Typical Family Dinner

SamSpade

Well-Known Member
Just curious - for those of you with children - what's a typical family dinner? Do you have a short list of stuff you typically serve?
Meat Loaf? Spaghetti? Chili? Tacos? How many different types of meals are normal for you?

I'm talking about the answer to "what's for dinner tonight"? Because you can't always have a feast.
One of our more recent challenges is, most nights of the week, there are conflicts and we usually need something QUICK.

I think we're kind of bored. We don't typically serve beef, because the kids usually won't eat it unless it's hamburger.
My wife is an excellent cook, but coming up with meals that are quick has become a challenge, at least not
without running to the same standby's that have become repetitive and boring.
 

SamSpade

Well-Known Member
How about make your own pizza or kabob nights?
Do you do kabob in the oven or grill?

We have maybe 10 meals that we do repeatedly with small variations.
Every rare once in a while, we go off the treadmill and do something different.

Don't get me wrong - I like what we eat - my wife might make a crustless quiche
if we have the right leftovers, or a Mexican dish - fajitas, burritos, enchiladas - depending on what's left over.
Soup if we have left over veggies from crudite. THAT kind of thing.

But lately - we have to do "fast". The kids are just involved in too many different things.
 

RoseRed

American Beauty
PREMO Member
Do you do kabob in the oven or grill?

We have maybe 10 meals that we do repeatedly with small variations.
Every rare once in a while, we go off the treadmill and do something different.

Don't get me wrong - I like what we eat - my wife might make a crustless quiche
if we have the right leftovers, or a Mexican dish - fajitas, burritos, enchiladas - depending on what's left over.
Soup if we have left over veggies from crudite. THAT kind of thing.

But lately - we have to do "fast". The kids are just involved in too many different things.
You can doing it either way.

I hardly cook much anymore. Boring for one. But I understand the need to change things up to get out of the monotony.
 

vraiblonde

Board Mommy
PREMO Member
Patron
I'd tell the kids to each pick two dinners, then I'd make the menu and hit the grocery store. The three oldest were all over the place with their choices, but Em almost always chose homemade chicken noodle soup and Manwich sloppy joes. So that was my solution to what's for dinner: I pawned it off on the kids. They rarely picked something that the others weren't enthusiastic about.

One night a week was "eat like a grown up" night, where I'd make whatever interested me and they had to eat at least a few bites of it and be pleasant. That's how Alex found out she liked grilled salmon with fettuccine alfredo, which she'd have normally never gone near.
 

luvmygdaughters

Well-Known Member
PREMO Member
Not sure how your family feels about leftovers, but, a crockpot is great for making stews, soups, roasts, etc, with leftovers for a couple of nights. I try to make something in the crock pot on Sundays, just so I dont have to come home from work on a Monday and cook.
 

RareBreed

Throwing the deuces
I'd tell the kids to each pick two dinners, then I'd make the menu and hit the grocery store. The three oldest were all over the place with their choices, but Em almost always chose homemade chicken noodle soup and Manwich sloppy joes. So that was my solution to what's for dinner: I pawned it off on the kids. They rarely picked something that the others weren't enthusiastic about.

One night a week was "eat like a grown up" night, where I'd make whatever interested me and they had to eat at least a few bites of it and be pleasant. That's how Alex found out she liked grilled salmon with fettuccine alfredo, which she'd have normally never gone near.
We have always done the "eat like a grown up" with our two. Now, they will eat pretty much anything because they are used to eating a variety of food from a young age. They eat more of a variety than I do! :lol:
 

lucky_bee

RBF expert
PREMO Member
I meal plan. It's a savior. It also keeps me from overspending at the grocery store. I look at my calendar for the week, note which nights need something extra quick, and plan accordingly. I list my meal for each day and make my grocery list from those meals.

Honestly I mostly use pinterest and keep a specific board for 30-minutes-or-less meals just for those weeknights. We live directly across from a grocery store and I still loathe having to go back out, or even swing by on the way home for something. I just want to get home and change and start cooking.

also, do your kids like ground sausage? I've found a lot of ground beef recipes that I've subbed for ground Italian sausage and they were always better recieved. It's just more flavorful :sshrug:

Otherwise I mostly follow a meat and 2 sides formula (usually veggies...). I find most of the casserole dishes take more time and require lots of cheese or starch that we're trying to avoid.
 

vraiblonde

Board Mommy
PREMO Member
Patron
I just remember something that was really popular with my crew: grilled chicken caesar salads. Some kid would pick it almost every week. They were these weirdos who wouldn't eat tuna casserole, but give them a salad with grilled chicken and they'd tear it up.
 

