Hey Farmer Girl, Can you share some quick and easy kid-friendly meal ideas?
Lauren, Great question! With three kiddos (and some picky ones at that), I am always on the hunt for quick, easy dinners. The problem comes in when it needs to be “palatable” i.e., “what’s my kid actually going to eat”?
First and foremost, I give myself a break. Busy weekdays full of work, play dates, homework, and soccer are not the evenings for grand, Martha Stewart-style meals. I keep my weeknight meals simple and predictable. Kids crave predictability and routine, so it is perfectly acceptable to have Taco Tuesdays. And real, science-y research exists to support this notion. so when it comes to feeding your kids, keep it simple folks. For clean, healthy, yummy and most importantly, quick, meals, I first turn to Farmer Girl lean, protein-packed ground beef.
Way before Farmer Girl was even a glimmer in my eye, I fed my kiddos our ground beef straight from the fam farm. And as a very brief reminder, here’s why: per four-ounce serving it packs a whopping 21 grams of protein, 60 milligrams of Omega-3s, has no sugar and is low in calories. As a mother I say yes, please! And ground beef is super quick to get to the table. It takes about five minutes to brown and is an instant blank canvas for healthy, superhero-worthy meals. I often pull from five food genres when I’m choosing dinner – Mexican, Italian, Greek, Asian and American. Add some spices from these categories and bam! you have a power-packed meal with our yummy ground beef!
Italian: Spices for Beef: Basil, oregano, garlic, salt, pepper. Homemade sauce is easy peasy to make. Brown the ground beef, add some onion, chopped tomatoes, tomato sauce, and a bit of tomato paste. Add seasonings. Simmer for a couple of minutes. Done!
Dishes: Spaghetti, Italian Sloppy Joes, meatballs, lasagna, baked pasta casserole.
Greek: Spices: I like a healthy dose of Spice Islands Greek Seasoning, pictured here.
Dishes: Gyros, gyro lettuce wraps, flatbread pizza, casserole.
Chinese: Spices for Beef: Chinese five spice, any peanut sauce, soy sauce, plum sauce. Dishes: Stir-fry, lettuce wraps. Or just serve with a bed of rice. It doesn’t have to be complicated!
American: Spices for Beef: Salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, and any other spice your family is partial to! Dishes: Burgers, meatloaf, Sloppy Joes, chili.
The great thing about many of these dishes is that you can cook up a big batch of ground beef on the weekend and use it throughout the week to create new and tasty dishes. Another way to make your weeknight dinners quick and easy is by preparing the meal and freezing. Pop out the dish and pop into the oven or stovetop and into your kiddo’s mouths in a flash.