I don’t know about you guys, but feeding my family feels like a full time job. I have three picky eaters 4 and under and a very hungry husband. For a long time, we were eating dinner as a family every night but honestly, it was miserable. I couldn’t get a meal together that everyone would like, so I was cooking at least 2 different meals anyway. Since I couldn’t get all of our food on the table by 5 PM, the twins (who are 1 years old) would meltdown or be so full from snacks by the time we, especially if we waited too long (they go to bed at 7 PM).
I was feeling like a failure, stressed out and found the quality of ALL of our food going down (can you say quesadilla?).
I did what any mom would do and went to social media to help. I asked my moms on Instagram: How do I reduce the stress of dinnertime!? One thing I decided to do was to stop doing family as a dinner every night. We eat breakfast as a family daily, but dinnertime just won’t always happen. This has dramatically helped reduce meltdowns and makes everyone happier.
The second thing I did, thanks to the suggestions of the moms and started doing a better job of planning my meals in advance, making larger batches of food and recognizing that the days of preparing a 45 minute vegan pad Thai dinner are behind me, at least for now! I need quick, convenient and healthy dinners that taste good.
Family Dinnertime Meal Tips From Real Moms
Here are the tips I got from my fellow moms, I hope they help you too!
Every few weeks I’ll make shredded chicken in the crockpot- chicken, diced onion, tomato, green chilis, Mexican seasoning. Then throughout the week use it for different things. Quinn  will eat the chicken by itself for several meals. Spencer [husband] and Harper  will do nachos, quesadillas, tacos, salads.
Another thing I’ll do is buy my meat in bulk and separate it into baggies and season it and then freeze. The day I use it I’ll take out in the morning and then I’ll cook + add a veggie and that’s it! Super simple dinner and makes pretty much no mess at all. This is like every other day for us.Tess
Fun fact, pasta actually freezes really well! So you can make a big batch and then freeze some and it basically defrosts in some hot water real quick!Kara
I keep lists at times of what’s I’m my fridge, on my fridge so I can take stock when I’m looking into my week of meals!
We’re only a family of 4, but we eat a lot ?. Also I often cook extra ground beef/turkey, or just plain turkey and save frozen because defrosting it when tis already cooked makes for fast dinner of spaghetti, tacos, taco bowls, soup, enchiladas, etc.
We like this chili a lot! I always do 2 sweet potatoes and sometimes 2 cans of beans.
Otherwise for meal prep, I try to buy veggies that don’t require much prep to roast. Also, sheet pan meals!Meghan
Instant pot shredded chicken plain (then you can add flavors throughout the week…one night Mexican spice the next an Asian peanut sauce). It had saved me!!!!!!! I make mine from frozen Costco chicken breasts. Add water or broth and 18 minutes at high pressureAlisa
Check out @naptimekitchen! [On Instagram]Lauren
Hope this helped! Hang in there moms of young kids – it’ll get easier one day, right!? But in the meantime, let’s just do our best and prep ahead the best we can!
If you want more tips for living a healthy and happy mom life, please join our free Facebook community, Healthy & Happy Motherhood. Next week I am having a Registered Dietician come on Live and speak about how to handle the topic of treats during the holiday season when kids are inundated with them! (replay will be available if you can’t make it on live).