I wish you could see the smile on my face right now. We’re not talking just ear-to-ear any more. This baby is basically wrapping all the way around my head and shaking hands in the back. Why? Did I win the lottery? Did Cillian Murphry move in next door (I’ve had a problem since I watched Peaky Blinders)? Nope, even better. The kids are back in school!!! What better way to celebrate then hitting you with 10 quick and easy dinners kids love to eat! I was never going to be “That Mom”. You know, that Mom who celebrated the end of summer, the waving off of the kids to school. That Mom who danced around the store, pirouetting school supplies into the cart. But then I had three kids and reality set in. I am SO that Mom.
Here want to know exactly what kind of a Mom I am?
On their fourth day back at school (4th, not even a full week), Sophie’s SECOND DAY, I went to the mall by myself and got this ice-cream cone. I did this solely to be able to show the three of them a picture of the awesome ice-cream cone I had without them that day. Seriously, go ask the lady that made it for me, because I was laughing hysterically while telling her I was going to do this.
10 quick and easy dinners kids love to eat
For me, this is a big year. It’s Sophie’s first year of school (hello junior kindergarten!). My youngest, my last, leaving the house for the day. Even though that sounds like I have more free time then I used to (Ok, technically I do), I’m filling it in the ways I couldn’t when the kids were still home with me.
I’m spending my early mornings on the blog. After the morning school drop-off I’m off to the gym for a couple of hours, something I’ve really been looking forward to. This only leaves me about three hours in the afternoon to get housework and projects done. I actually find myself with less time to prep dinners now then I did before. Yes, I agree, I might be doing something wrong here somehow.
Fun to eat dinners
I’m kicking things off with dinners that kids will actually have fun eating. Sometimes all you need is a gimmick like chopsticks, build-your-own, or “it’s ok to be messy” to get them excited at the table.
What kid doesn’t love tacos! What Mom doesn’t love tacos that are on the table in just 15 minutes!!! I couldn’t get over how delicious these Instant Pot Chicken Tacos looked, and how simple they are to pull together.
This Orange Sesame Chicken Bowl is one of my favourite meals to make. My kids LOVE eating noodles (seriously, put anything on top of noodles and they’re good to go), and I’m an orange chicken addict. I cut the prep work in half by buying a bagged salad mix with hearty veggies in it (cabbage, kale, and carrots), so no dicing up vegetables necessary! Throw the kids some chopsticks it’s an event, not a meal!
OK, how many of you remember eating Sloppy Joes as a kid? I do, I LOVED it every time my Nana brought them out to the table. Looking back now though, the only reason she must have made them was because I would actually eat. Prepare yourself. You will be doing laundry. You’ll be scrubbing down the table. You’re probably going to be washing at least part of the floor too. But hey, they kids will eat it, and you’ll all probably laugh a ton too!
Chicken & Cheese Quesadillas that you cook in the waffle iron? This is genius because the kids will think it’s fun, and all those extra crispy pockets will taste amazing (seriously, I love any crispy bread product). They use a rotisserie chicken too, which takes your prep way down – love it!
Every kid likes at least ONE type of pasta. It’s a go-to for me whenever the kids have friends over because it’s quick to whip up, and I know everyone will eat it.
Are you KIDDING ME! One Pot Pizza Pasta? I mean, all you have to do is whisper “pizza” in this house and they come running. This is no joke. Everything cooks in one pot, including the pasta. You don’t even have to waste time boiling water! It’ll be super easy to customize with the pizza toppings your family loves.
A Healthy Cheeseburger Casserole?! Yes please!!! This is a great, quick dinner to hide veggies in too. Dice up those peppers, onions, carrots, and celery really small and they’ll just melt into the sauce. The kids won’t even know they’re in there! Bonus – another one pot dinner where the pasta cooks right in the sauce!
Wanna know how to sell dinner to your kids? Tell them you’re having pie! I couldn’t decide where to put this Spaghetti Pie, with the fun food or the pasta, because this is totally both. It takes a bit longer start to finish, but 30 minutes is completely hands off while it bakes, so with only 20 minutes hands on I still wanted to include it.
There are some meals that are just universal with kids. Not gonna lie, a lot of the time these fall-back favourites involved me hitting a drive-through, or waiting for delivery. Not anymore though, because these three quick and easy dinners kids love can be on the table in the same amount of time it takes me to sit in a drive-through line at 5pm.
Has there ever been a kid who didn’t like chicken fingers (or nuggets, or fries, or however else they’re selling it now)? I don’t think I’ve ever met one. Right now, it’s basically the only food my nephew will eat (hi Logan!). Side note: how is it that kids don’t get tired of eating the same thing over and over again? I couldn’t handle that. These Healthy Baked Chicken Fingers are the answer to your prayers! Quick, stupid easy, and a healthier alternative to those drive-though ones!
I’m throwing back with this one. It’s my NO RISE Pizza Dough! This is start to finish, pizza out of the oven and on the table, in 35 minutes. I’ve been making this since I first posted it in 2012. You get a bonus shot of 2-year-old Oliver in the post. He’s 9 now. That is 7 years of making this and still loving it. You can literally have this on the table faster than you can order pizza and have it delivered or go pick it up.
I’m finishing off today with every kids food court favourite, Chicken Fried Rice. Keep the leftover rotisserie chicken that you used in the waffle iron quesadillas up above, and you’ve got an even easier prep! Bonus points for this recipe because of her adorable son helping make it!
Cheers to some stress-less school nights!
Alright, I hope some of these recipes for quick and easy dinners kids love helped you guys out. I know they’re all going to be in heavy rotation in our house now that school is back in full swing!