You guys, I admit. So many days I am a horrible housewife. And so many days, like today, I look at the clock and it’s 3:00pm and I have no idea what I am going to do for food and I am scrambling for quick ideas to save the family dinner. Because, I don’t want to admit to my husband that I again have no plan and I don’t want to get take out and I do want to eat healthy and I do want quality time with my family while we eat. So here are some quick meal ideas and ideas to maximize your time!
Quick Home Cooked Meal Ideas and Ways to Save Family Dinner Time
Cook When you Can
Sounds silly right? But it’s so not. Cook food whenever it is most convenient because may you won’t get the chance later in the day. That magic moment everyone in the house is asleep or occupied, that’s the time to get it done. Because you know there will be a toddler meltdown five minutes before you plan to start cooking…
A reheated, home cooked meal is better than a lot of other options.
Use the Crock Pot
Harness the magic of the slow cooker. If you haven’t jumped on all the wonderful slower-cooker recipes out there, then do it. This goes right along with cook when you can. So you’re up at 6am before anyone else? Throw it in the crock pot and it will for sure be ready to eat by dinner time and no one interrupted you while doing it!
Take a day or a weekend or any time to make some freezer meals. In fact, we like to make enough food to have leftovers for the next day and a single-serve freezer meal. No extra work required. Even better? Crock Pot Freezer Meals!
Breakfast for Dinner
Almost every breakfast food from waffles to eggs is a pretty quick and easy fix. So those days when nothing went right and I could never fix anything, I can spend the 5-10 minutes to throw together a family meals by scrambling some eggs, making some quick biscuits, some fruit, and whatever else I have on hand. Sure-fire quick meal.
Have (odd) Multi-use Staple ingredients on hand
So of course we need to have basic necessities on hand in general, but what about some of the more obscure grocery staples? Here are some of the things that I keep on hand and why:
- Biscuits/ingredients to make biscuits – They can be used to make, well biscuits, but also pizza crust, calizone shells, pot-pie shells, dumplings, and more.
- Quinoa – It’s a whole protein and whole grain that can replace rice (but cooked faster), be used in salads, can be used in stuffed peppers, makes a great salad on its own, and more.
- Basic veggies – easy salads and stir fry as well as quick and easy meal ideas like stuffed bell peppers or stuffed mushrooms.
- Cheese – because everything requires cheese in my toddler’s world.
- Olive Oil – Even if I don’t have spaghetti/pizza sauce, I can whip up some of my own. Great for cooking eggs and is just my go-to oil.
- Spinach & Bread – If I have eggs on hand this makes a great simple sandwich. Spinach is juts easy to use too. It can be used in smoothies and so many other obscure ways.
- Beans – easy to store but a great source of protein especially when paired with rice. They can top a salad, go inside a burrito, and blended can even be a great spread.
For more of an explanation to each on How to Save the Family Dinner, watch my video!
Show me your healthy meals with hashtag #NutritionStartsEarly!
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Kara is an author and advocate for positive, grace-filled parenting. She is homeschooler to her 4 children living in Boston, MA and believes in creative educational approaches to help kids dive deeper into a rich learning experience. She has her degree in Secondary Education & Adolescent Childhood Development and is passionate about connecting with and helping other parents on their journey to raise awesome kids!