For Parents Whats for dinner?

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Jan 17, 2008
Beetle and I walked in the door at 8:15 tonight.. A typical evening in the household of a gymnast.

First words out of her mouth? Whats for dinner??

Good question... I am tired of hodge podging dinner together and eating left overs.

Tonight she had some tuna and a small salad. I had left over noodles, my other kids had a frozen pizza (Dad fed them dinner...since I was at the gym)

After 6 years of competing and evening practices this is what our dinner rotation consists of:

Pasta with chicken
Pasta with shrimp

Once and a while I come up with a great idea but I am out..

What are your favorite 10 minute meals? I thought we could do some sort of Recipie exchange... my family is burned out on my choices!

Oh - and I don't use a crock pot (I know.. I really need to.. it would make life easier)


Moderator/Proud Parent
Aug 25, 2007
North Carolina
Last night DS and I had spaghetti & meatballs while DH and DD had meatball sandwhiches. I just put a couple jars of spaghetti sauce and some frozen meatballs into the crockpot and let them go most of the day. I work full time ( luckily I can work from home when I don't have appointments) and help out at the gym while DD is there.

We also do Tacos, frozen lasagna (DH will put it in around 6pm so it's ready when we get home), salad. Sandwhiches. Pot roast (sometimes crock pot, sometimes from heat & eat section of grocery store ) with mashed potatos. Burgers or hot dogs on the grill with salad, mac & cheese.


Without a crock pot my family wouldn't ever eat! LOL

I do:
Club House, Slow Cookers, Italian Herbed chicken Very yummy!
Shepherd's pie (not in the crockpot)
Hamburger soup (ground beef, carrots, celery, onion, canned tomatoes, beef broth and barley and spices)
Chicken burgers
Make your own subs

I'm sure there are many more but these are my school year basics. I find having the meat done makes everything so much easier. We use Sidekicks sometimes and here I buy Green Giant Valley selections, Cheddar Pasta for a quick side that has carbs and veggies.
Feb 26, 2007
I make batches of tomato sauce in the summer and freeze it in small quantities. I put tons of other veg in it besides the toms and then blend it so the picky one doesn't know there is celery, and other stuff, in her pasta sauce. I can turn that into so many things in just a short while.

Hubby will make a big batch of pad thai with tofu, shrimp and chicken, this lasts for quite a few days in the fridge and gets better each day.

We cook rice and store it in the fridge so we always have carbs handy. Meals are mostly chicken, pork or fish BBQ'd. With a carb, rice, baguette or spuds with lots of veg/salad.

The girls take their dinner with them to gym, usually leftovers, as they go straight to gym from school. If they are hungry later they usually have a smoothie or cereal. We tend to make larger quantities on the nights we eat together and then the girls eat that all week.

Thursday night is pizza or junk food night. This is their fav night! SOmetimes we do the tacos fahjitas thing, kids love that but it doesn't produce good gym leftovers!

But to be sure it is a challenge to make sure everyone eats right when schedules are all over the place.

For a 10 minute meal, it will always be pasta in my house.


I buy those Perdue individual frozen chicken breasts for DD. They are quick to defrost, and easy to cook so she sometimes eats those with salad. She also eats a lot of cereal for dinner. She doesn't start practice until 5:30, and we are only about 10-15 minutes from gym so that helps. Sometimes she eats something light before, and has cereal or toast when she gets home. She is a picky eater. Luckily she is close so I can come home and cook for the rest of us, but usually try to make it quick as it's getting late by then. Love omlets for dinner, nice and quick. If I have time on the weekends, I'll make a lasagna or stew or something so that we have leftovers.

I also don't do the crock pot thing. Sometimes I buy the store rotiserre chicken, and she'll eat those. During the winter I don't mind cooking it but forget it in the summer. We also do the taco thing. Kids love thin cut chicken with broccoli with the beef and broccoli sauce over rice.

Sometimes I just hate cooking and try to come up with something new!
Jul 20, 2009
Region 3
We use our George Forman grill for ham, hamburgers, hotdogs, anything that can be grilled quickly. It also makes great grilled cheese or quesadillas. Our kids also love Tuna Helper (makes me cringe, but to each their own). We also buy individually frozen burritos, etc., and just nuke them for a quick meal. Leftovers are also great, but you have to cook in the first place to have leftovers. The flippers gym is almost an hour from home, so we don't get home until 9:30. She eats supper on the way (her latest favorite is homemade bread toasted and buttered with already cooked (then rewarmed) bacon. Since she is trying to put a bit of meat on her bones, this is a good option. We've also resorted to Lunchables on occasion. PBJ also works in a pinch. Our kids love taco salad. If the meat is already cooked and seasoned, that can be thrown together in no time flat.


Proud Parent
Mar 6, 2009
Jessica's favorite dinner is ______ with rice.

