What’s for dinner? If you’re a parent, you’re probably tired of hearing those three words. Coming up with a new meal every day that pleases the whole family and fits within the food budget is a constant challenge, but dinnertime can be easy if you keep it simple. Here are five cheap and easy meal ideas that are sure to please kids of all ages.
Butternut Squash Tuna Mac
Macaroni and cheese is a childhood favorite, but the classic dish is light on nutrition and high in fat. Add protein with affordable canned tuna and reduce the calories by substituting half the cheese with pureed butternut squash. Stir in some green goodness with peas or steamed broccoli.
Grilled Chicken Strips
What kid doesn’t love chicken strips? Skip the drive-thru and the greasy breading by making your own grilled chicken strips at home with a grill pan or countertop electric grill. Serve your strips with sweet potato fries and apple slices. Consider adding a small toy or stickers as a prize to recreate the fast-food experience at home.
Nothing is more fun than assembling your own meal. Make dinner easy with a sandwich bar featuring varieties of lunch meat, cheese, vegetables, condiments, and a basket of healthy whole grain Kaiser rolls and sub buns. Skip the chips and offer a fruit platter for a nutritious, low-calorie side dish.
Do you need to pack a meal on the run? Assemble your own lunch kits and keep them handy for days when you need to dine and dash. Fill divided containers with lunch meat, cheese slices, crackers, raw veggies, and a small treat for a satisfying to-go lunch that will keep you away from the drive-thru window.