While there’s nothing wrong with chicken nuggets and macaroni and cheese, after about the third night in a row I’m over it, way over it.
We’ve all had that moment when you can’t stomach the idea of eating junk food and the kids won’t even consider anything beyond the three food groups of french fries, noodles and sugar, but I’ve learned there is a compromise.
So take out the lunch box, we’re making dinner.
That’s right, we’re using the same items you use to make your child’s lunch box to inspire you to make kid friendly dinner ideas you’ll not only like, but will actually elevate your kids’ palate and make yours pretty happy, too. And you gotta love that you’re being frugal by using ingredients you already have in your house.
Yep, I’m showing you how to make dinner with items from your kids lunch box. It’s dual-use foods they already love recreated in a whole new way and they can even help you make them.
Use Pretzels to create Pretzel Crusted Tilapia (or chicken):
This recipe is a keeper because it only uses two ingredients AND you can really use it on any fish or chicken.
2-4 fish filets
1/2 cup mayonnaise (or you could use 1/2 cup greek yogurt)
1 cup pretzels, crushed
Spread mayonnaise on each filet, covering both sides. Then dredge the fish with the crushed pretzels. Lay in a greased or foil-lined pan and cook at 400 degrees for 15 minutes.
Use Ham and Cheese to create Easy Chicken Cordon Bleu:
One of my favorites is chicken cordon bleu, however, don’t tell your kids that’s what you’re making and you’ll probably get them to eat it more than using the fancy name. “Chicken Roll ups” are made almost once a week at our house.
2-3 chicken breast, pounded thinly (what a great way to get some stress out from your day as well)
9 slices of thinly sliced ham
6 slices of cheese (swiss or havarti work best)
Parmesan cheese or bread crumbs
Use Applesauce to create a Dressing for Salad (or pork chops):
Put your GoGo squeeZ to work for you. I love using applesauce for many things including this delicious and easy apple dijon dressing that tastes good on your greens for a great salad OR using as as sauce for grilled pork chops or even with those Chicken Cordon Bleus.
Use Juice for a Delicious Stir-fry:
Take that apple juice to a whole new level by using it to marinate your chicken, steak or shrimp for a delicious stir-fry that’s also filled with veggies. Here’s a recipe I love and is gluten free, too.
Use Peanut Butter, Raisins and M&Ms to make Trailmix:
While this might not be a dinner recipe, use this idea of combining leftover snacks into one new recipe for trailmix and eat this as your healthy snack when they get home or as you’re getting ready for dinner. There’s no real recipe for this one – just take a little of this and that and you’ve got a new fun snack they can make and you don’t feel bad that they’re ruining dinner.
Don’t forget dessert: Use Bananas to Make a Quick and Healthy Chocolate Chip Cookie:
After a long day who has time to make dinner and much less a dessert? You do. With just four ingredients, you have a cookie you can feel as good making as you do eating it.
Make sure you check out my other fun ideas on MamaChallenge TV!
I also need to thank the gracious folks at Viridian in Arlington for providing an amazing kitchen set!
This development is everything you want in a home and much, much more. From the beautiful home selection from top-notch builders like M. Christopher Homes to the excellent elementary school, you’ve so many options for socializing, exercising and more – and that’s all at your doorstep.
Just take a look at this home we used as our set (and you can’t miss this “drive-through” shower.)
Learn more about Viridian at http://www.viridiandfw.com.