The hardest part of meal planning is the actual planning. It takes a little time and effort to focus on and write down a plan on your calendar. So get out your calendar now and start planning. If you’re looking for some fast, healthy meals your family will love, McGonigle’s has put together some dinner ideas that are both low maintenance and healthy. Here are a dozen dinner ideas to help on those busy work night, school night, need-a-fast-fix dinner nights. Write them down, plan your shopping each week and keep the ones your family likes. Ready? Go!
Brinner (Breakfast for Dinner) Options
Kids love mixing things up, so tell them you’re having breakfast for dinner. They love breaking the rules, so they’ll probably be on board from the get go.
Frittata – this is a quick meal you can manage in minutes if you have eggs on hand. Simply mix eggs and any healthy ingredients you have on hand like vegetables (tomatoes, onions, spinach, mushrooms, etc.) and bake for 45 minutes to an hour.
Omelette Bar – Set out the ingredients in separate bowls, don an apron, and tell the kids you’re a short order cook at a fancy omelette bar. Let them choose what they want and whip it up in minutes.
Breakfast Burritos – use whole-wheat tortillas, scramble some eggs, throw in some turkey bacon and grilled vegetables and you’re good to go!
Personalize the Palates
Personal Pizzas – kids love making their own pizzas as much as making their own tacos! Use whole-wheat english muffins or whole-wheat tortillas and spaghetti sauce. Let the kids add turkey pepperoni, cheese, and any vegetables you know your family loves. Pop them in the microwave or oven and serve.
Taco Night – kids love making their own tacos. Just warm some taco shells, fry some lean ground beef or turkey meat, and serve with shredded lettuce, tomatoes, cheese, and salsa.
Biggie Salads – gather all of your kids favorite salad ingredients and let them build their own salads. Offer grape tomatoes, mushrooms, peppers, olives, hard-boiled eggs, cheese, sunflower seeds, broccoli florets, etc. It’s a great way to get to kids to eat their vegetables.
Related Read: Healthy Protein-Packed Lunch Ideas for Kids
Slow Cooker Ideas
There’s nothing better than coming home to a precooked meal waiting in the slow cooker. Here are some simple healthy meals and dinner solutions that only take about 10 minutes to prep in the morning (or do it the night before).
Chicken Soup – cook your chicken breast on low in chicken stock. Add chopped celery, carrots, onions, etc. Move to stock pot, bring to boil and add egg noodles. Chicken noodle soup that simmered all day. TIP – you can even start with frozen chicken.
Pizza Soup – this super simple dinner idea involves opening a can of diced tomatoes and a can of tomato sauce, adding any vegetables you normally put on a pizza (mushrooms, onions, olives, spinach, peppers, etc.) and let it simmer all day. If you’d like to add some protein, use turkey pepperoni or diced ham. Pour it in a bowl and top with mozzarella for a melty, mouthwatering meal.
Turkey Chili – all you need to do is brown some ground turkey and onions and then combine the other ingredients. With prep time short, you can easily throw this together in the morning or the night before and store in the fridge overnight.
Rotisserie Smoked Chicken – store bought rotisserie chicken with fresh or frozen vegetables and a quick-cooking grain like brown rice, or whole-wheat pasta makes a fast and healthy last-minute meal.
Pasta and Sauce – Pasta and prepared marinara sauce combined with leftover chopped chicken added to it; garden salad; serve with milk.
Salmon & Vegetables – salmon in parchment cooked with vegetables from the deli. (Okay, this one is a McGonigle’s favorite.) But grocery store delicatessens are a great option for nights that you forget to plan ahead.