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How-To: Parent's Meal Hacks

Astrid Adam
Content Manager at SideChef. Lover of Brie cheese, cake, and sweaty bike rides.
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Astrid Adam
Content Manager at SideChef. Lover of Brie cheese, cake, and sweaty bike rides.

September has us in the back-to-school mode and we’ve been looking for quick and easy meal ideas. We turned to some of our favorite parents for the scoop on feeding families. Whether you’re a family of one or a family of eight, read on for creative and simple dinnertime solutions.

Brad, Father of 6 (!) has the following tips:

Plan and prep
If you think of families, you think of busy moms and working dads. After a long day, if both parents get home and haven't a clue what's for dinner, fast food is going to be the solution, you gotta feed the kids! If you have a plan, but you still need to stop by the store for ingredients, then the family will end up eating later than usual. It's a good idea to plan your meals for the week and ensure all your grocery shopping is done. If there's time in the evening, prep so you don't need to cook as long the next day. For example, cut your onions, maybe even pre-cook your rice or beef. Plan. Prep. Period.

Brad’s favorite meal to serve his family?

Tomatoes, carrots, broccoli, cucumber... There's no real cooking. Wash/cut your veggies, serve them with some ranch or french onion dip alongside tuna and crackers and you’re good to go. There's little prep, and it's healthy. Oh, and get some cheese in there too.

Sue, Mother of 3 suggests....

Tips for cooking for a family?
Make sure what you are making for the whole family is one of their favorite meals and will be enjoyed by all. Sometimes a meal of each family member’s favorite is a good idea combined at the table.

Go-to meal?

Roast chicken, grilled seasonal veggies, potato bake and a salad! Why.....because I know they’ll all enjoy it! If it’s a special occasion, follow with a Pavlova.

Courtney, Mother of 2

Tips for cooking for a family?
Chicken, chicken, and chicken. Roast a chicken at the beginning of the week and use it to build meals for the entire week.

Go-to Meal?

Hawaiian Delights! Bread of your choice, topped with tuna salad, a pineapple ring, and a slice of cheddar cheese. Put it under the broiler till the cheese is bubbly and boom! Dinner is ready. Another favorite in my house is a taco bar.

Toria, Mother of 2

Favorite family meal?
One of our favorite foolproof meals is Berrylicious French Toast Casserole. What’s great about this recipe is that kids can have their very own signature breakfast dish that will definitely please a crowd.

May Ly, Mother of 2

What do you pack your children for lunch?
Some of my children’s favorite meals for school are bolognese dip (using cucumber boats or occasionally as a treat organic corn chips), steamed vegetables, and poached chicken with nut-free pesto, grain-free pizza, meatballs and veggies, shredded beef and vegetables, and homemade bacon and vegetables.

Additionally, Chef’d Meal-Kits are a great option for busy families. No trip to the store necessary!

Happy Cooking!

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