Every now and then we have a dinnertable crisis in our house.
When I say we, I mean I.
I get fed up of cooking what feels like the same five dishes over and over again, and I get frustrated when I cook something different and then the kids won’t even try it, especially if it’s something I have made three dinners’ worth of for the freezer.
So, after one of these dinnertime debacles I sat the boys down at the table and I got them to tell me dinners that they like, and that they promised if I made that they would eat. Easy. They have asked me to refer to the list a couple of times to check whether they really said that they like it, but it’s been mostly going OK.
So, here is the list of 21 real life dinners that my children have told me that they will eat. Some only one child will definitely eat, some require modification like, no vegetables being removed, but I’m hopeful. You’ll notice a lack of certain food groups, my children enjoy carbs, to get them to eat anything else is a bonus. Here, technically is three weeks’ worth of dinner ideas, although in our house we just repeat the most enjoyed (and most easily freezable) more often than that.
Yes, there’s what you might call “junk food” listed, but if you have it once in a while it’s grand, and sure there’s 21 dinners to choose from. You can also make healthier versions of the meals that might initially seem less healthy. Here they are, in no particular order.
- Meatballs and Pasta: 100% success rate, I buy premade beef ones and add my own homemade tomato and veggie sauce.
- Sausages and Mash: Veg on the side (no surprises there).
- Pizza: They prefer the Aldi one from the chiller to home made, ah well.
- Chicken Nuggets/Goujons – homemade, frozen, butcher’s, they love a goujon, served with mash, oven chips or in a wrap (that’s three dinner ideas right there).
- Fajitas: With chicken, grated cheese and optional salad veg, I prefer homemade spice mix, they prefer the blue mild one from Old El Paso.
- Fish Pie: I make a simple fish pie which is one of my six-year-old’s favourite dinners. It’s on his brother’s “no way” list
- Shepherd’s Pie: The smaller boy’s favourite, he’ll even eat the carrots in it (most days)
- Chili Con Carne: My kids love all mince dinners so this list contains a lot of them, chili con carne is a firm favourite, made from scratch.
- Chicken and Broccoli Bake: one will eat around the broccoli but it’s still eaten.
- Fish Fingers/Goujons: What? If they’re good enough for Jamie Oliver, they’re good enough for my small girl who tasted them for the first time last week and ate three.
- Burgers: Home made are best, but the butcher makes great ones too. Grill them or cook on the barbecue, lob on some homemade wedges and it’s a feast, keep it more wholesome and serve with mash and vegetables.
- Sausage, Bean and Leek Casserole: A bowl of comfort, except when one child declares that he’s “off leeks at the moment”.
- Courgette Carbonara: Our staple quick dinner that always leads to clean plates.
- Spaghetti Bolognese: I use a Rachel Allen recipe that’s divine, tomatoey and vegetabley and sweet and meaty, no other recipe I’ve tried tastes as good.
- Pasta Pesto: This makes the cut about once a week as a handy dinner, I prefer the Aldi one from the chiller, they prefer the jar. To make things exciting sometimes we use red pesto.
- Greek Chicken and Couscous: I make a dish inspired by the one from Jamie Oliver’s 15 minute meals. Depending on what variations I use the kids will eat it.
- Chorizo and Chickpea Stew: I’ve one unsure about this and two who just love it.
- Pasta Pomodoro: Pasta (preferably fusili) in a homemade tomato and vegetable sauce
- Cheesy Broccoli Pasta Bake with Pancetta: Again, one eats around the broccoli but this goes down well despite that.
- Tomatoey Pasta Bake: Pasta, Pancetta, homemade tomato pasta sauce sprinkled with cheese and oven baked.
- Cowboy Stew: More sausages, and beans too.
If you’re looking for more dinner inspiration check out my “Week in Dinners” page where I list what we ate for a week for dinner, and where other bloggers shared their weekly menus too in a linky, lots of food for thought. Sorry.
I’m still in shock that there are 21 dinners that they will eat!
What are the dinners that you know will get eaten at your table?
PS My lovely Zazzle giveaway is still open- check it out on my Facebook page on the Giveaway tab.