Buy a few quarts of white or brown rice from your local Chinese take out place (really cheap and you have cooked rice at your finger tips)

toss some cut up Chicken (I try to have some of this pre-cooked in freezer bags) in a frying pan (or pork or chopmeat etc) - once it's cooked I toss in some veggies, broth or cream of____ soup, then toss in the rice - less then 30 minutes you're done. really a matter of cooking the meat of choice and warming everything else up. If oyu have it - toss some garlic and onions in with the meat - oh yum!

I LOVE my crockpot - I toss frozen chicken breasts (or meat of choice), frozen veggies and a can of soup in - cook all day - serve over rice or noodles.

My trick is to have as much pre-cooked / ready as possible.

For example I never cut up veggies - I buy them (onions, peppers etc) pre-chopped and frozen. That alone saves so much time - I just grab a handful from the freezer and toss it inthe pan, pot - whatever . . .

I'll bake chicken cutlets and have them wrapped and ready to add to - whatever

That said Jessica's FAVORITE pre-gym meal is a Chimichunga- which is a frozen - 2 minutes in the microwave - burrito thing I buy from BJs.

After the gym she has a snack - fruit, yogart, occasionally chicken nuggets (if I'm starving and need drive thru LOL)

Hope that helps ! ! !



I use my crock-pot a lot. I make chili, pulled pork and pot roasts. These are all great left-over meals, especially for dh and ds that eat at home more often than dd and I do. I usually pack dd's dinner and have it for her at the gym. We got her a thermos cuz likes Chef-Boy-Ardee Ravioli or beefaroni; soup and a sandwich. PB&J is a good quick idea, she also likes cold chicken tenders. I try to make sure I pack her a good snack before practice and some carrot sticks and fruit for her to have with her dinner.

I know Woman's Day magazine posts a monthly calendar of meals that include left-over ideas every week. Like someone else said, cooking ahead is a great idea but who has the time? :confused:

Midget's Dad

We employ a cook to fix food for us.

In other words...

we eat out a lot.


Proud Parent
Proud Parent
Sep 25, 2007
You really need to get a crockpot! Why don't you like them? It is the easiest way to do some yummy meals. Here are some of my recipes I use. You can do them without the crockpot though, too. Do it ahead of time and you just have to heat and serve. :) I prefer the crock pot though. I put it all in and just set on low and go. :)

Easy Tortilla Soup
Equal parts chicken broth and Salsa
Shredded chicken (I usually use 1-2 breasts, cooked and shredded)
Canned (drain it) or frozen corn
Optional(can of drained black beans)
Garnish with avocado, shredded cheese, tortilla chips, sour cream

Black bean soup
3 cans of black beans (drain 1 and add it to the pot, puree the other 2 with liquid and then add it to the pot)
1-2 cups of chicken broth (depends if you like it thinner or thicker)
1 can mild rotel diced tomatoes with green chiles (or 12 oz jar/1 1/2 cups salsa)
1 can of drained corn
1/2 onion chopped finely
2 cloves of garlic chopped finely
Optional (2 Tbsp lemon juice and 1 tsp cumin powder)

Add all ingredients to a pot, bring to a boil on medium/high and then simmer on medium low for 10-15 minutes. I am never exact on ingredients, still ends up yummy. :) You can add an extra can of beans to make more. Can also put all stuff in crock pot on low for 6-8 hours. I always blend some of the beans to make it creamier, but you don't have to. We serve with cheese crisps. Yum.

Meatball subs
1 bag of frozen meatballs (or about 40 small meatballs, Costco/Kirkland are good)
26oz jar spaghetti sauce

Simmer on low for 4 hours in crock pot (throw it in right before you head to the gym to drop them off)

Serve on hoagie rolls with mozarella cheese on top. Bag of salad and some dressing for salads. Yum.

Other quick things we eat on gym nights:

-Bean and cheese burritos (canned refried beans, flour tortillas, cheddar cheese)
-Chicken and cheese quesadillas (I keep extra shredded chicken in small baggies in freezer, put in the fridge in the AM and it is ready to use in the evening, takes 10 minutes), salsa or guacamole (I use McCormick Guacamole seasoning for this on gym nights, yummy and quick, just make it while pan is heating up so the flavors blend while you are cooking the quesadillas/cheese crisps.
-Scrambled egg/cheese burritos with salsa (sometimes chorizo and eggs, when I cook the pound of chorizo I put it in baggies in the freezer, thaw the morning of and scramble some eggs with it when you get home.
-Sloppy Joes (I brown the ground beef/turkey in the AM, you can brown and then freeze, too, and then it takes 10 minutes till dinner is ready)

I usually serve these with canned/frozen veggies OR canned fruit/ cut up apples/banana. OR they have V8 fusion to drink with dinner (1 serving of fruit AND veggies!!)

Pre-planning and pre-cooking the meat for some things really helps. Buy in bulk, cook and freeze in portion sizes you need. Shredded chicken is great to have like that, ground beef, too.
During practice week, we try to have a home meal as often as possible with as many family members as possible. For this season, that means between the two girls we get to have 3 people at the table at once. Sometimes, it's just the two of us.

