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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    San Jose, CA, USA.
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    1,026

    Default WOTH moms with kids in activities: how do you get dinner on the table?

    Does anybody have any tips for getting dinner on the table super fast? The two boys are crazy busy right now with baseball, and 4 out of the 5 school nights I pretty much only have 20 minutes to get dinner on the table. Any suggestions? I'm not in love with my crockpot - we like corned beef in it, but everything else doesn't taste that great (to me), maybe I just haven't found the right recipes?

    I've tried cooking ahead, but that takes a good 2 or 3 hour block of time on the weekend, which sometimes I just don't have. Sigh.

    My kids eat sandwiches every day at school for lunch, I'm thinking they don't really want sandwiches again for dinner. I guess I could do breakfast for dinner, but that's not really a balanced diet for everyday eating...

    Hit me with your best ideas! I'm thinking that I only need to endure this for the next 3 months or so, and then only a crazy three month period for the next 5 years.

    --Jennifer

  2. #2
    mikala is offline Diamond level (5000+ posts)
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    Aug 2009
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    5,508

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    I SAH but my one year old doesn't have much tolerance for extended cooking so most of my meals are 20 active mins or less. I use my Breville convection oven a lot for frozen foods. I also prepare proteins ahead of time so I can just heat things up and focus on the veggies. Shredded chicken or pulled pork tops pasta with veggies, goes in quesadillas, tops a salad or is mixed with a sauce for sandwiches. Quiche is easy to make ahead. I microwave and then season frozen broccoli or peas as sides.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    The Land of the Tar Heels
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    2,913

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    We stay out and eat. My case is a little different in that I only have one, and he has soccer practice only one night a week. My DH works most weekday nights, but he has arranged to take longer dinner breaks on practice night so he can come to practice and grab a bite to eat with us. It works for us because I really, really don't want to come home at 7:15 and try to cobble together dinner. So local, quick-serve restaurants for the win!

    I do know that once he starts multiple activities, my plan will fall apart, so I'm keeping an eye on this thread as well.
    DS: Raising heck since 12/09

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Location
    NY.
    Posts
    1,645

    Default

    That is our life. I do make soup (chili and stew) ahead and then reheat sometimes. The bulk of our fast meals are: quesadillas, fajitas, hardboiled eggs with veggies (salad for adults but deconstructed for kids), fish (fry it up in a pan or bake-fast either way), frittata, hamburgers, grilled cheese and tomato soup, tortellini or some kind of pasta.

    Honestly, to get my kids to eat healthier I plan the veggies and fruits for dinner and then choose some kind of protein.

    dinner a love story the blog has some good ideas.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Posts
    1,981

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    We eat out a lot. In fact, that is on the plan for tonight after baseball!
    Sweetie Pies, DS 9/2004 & DS 4/2008

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Seattle
    Posts
    974

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    We do not have week night activities yet, but I get home around 6 and everybody is starving and breathing down my throat for dinner.
    I go for part of the meal pre cooked store bought and I supplement. Example
    - make grilled cheese and open a box of TJs tomato red pepper soup
    - Costco spinach flatbread with their toppings or leftover lentils and sour cream/greek yogurt

    I am working on putting out something for them to eat while I cook like edamame, cucumbers(sliced and refrigerated) which helps sometimes curb their hunger.
    DD 04/2008
    DS 06/2012

  7. #7
    egoldber's Avatar
    egoldber is offline Black Diamond level (25,000+ posts)
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    Oct 2001
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    Northern VA, USA.
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    31,114

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    It's hard.

    Dinners are simple. Soups, stews, pasta, salads. Leftovers are critical. And yes, we order in a lot.
    Beth, mom to older DD (8/01) and younger DD (10/06) and always missing Leah (4/22 - 5/1/05)

  8. #8
    MSWR0319 is online now Diamond level (5000+ posts)
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    Jun 2009
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    I'm at SAHM, but it's still super hard to get dinner on the table on nights when the kids have activities. We leave the house before dinner time and get home late so the kids are hungry. Tonight we are doing frozen pizza. Yes, not healthy, but it could be worse.

  9. #9
    o_mom is offline Red Diamond level (10,000+ posts)
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
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    Central IN
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    How long are you gone?

    I have done some crockpot meals where they aren't really cooked in the crockpot, but more kept warm. For example, I put some frozen TJ's meatballs in with sauce on low before we leave and then the second I walk in the door turn on a pot of water to boil for pasta. Some nights we are only gone for 1.5-2 hrs so things don't really cook, but more get heated up. Soup or chili are good for this as well. I really try to make triple batches of things when I make them, like sloppy joes, so we have them ready.

    Otherwise, it's simple stuff or cooked ahead and reheated.
    Mama to three boys ('03, '05, '07)

  10. #10
    sunnyside is offline Sapphire level (2000+ posts)
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    Mar 2010
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    We eat out on nights when we have activities. Or we have a simple grazing style meal with cheese, crackers, veggies and dip, and cut up fruit. Super quick to just cut everything up and then chat while eating. It's just me and a 3 year old though.
    Mama to two sweet girls - Summer 2010 and Spring 2015

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