What's For Dinner?
Even though we all wish we could have Thanksgiving dinner every day, nobody has that much time or energy to put into dinner on a regular basis. While I can't provide much insight on how to cook a turkey, I can share some ideas that may help your “everyday” dinners go more smoothly!
If you haven’t started regular meal planning, now is the time! I try to do one big grocery run a week so I plan a week of meals at a time. If you go to the grocery more or less often, you can certainly adjust your meal plan accordingly. To make things easier on myself, I created a master list of all of the meals that I make. If I am having a hard time deciding what to make, I just reference this list and suddenly I have thirty meal ideas to choose from.
I had always thought of a meal plan as a list that people hung on the refrigerator, but I have found it much more practical to create a Google calendar event at 5:00 pm each day with the dinner plan as the title. I can then reference my meal plan at any time and I get a reminder thirty minutes before I need to start making dinner.
So how do you decide what to feed a family? My first advice would be to keep your target audience in mind. My husband is thankfully a very easy person to please when it comes to food. My kids are a different story. My two year old eats about ten foods right now and even though my nine month old isn’t picky, there’s only so much she can eat at this point.
My second piece of advice would be to consider how much time and energy you have to put into dinner. My kids are not at an age where I can leave them unattended and without fail, one of them is crying every time I try to cook. Knowing this, I only make things that can be made quickly or earlier in the day while the kids are napping.
Pasta is one of those rare meals that checks all of the boxes for my family. We love this one-pot taco pasta recipe, which is a twist on your typical taco Tuesday. I also recently discovered this slow-cooker mac and cheese recipe that has quickly become a family favorite. As an added bonus, both of these meals make for great leftovers for the following days!
Another popular option in our family is breakfast for dinner. When I want something fancier than scrambled eggs and french toast, I will make these egg muffins and baked oatmeal cups. I love that both of these recipes are made in muffin tins because it is so easy to add different toppings to accommodate the preferences of each family member.
With the addition of my second daughter, we now have more “easy” dinners than ever before. Salad has become a go-to dinner for us about twice a week. Salads are great because there doesn’t have to be any actual cooking involved and they can be made hours in advance. There are also a ton of possibilities of what you can put on a salad. Some of our favorites are hard boiled eggs, craisins, almonds, peas, and crispy onion straws.
Since my daughters don't eat salad, I will offer them a few of their favorite salad toppings. I pair our salads with something simple that the kids like such as grilled cheese sandwiches or cheesy breadsticks so that everyone in the family is happy!
Making good food doesn't have to be complicated. The next time you have trouble deciding what to make for dinner, give one of these easy meals a try to see if your family loves it as much as mine does!
This is a guest post written by fellow wild lass and friend, Brooke Hines, adventurous mom of two. She loves being outside with her kids and cheering on the Ohio State Buckeyes!
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Read more blog posts about meals and cooking by visiting our In the Kitchen section of the blog.