As a working Mummy I am guilty of falling in to the trap of cooking “beige” food. I get in from work and immediately head to the freezer to see what I can serve for H’s dinner. Convenience is very high on my agenda, and I know that H will gobble up things such as fish fingers, chicken nuggets, dinosaur shapes, chips – you know, the usual. But I know that I am not doing the right thing by him. So I have been looking for some inspiration and searching around for quick meal ideas for kids. I guess that if you are still reading this post that you are in the same trap as me and asking any or all of the questions:
- What different meal suggestions can I make my child?
- Are there any healthy meal ideas for my child that are quick to make?
- Where can I find easy meals that my child will like?
- How do I get out of this rut?
In an effort to improve the variety, taste, quality, and healthiness of what I am putting out for dinner I have devised a plan to keep me organised. The inspiration for this meal planner is taken from all areas of the globe. I’ve found it fun to think of foods for each category to mix things up from one week to the next.
More importantly, everything on here can be home-made with minimal preparation time. It needs to be, for with my work, the daily jobs, and H’s social life, time is scarce. So here are some quick meal ideas for kids, in the form of a weekly meal planner, that I put together to help me be more organised.
Quick Meal Ideas For Kids – Around the World In 7 Days
Top of the list is a mild chilli. I tend to create a big batch and freeze it in to bags, making sure that I split some out and add a bit more spice to the grown-ups version. Mix things up by serving it up one week with a jacket potato, the next rice, then wedges, then tacos or a wrap.
However if spicy isn’t their thing, try cooked chicken breast sliced and wrapped in a tortilla with salad. Spread toppings on the tortilla such as guacamole, mild salsa, mayonnaise etc. You can even add rubs to the chicken to give some variety and yet still keeping it healthy.
I find that H can be put off by what the pasta looks like rather than the taste. So use any shape pasta. A cheese sauce is so easy to make. All you need is thick cream, some of the starchy pasta water, and cheese to melt in to the sauce. You can use the same sauce but just add variety in the fillings such as ham and mushroom, chicken and bacon etc. You could also whizz up a tomato sauce packed full of vegetables. Freeze the sauce and use time and again.
Wednesday Wok Night
To be honest this is the quickest food to make – EVER. I always dish this up on a Wednesday because we are short on time due to after-school activities.
Mix in colourful veg and a meat of your choice, top off with some egg and you have covered most of your food groups. Try Singapore style, honey and ginger, sweet chilli or just plain old soy sauce. If the texture of rice is a problem then swap them for noodles. Don’t forget the nibbles.
…or Korma if you want something milder. Buy a curry paste and mix it in with a tin of coconut milk for your Korma. For a Tikka curry I use low-fat yoghurt, a tin of tomatoes and Tikka curry paste. Choice is yours.
If rice is a problem then try it with naan bread instead. Use cake cutters to cut the naan in to shapes to amuse the kids.
Fish and Chip Friday (it’s a tradition in our house!)
Salmon goujons and sweet potato fries, fish finger butty filled with salad (could use a pitta pocket as well) and wedges, or a homemade fish pie with potato topping. It doesn’t have to be the same week in week out.
Over to the States for Saturday
OK, so Saturday isn’t the healthiest day of the week, but that’s not to say that a healthy version of the following options can’t be made with just a few simple substitutions.
Meatballs, Macaroni Cheese with bacon, chicken nuggets, pizza (although technically should this be Italian?). There is so much to choose from. Why not make a batch of pizza bases and freeze for another day when you are in a rush. I found this great recipe for making ideal healthy pizza bases. Harry and I enjoy choosing the toppings to add to the pizza base such as cooked chicken, tuna, sweetcorn, spinach, goats cheese, ham, peppers. Use up what you have left from the other things you have prepared that week.
This is one of the few days when we can sit down and eat as a family. Because of that I like to serve up a roast dinner.
Fill a giant Yorkshire with everything they enjoy. Lay it out buffet style so they can enjoy filling it themselves. Set it up as a smiley face if needs be. Anything that keeps them entertained and engaged in the family dining experience.
I really hope that these quick meal ideas for kids has given you some inspiration to combat the beige. Hopefully it will also banish the guilt. It has for me. Following the planner has made me realise that cooking from scratch is fun, and that it doesn’t take much longer – because they are simple ideas to follow. All it takes is a little planning and a little effort. And I mean – just a little. Quick meal ideas for kids can mean healthy, home-made and simple to make. Let’s all get together and BANISH THE BEIGE.
To help you out I have created a downloadable version of this weekly meal planner. Please leave your name and email in the box below. Once submitted you will be taken back to the home page where I hope you find more posts that interest you. Look out for an email from Harry’s Honest Mummy which contains your free download.