Every family has a night of the week where it seems impossible to get dinner on the table. Swimming lessons, working late thus late daycare pickup or simply running out of food the odd Friday all make up dinner impossible nights. Let’s think outside of the drive-thru window for ideas for feeding the family on nights when dinner and creativity get crunched.
Canada’s Food Guide recommends kids (for example: aged 4-8) should have approximately 5 servings of fruits and vegetables. 4 servings of grain products. 2 servings of milk and alternatives. 1 serving of meat and alternatives.
Breakfast for Dinner
Breakfast fuels your family’s bodies for the day, so it is the perfect switch-up to fuel the evening’s activities. Milk is almost always in the fridge making it convenient. It is interesting to note that chocolate milk is equal to white milk in terms of proteins, vitamins and minerals.
Breakfast for dinner meals are quick to make, easy to eat and full of goodness. Warm milk on cooked oatmeal is nourishing and a comfort food. Hot chocolate, scrambled eggs, whole grain toast followed by a fruit hit all food groups. Omelets, BLT sandwiches and French toast are also some great breakfast for dinner meals.
Raise your hand if you have a croc pot? Place cut vegetables, liquid, spices and meat (vegetarian options are also available) in the morning, turn the device on and it will cook unattended until you return home.
It is also a budget-saver as most inexpensive cuts of meat are tough yet when slow cooked they tenderize.
Double Batch and Freeze
When you make your next chicken soup or lasagna – double the batch and freeze a family-sized serving for dinner impossible night. Soups and casseroles lend themselves well to freezing.
Tomato sauce is also a perfect freezer food for dinner impossible night. Simply defrost the sauce (and no need to think about this hours before hand – the microwave can defrost it in minutes) and boil salted water for pasta. Delicious, quick and hearty!
Dinner doesn’t always have to be a big meal. Reference a children’s menu and find some interesting dinner ideas: grilled cheese & carrot sticks, chicken fingers & homemade fries, cheese and chicken quesadillas.
Ask your kids for their favourite kid menu meals…they are almost always quick and easy.
Dinner can be a challenge some nights of the week but it is not impossible. Keep it simple, healthy and smart. In other words, don’t try out a new recipe when you are rushing to get to karate class – keep dinners on activity nights tried and true favourites. Remember preferred foods go down quickest so bring on the grilled cheese and make dinner possible!