Every mom and dad knows that they’re always going to have to pack meals to keep their kid’s tummy from rumbling on the go. Traveling to and from soccer practice and Taekwondo, chances are your child may need to have some meals on wheels every once in a while. Don’t hit the fast food joint, as tempting as it is. Pack quick meals that work well on the go.
Quick Meal Ideas for Busy Kids
So what makes a great in-transit snack? To serve your kids a great meal on the go, the food should be portable, neat, and compact, to prevent spills or stains from occurring.
Muffins: Blueberry, cinnamon, and cranberry muffins are great meals on the go for kids who want to get their sweet fix in the morning. You can add plenty of nutritious ingredients to your child’s muffins, too! Add flaxseed, rolled oats, and other nutritious ingredients for a wonderful breakfast that travels well.
Bagels: Bagels are another great meal that you can pack and take with you in the car. Pack a little container of cream cheese, or put cream cheese on a bagel slice before you head out the door for a great breakfast.
Taco: Wrap some scrambled eggs, potatoes, and cheese in a flour tortilla for a wonderfully balanced breakfast on the go.
Sandwiches: Make mini sandwiches and package them with napkins so that the kids don’t get crumbs in the car seat. Mini sandwiches will be much less messy than the real deal. A peanut butter and jelly could be the perfect lunch for your little one.
Spring rolls: Spring rolls can be a great meal on the go. Bring some peanut sauce along in a tupperware container. Since peanut sauce has some density to it, it won’t spill all over the car as easily as something less viscous.
Cheese, ham, and crackers: Make mini sandwiches with some whole grain crackers, cheese, and ham. Cut the ham and cheese into slices before you head out the door and put them into a container. This meal is practically mess-proof and nutritious, too!
Fruits: Pick fruits that are portable, like apples and bananas. Grapes are great, too, but if you have younger children, they can be a choking hazard.
Granola bars: Make granolas at home or pick up some Chewy bars at the store for an unbeatable road-ready snack.
String cheese: A classic standby – full of protein, calcium and peel able fun.
Drinkable yogurt: Typically far less messy than the regular type of yogurt and available in lots of delicious flavors. Generally a pretty healthy alternative.
Dessert snacks: For those with a sweet tooth, cookies, brownies, and pudding all travel well. Just beware of crumbs! Cookies and brownies are crumb culprits that can by fought with napkins and a good car cleaning.
There are plenty of tricks that you will discover as you feeding the kiddos on the go. For example, if you want to serve soup, put it in a thermos for portability. The thermos keeps the soup warm and the height keeps it from spilling. Stock up on Tupperware of all sizes for your dips and sandwiches. If you’re planning on taking a road trip or the commute is going to be lengthy to school, transport your food with cold packs and it will surely stay fresh and delicious. With all of these tips for quick meal ideas in mind, you’ll be comfortably munchin’ on the road for years to come.
Every diet, nutrition, or health book will tell you the same thing: eat more fish! Studies show that those who consume more fish are less likely to have diabetes and heart disease, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center. This is namely due to fish’s omega-3 fatty acids, which have been known to regulate your body’s inflammation. Luckily, fish dishes can be easy and extremely quick to make. Try out some of these quick easy meal ideas, which only take about 20 minutes a piece!
Tilapia in Garlic Butter: Garlic butter is delicious and can be great on any kind of fish, really. This butter tastes especially wonderful with tilapia, which doesn’t have an extremely fishy taste like many other fish. Brush your tilapia with garlic butter, along with other spices like garlic, pepper, salt, and paprika to extra taste. Bake for about 15 minutes and serve with a salad or some pasta for a delicious meal.
Pan-Seared Paprika Trout: While trout contains about 5 grams of fat, these fats all come from omega-3s, making them both delicious and healthy. Just one, 3 ounce filet carries about 19 g of protein, making it a great pick for those who need a hearty dose of protein in their diet. All you have to do to make a paprika trout is season fish on both sides with salt, pepper, and garlic powder and cook for about 4 minutes on each side. Serve with broccoli and a spicy sauce for a great meal.
Soy and Ginger Broiled Salmon: Salmon is the reigning king of omega-3s and some studies have shown that this fish may even help with joint cartilage and insulin effectiveness. Luckily, a salmon dish only takes about 25 minutes to cook. Try a soy and ginger salmon, which can be made by simply throwing a marinated salmon in a broiler for about 8 minutes. Serve with peanut noodles and an Asian-style salad with ginger vinaigrette.
Pan-Seared Halibut with Tomatoes: Halibut only takes about 10 minutes to prepare and tastes great when seared in a large saute pan, prepped with grapeseed oil. Serve along with tomatoes, olive oil, garlic and parsley on a bed of fresh greens.
Sweet and Spicy Shrimp Stir Fry: Shrimp, like tilapia, is approachable and mild, and perfect for people that aren’t exactly fish fanatics. Shrimp tastes great in a stir fry with a sweet and sour sauce with lots of vegetables, like mushrooms, bean sprouts, broccoli, and scallions.
If you absolutely despise fish, we understand. Try taking a high quality fish oil supplement to get a good dose of your omega-3s. However, for you fish-lovers out there, next time you want to whip up a great quick easy meal try one of these recipes. The omega-3s in fish may make you feel better than ever!
Studies done at The Annenberg Center for the Digital Future at the University of Southern California report that 28% of Americans have been spending much less time with members of their households, a statistic that has tripled since 2006. If you feel like you’re spending less time with your kids, husband, or wife, you can easily put in some family time in the kitchen and at dinner. Creating family meal ideas and cooking with your family gives you the opportunity to spend more time together and teach your kids how to cook. At first, you may think that the kitchen is no place for a child. Sharp knives, high temperatures, flying oil, and slick floors make the kitchen, at times, a danger zone. However, we’ve thought up some recipes and tasks that your kids can do risk-free.
Elbows and ground beef: For this pasta-based meal idea, you can chop the onion and green bell pepper ahead of time, that way the kids aren’t around sharp objects. If you’re the one cooking, your spouse can be in charge of chopping up the items. After browning ground beef and heating up tomato sauce, have your kids stir the mixture in a Dutch oven, then stir noodles into it. Make sure your child is old enough to be wary of the warm stovetop.
Baked mashed potatoes: Your kids will have a blast smashing and mashing up some cooked potatoes. Your spouse can peel the potatoes (unless you prefer leaving the skin on) and you can boil the potatoes. Kids can pour milk over potatoes, add butter, and mash away!
Pizza: Pizza is the quintessential kid friendly recipe. Any child loves rolling out mushy dough and selecting toppings. Just dice tomatoes and other ingredients ahead of time and watch the kids have a blast.
Chocolate Peanut butter Rice Treats: Whole grain puffed corn and rice cereal can be the perfect base for a healthy mealtime snack to tide the kids over after soccer practice or school. Simply mix peanut butter, granulated sugar, dark chocolate chips, and a touch of vegetable oil. Have your kids measure out the cereal, line two baking sheets with wax paper, and stir everything together after chocolate has been melted (by dad or mom). Your kids will love rolling the cereal into balls and placing them on the baking sheets. Then, just throw the treats into the freezer for 20 minutes and enjoy as a family.
We may not have a whole lot of free time, especially during the week. However, you can easily spend more time with your kids and spouse while cooking up a storm! Next time you’re having dinner, try to plan a family-friendly recipe that you can all make together.