Evenings are often full of homework, extra-curriculars, laundry, and a whole lot of busy. Is it any wonder that it can be difficult to find time to make a meal? Give yourself a break this week! With a little bit of planning and preparation on the weekends, your home can be stocked full of ingredients for simple meals kids can make all on their own.
Prepare salad ingredients for the week and store them in plastic containers in the fridge. Whenever the kids need a quick meal, they can pull everything out, build a salad, add a bit of dressing, and voila! Instant dinner.
Everyone has to start somewhere, and putting together a good old-fashioned PB&J is a great way to learn. Using a butter knife to spread ingredients over bread is a fabulous fine motor skill that even the smallest children can develop. And hey, the kids can get even more creative trying new combinations like peanut butter and bananas, hazelnut spread and sliced strawberries, or even something new like cream cheese and veggies. And don’t forget old favorites like ham and cheese; pre-sliced ingredients make for even easier prep!
Microwaved Bagel Pizzas
The microwave is usually an appliance older kids don’t need to be afraid of. Teach your children how to use your particular model and leave sticky notes with heating directions whenever necessary. Keep a few simple pizza ingredients in the refrigerator – sauce, pepperoni, shredded cheese, and bagels – and kids can make their own bagel pizzas and heat them in the microwave for 1 to 1 ½ minutes.
Quesadillas or Nachos
Plain cheese is nice, but if you plan ahead, you can provide the kids with shredded chicken, peppers, and other tasty additions they can place between a couple of tortillas (or layer on chips) and warm up in the microwave. Don’t forget to keep a bit of salsa and sour cream around for dipping!
Fruit and Yogurt Parfait
It doesn’t get much easier than this – a little frozen fruit, yogurt, and some granola to top it off make a tasty parfait. Kids will love layering the ingredients and won’t need to come running to mom and dad for help!
Chicken Caesar Wraps
Purchase a simple Caesar salad kit from the grocery store, then spend a little time cooking chicken breasts and slicing them lengthwise. Kids can make a wrap in minutes with a tortilla, chicken from the fridge, and lettuces and dressings from the salad kit.
French Toast Skewers
Cut your next batch of French toast into cubes and store them in the freezer. When you’re busy and the kids get hungry, they can take some out, warm them in the microwave, layer them on a skewer with fruit, and drizzle with syrup. Yum!
Sometimes a busy parent just has to let the kids feed themselves! Try these ideas for no-cook breakfasts if your mornings need to be simplified.
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Kayla Lilly is a photographer, writer, wife, and mama making a house a home in eastern Idaho. She met her mister while working at an amusement park and married him a year later after deciding there was no way to live without him. The amusement has continued as they’ve added three kids and a passel of pets to their lives while finishing college and starting a photography business. Drawing inspiration from the whirlwinds of marriage, parenthood, and the media, Kayla blogs at Utterly Inexperienced, and spends the rest of her time chasing chickens, organizing junk drawers, diapering toddlers, and photographing everyone willing to step in front of her lens.