Merlin99

Visualize whirled peas
PREMO Member
Our favorite was enchilada casserole. Dip a flour tortilla in enchilada sauce, fill with refried beans, cheese and taco meat. Roll up and layer in a cake pan any extra filling or sauce goes over the top, bake at 350 for 20-30 minutes to warm up and serve with sour cream. Instead of beef a shredded rotisserie chicken sautéed in taco seasoning works really well also.
 

SamSpade

Well-Known Member
I just remember something that was really popular with my crew: grilled chicken caesar salads. Some kid would pick it almost every week. They were these weirdos who wouldn't eat tuna casserole, but give them a salad with grilled chicken and they'd tear it up.
We might give this a try. Wife and I have already done that for US while the kids eat something more full of carbs (which we're trying to cut down on).
Usually I just buy the salad kit and find some grilled chicken strips on sale, but that's about the extent of it.

The challenge has always been, what do we feed kids that they will gobble down - or eat SLOWLY (a sure sign they really don't like it, and are hoping to delay the inevitable). One of my kids has a developmental disability he was born with, and MOST meals go down slowly, because he can't pay attention long enough. Almost every dinner, I have to remind him to keep eating his meal at least a dozen times - UNLESS it's something like mac and cheese, where he needs no prompting. My youngest STILL avoids meat - if we have spaghetti (her favorite) and meatballs, I can bet that every meatball will still be there at the end of the meal. She also loves Chinese food, but I'll be damned if she doesn't find a way to leave every tiny sliver of meat that's in her lo mein or chow mein.

It's the other reason for developing regular menu items - try a few new things, but in a pinch, go with what works.

I have a couple new things in mind in the upcoming weeks - if nothing else, I will almost always eat what I've cooked.
 

vraiblonde

Board Mommy
PREMO Member
Patron
This is vile, but it was a big hit with the kids:

thawed frozen burritos
canned chili
shredded cheddar
sour cream

Spread a bit of chili in the bottom of casserole
Top with burritos
Top with rest of chili
Sprinkle with cheese
Bake at 350 until hot and bubbling
Serve with sour cream

Drunk food for kids
 

Merlin99

Visualize whirled peas
PREMO Member
This is vile, but it was a big hit with the kids:

thawed frozen burritos
canned chili
shredded cheddar
sour cream

Spread a bit of chili in the bottom of casserole
Top with burritos
Top with rest of chili
Sprinkle with cheese
Bake at 350 until hot and bubbling
Serve with sour cream

Drunk food for kids
Haven't had a thing to drink, but that sounds good to me.
 

SamSpade

Well-Known Member
This is vile, but it was a big hit with the kids:

thawed frozen burritos
canned chili
shredded cheddar
sour cream

Spread a bit of chili in the bottom of casserole
Top with burritos
Top with rest of chili
Sprinkle with cheese
Bake at 350 until hot and bubbling
Serve with sour cream

Drunk food for kids
Heck I used to make something like that for my lunches at work - frozen burritos and salsa.
Buy a big bag and a big jar - lunch for a week.
 

Auntie Biache'

Well-Known Member
Eggs are about the quickest, easy meals you can come up with. Look for recipes. Bake quiche, and freeze for later. Omelettes are quick and easy, and you can put just about anything in them.
 

lucky_bee

RBF expert
PREMO Member
Eggs are about the quickest, easy meals you can come up with. Look for recipes. Bake quiche, and freeze for later. Omelettes are quick and easy, and you can put just about anything in them.
Kids think its awesome when we do "breakfast for dinner" :sshrug: What it really means is I have tons of random things in the fridge to use up before I go grocery shopping :lol:
 

Auntie Biache'

Well-Known Member
Kids think its awesome when we do "breakfast for dinner" :sshrug: What it really means is I have tons of random things in the fridge to use up before I go grocery shopping :lol:
Breakfast for supper is real popular in our house. We do it at least once a week. Sometimes twice. Depends on what's going on.
 
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