Kid Friendly Dinner Ideas For Busy Nights

Get ideas for kid-friendly dinner for busy nights in this story sponsored by CVS/pharmacy! #CVSTrailMakers
kid friendly dinner ideas for busy nights

Whoever said summer was all about taking it easy and relaxing had it wrong. I really think we’re more busy in the summer than during the school year! From summer camp to swim lessons and playdates, not to mention work, church and other social commitments, our family is always on the go. I’m not complaining, though. We love getting out and being active. The only time an issue comes up is when we don’t take the time to plan our schedule. Then we’re all, “Wait…you didn’t eat dinner?” Totally not our best parenting moments!

Because there have been so many instances where we’ve had to race to the drive through because we forgot about feeding Ayva before swim/soccer/Bible class, we keep things in the house to be able to make something quickly. Thursdays are notoriously packed for us, regardless of the time of year. It just seems like that’s the day when the 3 of us are going non-stop. Tonight, Terrence walked in from work and had just enough time to change into jeans before he took Ayva to her swimming lesson. Before they went, I made Ayva a fruity smoothie to take with her to fill her belly a bit, but not too much, before swimming.

CVS/pharmacy’s Gold Emblem Abound line is filled with all sorts of yummy snacks and light meal solutions. The best part about them is that they don’t have any artificial preservatives or flavors, and there are tons of gluten free and organic products, too! For Ayva’s fruit smoothie, I blended 1 cup of Gold Emblem Abound Organic Grape Juice, 1/2 cup of mangos, and 1/2 cup of strawberries. After she left, I remembered that we had flax seeds and spinach and could have added those, too. Ah well, next time!

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For dinner, I made Gold Emblem Abound’s Macaroni & Cheese. They were on sale at CVS/pharmacy, so I picked up a couple of boxes. Ayva and Terrence didn’t have time to wait for me to make it before they had to leave, so I made it for myself. Adding broccoli and cracked black pepper makes the Shells & White Cheddar a real meal. For dessert, I had a a handful of the light and sweet Strawberry Crisps. There’s no sugar added, so I didn’t feel bad for indulging!

Is your family super busy and active like ours? Here are a few things to keep in mind when you’re trying to come up with ideas for quick kid-friendly dinners:

1. Add vegetables. 

Just because you’re short on time doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice nutrition. While the water for my mac & cheese was boiling, I steamed broccoli in the microwave. Everything finished up at right around the same time. You could also add peas, spinach, or chunks of meat. I know. Meat is not a vegetable.

2. Smoothies can be dinner.

Don’t rule out smoothies in the evening! Add lots of fruit, something green and flax seeds (or even oats!) and it can be just as filling as a burger.

3. Get snacky with it.

Cheese and whole grain crackers with a side of grapes. Strawberries, pretzels and a cup of yogurt. If you have little kids and things are really, really busy, you can get away with a snack dinner once in awhile. The most important thing is that your child isn’t trying to do activities or go to sleep on an empty stomach. The good thing about snacks for dinner is that your little one is likely to eat everything you put in front of them because it’s fun to eat snacks for dinner. Ask me how I know. 😉

Busy nights also mean that it’s tough to get to the market, too. Make a stop at your local CVS/pharmacy to pick up a few staple items and snacks to keep on hand for nights when time gets away from you. Oh, and don’t forget to use our ExtraCare rewards card for savings and coupons! I save at least a couple of dollars every time I go. Don’t let busy nights win. You can rule them and feed your kids. You got this!

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 Disclosure: I’m proud to partner with CVS/pharmacy as one of the “Gold Emblem Abound Trail Makers” this year! I am being sponsored by CVS/pharmacy for my Trail Makers posts and activities, but all opinions expressed are my own, and all product claims or program details shared should be verified at CVS.com or with the appropriate manufacturers.