Learn easy dinner recipes for your kids when you just don’t feel like cooking.
When I feeling down, too busy, it’s been a long day, I’m pregnant, the kids won’t stop fighting, or my husband isn’t home to be the goalie, dinner seems an impossible task. Some nights I love making dinner and trying something new. Other nights I’m just happy that I didn’t decide on drive thru McDonald’s.
So I have a list of my typical go-to foods that I use if it’s just “one of those nights”. They’re easy, my kids love them, and I usually have one of them always stocked in the house. They may not be the healthiest of options, but you can’t be healthy every day! Am I right?…..*chirping* *chirping*….just me? That’s fine.
So, I’m not saying you have to use these every night, but if it’s just “one of those nights” for you. Here are some easy (and some quick) options that hopefully eliminate the exhaustion and fighting of dinner.
19 Quick and Easy Dinner Recipes My Kids Love
1. Chicken Alfredo Pasta
This is a simple recipe because you can always stock up on sauce and noodles, just pull them out of the pantry, and you’re good to go. You could also add chicken if you have time and throw it on top. If you want something slightly more fancy, here’s a recipe for baked chicken Alfredo casserole.
You can’t go wrong with sandwiches. My kids love sandwiches and it’s not a completely unhealthy option. Especially if you have some whole wheat bread and you pair it with some apple slices and carrots. Usually when I feed them a sandwich, I just cut up any and all fruits and veggies in the house to eat on the side. If you want to get fancy, here are some ways to up your PB&J game.
3. Doritos Chicken Tenders
I ran across this recipe and absolutely love it. My kids love chicken nuggets, but they can get easily bored of them. This recipe puts a little twist on the usually Chicken Nugget. What kid doesn’t love Doritos?
4. Goldfish Crusted Chicken
Another great chicken nugget recipe. All kids love Goldfish.
5. Apple Oatmeal
Another not-so-unhealthy recipe. My kids love Oatmeal and it’s so easy to make. We make it on the stove and spruce it up. They particularly love apples and cinnamon, hence this Apple Cinnamon Stove top Oatmeal recipe. This is a really fancy recipe, so if you don’t have the time, just cook instant oatmeal, add some cinnamon, and throw some cut apples on top. We have also been guilty of buying the pre-packaged instant oatmeal from the store that heats up in 1 minute in the microwave. This is the one we get because my kids love all the flavors:
My kids love chili. This takes a little more prep work in the morning, but if you know it’s going to be one of those days, it’s a great dinner idea for the whole family. It’s easy because you just throw everything in crock pot and leave it to cook. This Chili recipe is pretty close to the one me and my family have been using for years. If you want to cut out more of the hassle take out some of the spices or all of them and use a little salt and pepper, garlic salt, and chili seasoning instead and it’s just as good. My family also doesn’t use tomatoes because I don’t like soggy tomatoes, but keep the tomato paste to add flavor.
7. Grilled Cheese Waffles
Make your grilled cheese more exciting with Grilled Cheese Waffles. You can also just do the traditional grilled cheese to save time, and the kids will also love it. But if you’re feeling like #Momwin. These are for you!
8. Bean Tostadas
My kids love tostadas. I mean, what’s not to love? Here is a good Tostadas Recipe, but you can make it even simpiler by leaving out seasonings and meat if you want. Just do beans, cheese, and some veggies on top. My kids love it!
9. Pizza Quesadilla
Two of my kids favorite things: Pizza and Quesadillas. Now, you can have them both with this Pizza Quesadilla recipe. It’s easy, and it kinda mixes things up a little bit from the usual.
Kids love pizza. We probably have a pizza night at least once a week. And there are so many options for pizza. Make your own, do Little Caesars $5 pick up pizza, and so many other pizza places have awesome deals for a cheap pizza night. We almost always have aÂ Digiornos on hand. You can make mini pizza on English muffins which are super fast and easy, especially if you have a toaster oven. Here is a good English Muffin Pizza Recipe.Â
I guess these last 3 are a bit obvious, but they work! Quesadillas are easy. And my husband and I also love them. WE also buy the uncooked tortillas it makes an even tastier quesadilla.
12. Baked Chilli Dogs
I came across this unhealthy but yummy gem, Baked Chili Dogs. So I’m just gonna leave it here for you, do what you will with it! 🙂
13. Sweet Pork and Rice
This one is also a prepare before meal, but again, if you know it’s coming, it’s a good recipe. AND My husband and I LOVE it. It’s so good, it’s easy, and the kids will be begging for more. Sweet Pork Recipe. You can throw this on a salad or pair it with some rice and beans.
14. Scrambled Eggs
I think this one is a little more on the healthier side. My family loves scrambled eggs and they are cheap and easy. We like to pair it with some peanut butter toast and fruit. We also use a little seasoned salt on our eggs which is delicious! Or get creative with these 23 Different scrambled egg ideas.
15. Sloppy Joes
Sloppy joes, buy some buns, buy some sloppy joes in a can, and presto, a MEAL! It’s easy and the kids gobble it up. Always have it stocked in the cupboard. Or you can do Crockpot Sloppy Joes, your own Homemade Sloppy Joes, or Philly Cheese Steak Sloppy Joes.
16. Hot Dogs and Mac and Cheese
You can’t go wrong with Hot dogs and Mac and Cheese. It’s something we always have on hand.
Kids also love Spaghetti.
18. Breakfast for Dinner
Breakfast for Dinner is like my favorite all time thing. And it’s relatively pretty quick. We have the quick pancake mix and waffles which are super easy to whip up and cook. If we’re feeling a little more ambitious, we do homemade biscuits and gravy. My kids LOVE it all!
19. Finger Foods
Another family favorite is finger foods. I love finger foods. These are a little more time consuming, but kids love it. (and adults). Here are some of my favorites: Crock Pot Smokies, Slow Cooker Meatballs,Â Pigs in a Blanket Recipes, 7 Layer Bean Dip, then you could also do mini sandwiches, veggie tray, and fruit tray.
Here’s to more happy and less stress inducing dinner times! 🙂 And if all else fails, have cereal. Happy Cooking!
Related: How to Potty Train your Toddler