiled portobellos. Also, Bangers and mash instead of hot dogs.

- Carne Asada or Fish Tacos

- However the kids like spaghetti: different pasta, sauce, &/or protein for you. Like w/ Italian sausage, or alfredo w/ chicken or shrimp and broccoli, or linguini w pesto and tomatoes, or tortalini. Or, or, or.

Keep veggies the kids like and serve w/ their food... but cook ones they hate for yourself.

Here's our most recent couple of weekly menus just for idea generating:

- Stuffed Bell Peppers
- Quiche
- Carne Asada
- Philly Cheesesteak Sammies Seattle Style (aka w/ swiss cheese instead of whizz)... using the leftover asada from the night before
- BBQ Chicken (I bbq 3 at a time for 'leftovers'), and grilled potatoes
- Salsa Verde Chicken Enchiladas (tyler florence, I cheat, though and use jarred salsa verde, since it's cheaper & easier)
- French Onion Soup
- Sausage & Peppers
- Orange Chicken (yay Trader Joes! Open bag, pour into dish, bake for 20 minutes, pour over sauce. Yep. Slaved over that one ;)
- Gyros (there's a halal shop near us that sells the meat by the pound. Then I just buy greek flat bread, tomatoes, onions, and poof: Gyros)
- Fish Tacos w/ rice & beans
- BBQ Shrimp and veggies
- Turkey Burgers
- Gumbolaya (I mix gumbo and jambalaya)
- Pulled Pork Sammies
- Chimichurri Rice Curry (trader joes chimichurri rice + half a box of tomato and roasted red pepper soup)
- Penne Alfredo w Chicken and broccoli (my son's favorite)
- Thai Coconut Fish Curry
- Buffalo Chili (no beans)
- Baked Potatoes (my husband puts chili on his, whenever I make chili he wants potatoes on day 2)
- Pizza
- Omelets
- Paninis
- Chopped Salad (first "hot" day in ages)
- Bay Shrimp Louis (yay, 2 days in a row)
- Roast Beef (cold again)
- Breakfast for Dinner

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Kansas City on

we love the chicken strip recipe on the back of the bisquik box. Easy to make and super yummy. Another one we love is breakfast for dinner night. Pancakes and bacon and eggs...yummy.

I also have a campbells soup recipe book, lots of good ideas in there. Try looking on their website. its

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Phoenix on

Pasta salad is great for either lunch , dinner or a side. Any kind of pasta - shells, rotini, etc. Add carrots, tomatoes, olives, beans ( kidney, black, garbanzo), cucumber, broccoli, peppers, crumbled feta cheese and a good vinagrette dressing. Sandwiches are easy for lunch, vary the bread once in a while. Stir-fry is great for dinner. You can use shrimp, chicken, beef, pork or none at all, add the veggies you like...zucchini, onions, carrots, peapods, broccoli. And my kids love water chestnuts and mandarin oranges in theirs! Cut up the ingredients in the morning or when you have time and save for later.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Seattle on

I have one word. BBQ
You can make just about anything on those!!! Chicken, steak, pork, ribs...corn, eggplant, zuchinni! Just marinate the meat and then pop it on the grill. Takes no time.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Pittsburgh on

We cook the same foods now that we cooked before DS (5-1/2). If you were a good cook then, I would just try it. Kids learn to eat what they are fed. It is better for them to eat a variety of (healthy) foods and to learn to try new things. They can also learn to like spicy foods - just add the spice gradually.

(Bribery has been shown to decrease a child's acceptance of a new food - it's worse than doing nothing.)

1 mom found this helpful
For Updates and Special Promotions
Follow Us

Related Questions