Wife isn't working now. If either kid has dance/practice on that day, she reheats some leftover (that I sometimes cook) or instant meal from the fridge (or some sort of take out sometimes) as soon as they are done with school. After she drops them off at the gym/studio, she then drives straight back home (+/- half hour) and prepares dinner for whoever happen to be at home that evening. I then drive home (also 25 mins) to join her/them for dinner for about 15 mins (that's right, my dinner time is about 15 min each night). Then I/we rush back out to pick up either or both of the girls.

As for the food, we always cook extra so that there is left over. Sometimes, I cook after everyone is settled in. We also always have extra ready-to-eat food on hand. Luckily, neither one of our kids is picky eater so they almost always have something wholesome to eat and they make cooking and serving much easier.
Our girls have practice T, W and F nights and we usually get home around 8:30 or so. I try to plan quick meals for those nights - pasta with tomato sauce and bacon (amatriciana) is a big hit. I also make homemade snack wraps (like they have at McDonald's) I just cook frozen chicken strips and wrap them in tortillas with shredded cheese, BBQ sauce or honey mustard sauce (so easy to make) Quesadillas are another quick meal - you can add spinach, cooked chicken/beef,etc. Sometimes we do corn dogs or chili dogs - not the healthiest but it works. We also do tacos or nachos - it you pile tortilla chips on a plate, add meat, refried beans, cheese,etc then pop it in the microwave for about 40 seconds, it melts the cheese and doesn't make the chips soggy.

Oh, and I am another non-crockpot user and I get a lot of flack from my friends because of it LOL
Dec 25, 2008
The Gym
Dinner after practice

I often have lean pockets. They come in so many kinds and they are healthy and quick. I also sometimes have a bowl of cereal with some fruit on the side.


Assuming cheese doodles and vino does not constitute a "family meal" hmm.....

We do lots of "quesadillas" with canned beans, cheese and whatever meat we have in the fridge, chicken, hamburger, steak, pork, bacon, tofu, anything will work. We keep stocked on both flour and corn tortillas, salsa and sour cream and this is a staple last minute dinner.

I second the V-8 fusion. We do a lot of smoothies with this as the base. Where else my kids will get sweet potato juice I just don't know.

Best crock pot meal we do is short ribs in tomato sauce, juice (orange, pineapple, lemonade, whatever you have) onion, garlic, salt, pepper, it's beef and full of fat, doesn't matter what else you put in, it will taste good.
Jan 17, 2008
LOTS and LOTS of Great ideas!

One favorite of ours to share is: Chicken Mac & Cheese.. Make a box of pasta shells, Mix a can of Cheddar cheese soup in it then add a can of shredded chicken and some peas! Mix all together.. YUM.

Second - and you have to trust me on this one - we call it Tac eroni and cheese. Make a pound of taco meat ( or chicken) And a box of mac and cheese. Basically you mix them together, I throw some shredded cheese and broken up tortilla chips and throw it in the oven for 10 minutes to get all gooey.

Finally Meat balls - Frozen meatballs and gravy over noodles. - quick and easy!
I agree with most of what everyone else has said. Best (quick and relatively healthy) foods for kids of a on-the-run family are basically one of these groups:

- some sort of stew/casserole/sauce over noodles
- some sort of prepared meat/veggies over rice
- some sort of grab and go sandwich (hot or cold)
- some sort of pre-packaged or pre-portioned meal

Granny Smith

Proud Parent
Jun 21, 2007
I'm a crock pot cooker here, I just broke it out on Tuesday for the first cook of the season. I made beef stroganoff, very easy and tasty.

Dd is at the gym M, T, Th and F during the week, but I still cook dinner every night. Ds also has his soccer practice (T & F) and CCD on Wed now. Soon he will start wrestling which is T, Th and F. I guess my point is that our schedules are hectic, but I still cook dinner M-Th night. Friday we eat at Subway, Sat we tend to go out and Sun dh cooks.

Tonight I am making grilled cheese sandwiches with tomato soup & chicken noodle soup. Kids request, easy enough!

I also tend to make pork chops with a starch & veggie or steak or chicken.

Pasta once a week - either white clam sauce (can) or red clam sauce (scratch).

I will sometimes do chicken parm. Get the chicken breaded and cooked on Wed when there is no gym and then make it on Thursday.

Dh will make pasta with homemade sauce, meatballs and sausage. Kids love this because he always makes plenty of meatballs so we have enough left over on Monday to make meatball parm sandwiches.

My personal rule of thumb is if we have sandwiches or the like one night, I have to follow it up with a real meal the next night. I think it is a good balance.

The only complainer I have is ds - but that's what he does best!!!! ;)
Last edited:

Midget's Dad

Heh I am starting to feel like we need to be cooking more often.
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