Quick and easy dinner ideas exist. Seriously.
Pre-kids dinner ideas involved a glass of red, a nice steak on the grill, and perhaps the leftover fried rice from take out Chinese. Whatever it was (hopefully it was healthy foods, of course!), it wasn’t stressful.
Fast forward to the present and dinner time is just not so zen. Trying to teach your kids how to eat healthy is a task that makes your latest excel spreadsheet for your boss look like a Dr. Seuss book.
Healthy breakfast for the kiddos? Piece of cake. Healthy snacks? Got a million of ’em. But healthy dinner ideas that don’t take an entire evening to prepare? I know, your blood pressure just skyrocketed, right?
But here’s the good news.
Think perfect pairs…
socks and shoes…
hammers and nails…
teachers and books…
…and apply it to dinner. It really can be that easy.
I’ve taken 3 old school food pairs and given them a healthy, 21st century upgrade, and your kids are gonna love ‘em!
3 Quick and Easy Dinner Ideas for Kids
- Replace this piggy failure with an organic chicken sausage, grilled, sliced and served with sweet baked potato fries.
- Or, get a little gourmet with goat cheese stuffed dates. They’re full of fiber and the sweet and savory punch will be all the rage at your next fam din. Yes! You and even your kids will love them.
- Ok, ok, if dates and goat cheese are too big of a leap for you, a healthy chicken finger is a picky eater, crowd pleaser, too.
Spaghetti & Meatballs: Like a burger on a bun, and bologna on white bread, this low quality pair of white flour and ground high fat meat doesn’t offer your family the dinner that champions are made of.
- Try spaghetti squash and turkey or grass fed meatballs. Roasted spaghetti squash is a fierce alternative to regular pasta and turkey or grass fed meatballs are lower in fat and higher in omega-3s than most conventional meatballs. Add some marinara for an extra dose of nutrition. And if your kids take time to warm up to new things, it’s ok to gradually add the squash to your pasta over time, until there is more squash than pasta and your kids barely notice. Hey, Rome wasn’t built in a day, either.
- If you wanna up the fun on this one, just say the word zoodle. Make your noodles out of zucchini with a spiralizer and your kids will actually fight over who gets to help you make dinner.
- Replace this in your repertoire with whole grain pasta carbonara, which is a delicious pasta dish that delivers the creaminess mac and cheese is famous for with egg and a little Parmesan, instead of loads of fluorescent orange talc. Just boil your pasta as usual, drain, return it to the pot, and then scramble in the eggs and stir vigorously until they are cooked (the heat from the pasta will cook them!). Top with Parmesan, and you have a delicious and nutritious one pot meal. And then nobody can complain about doing dish
Times have changed. Cars can now run on batteries, you can answer your phone with your watch, and you can binge on an entire season of your favorite show in one sitting.
It only makes sense to update and upgrade your healthy dinner ideas, too.
Of course, you can always go back to the classics from time to time, but make these your new “go to” duos.
The Nutritious Life Editors are a team of healthy lifestyle enthusiasts who not only subscribe to — and live! — the 8 Pillars of a Nutritious Life, but also have access to some of the savviest thought leaders in the health and wellness space — including our founder and resident dietitian, Keri Glassman. From the hottest trends in wellness to the latest medical science, we stay on top of it all in order to deliver the info YOU need to live your most nutritious life.
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