Hey everybody, I need help with meals for my kids.

Hillary - posted on 11/05/2009 ( 23 moms have responded )

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After getting out of work @ 5:00 pm, picking up my kids and not getting home until 6:00 pm I need help with some cheap meals. Meals that are not so 'unhealthy' for my kids, but I can also afford to purchase the ingredients.



Thanks,



Hillary

23 Comments

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Dana - posted on 11/09/2009

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My kids love meat loaf in a crock pot. It is easy to make. Get a box of lipton onion soups mix and the recipe is on the back for meat loaf. But the trick is to have 1/2 more brad crumbs and 1/4 more ketchup to the mix. Instead of baking it then and there. Shape it up and wrap it in press and seal and freeze it. When you are ready to use it put it in the crock pot frozen for 6-7 hours on low depending on how well you want it done. It comes out moist and tasty. Also get steamer bags for veggies. Takes sometimes of of preparing meals.

Paula - posted on 11/07/2009

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Here's an easy crock pot recipes for you.
Sante Fe Chicken
3lb bag WalMart chicken boneless breasts,frozen
1 can rotel
1 can drained black beans
2 cans corn, undrained
seasoning to taste.

Place chicken frozen into bottom of crock pot. Pour vegetables and rotel over top. Cook for 6-8 hours on high. Remover chicken and shred with fork. Return to vegetables and warm thorough. Serve with shredded cheese or with rice.

Enjoy! we use this the lewftover with tortillas chips.

Londa - posted on 11/07/2009

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This one is not so expensive, I don't think. It's a good casserole. Cooks in about 1/2 an hour. My kids always just loved it.



Tator Tot Sausage Casserole



1 smoked sausage

3 sm. cans or 1 lg can of cream of mushroom soup

milk (1/2 of an empty soup can full) about 1/2 a cup equivalent

one reg size bag of tator tots

enough cheese slices to cover the top



Preheat the oven to whatever the temp. setting is on the bag of tator tots.

Put the bag of tator tots in a rectangular baking pan and cover the bottom of the pan with them. Mix the soup and milk in a small bowl. Cover the tator tots with the soup mixture. Cut the sausage in small slices and cover the tator tots and soup with the sausage slices. So, now you have a layer of tator tots, soup and sausage. Don't put the cheese on until the last 10 mins of baking time. Let bake however long the recommended time suggested on the tator tot bag is. When the tator tots seem almost done, layer the cheese slices on top. Usually takes about 6- 7 slices. All according to how cheesy your like it. When it's done. Pull it out, let it cool about 5-10 mins. and serve it up. It's not I guess what you could call the most healthy, but it is very good and all kids I ever fed it to ate it up like crazy. It's got three of the major food groups, so it can't be all bad...lol.



Here's another. I don't know how much you and your kids like tacos, but I have a recipe for Taco Pie.



Taco Pie



One pkg any brand of taco mix

1 pack of flour tortillas

1-2 lbs of hamburger

1 med. size tub of sour cream

1-2 8 oz pkg of fine shredded mild or sharp cheddar (according to how cheesy you like it)



Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Brown the burger, drain grease off, and use the directions on the back of the taco mix to make taco burger. I find using a round baking dish works better, but you can use a rectangular cake pan if need be. Put one tortilla on the bottom of pan. Put a thin layer of sour cream, almost like you would spread butter on it. The sour cream holds the hamburger in place better. Put hamburger taco mix on in a layer on top of sour cream. Put a layer of cheese how much you use is all according to taste. Then put another tortilla on top of that and start over, layer after layer until your satisfied its tall enough. Put a tortilla on the top and cover with cheese. Bake for half an hour. Watch that the cheese on the top tortilla doesn't scorch. If your dish has a lid use it or if not you can wait to put the cheese on the last tortilla when you dish is about 5 mins from being done. Take it out and cut through it like a pie and serve it up, after cooling about 10 mins of course. Of course you can add to it whatever you like on tacos...lettuce, peppers, onions, tomatoes, salsa or hot sauce. I honestly don't know why baking this stuff makes it taste better, but my kids loved this much more than plain tacos.

Alexis - posted on 11/06/2009

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I dont know how old your kids are or your days off but you can do your own "tv" dinners. I will make sauce one day and alot and freeze it in batches so then all I have to do is thaw. Another thing you can do is slow cook, You can add your meat veggies and seasoning with liquid on low or warm and let it cook all day while your gone then when you get home you can eat.

If you thinking of quick meals alone here are a few.

Taco salads
brown ground beef, put on plate with salsa lettuce, cheese, sour cream and use chips to eat it.

Use mashed potatoes flakes as breading, take raw chicken dip in flour then in dressing then in potatoe flakes then cook in oven. OMG its soooooo good we have now been experimenting with season potatoe flakes.

Can of cream of mushroom soup, add it to rice inthe bottom of a casserole dish, add veggies and chicken back till cooked. YUMMO my 11 month old loves this.

Hamburger pie
Can use flakes or real mashed potatoes useing half of a small can of cream of mushroom soup spread on top of mashed pots. then top with ground beef the rest of the soup and top with cheese (can add corn) This is a great thing to make a day a head so all you have to do is heat it up. I was going to the hospital for surgery so I made this and put it in the fridge they warmed it up the next day and again my 11 month old went nuts over it.

GL and have fun

Patsy - posted on 11/06/2009

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Tuna noodle casserole!!! 5 in prep time bake 30 min.

3 cups egg noodles ($1.50 Dollar Store)
1 (9oz) can tuna $0.50
1 large (29 oz) Veg All Mixed Vegetables ($1.50) Dollar Store
1 can Cream of Mushroom Dollar Store $0.50
1 cup shredded cheese Dollar Store $2.00 (one block of cheese will last for at least two of this dish)
Boil noodles while you are combining everything else, then

Combine all ingredients and bake for 30 min. I usually add 2 spoons of mayo in the mix, but that is up to you.

Total cost to make this (twice) around $6-$7.00 and it is so good. My kids and hubby are so picky and THEY LOVE IT!

[deleted account]

I know this isn't totally helpful - but get a crockpot book and use that slow cooker!! You can prepare the food the night before - throw it in before work - then do minimal work for the meal and you have great, nutritious food for your kids. Cheap, easy, buy the slow cooker liners and you have almost no mess.

Becky - posted on 11/06/2009

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Crock pots only run about 15 bucks and are well worth the purchase price. You can throw in some chicken breasts with a can of cream of chicken soup in the morning before you leave and the house will smell great with a healthy meal when you get home and all you will have to do is fix some veggies.It's great for stews and soups and roasts too. You can find tons of recipes and tips online.

[deleted account]

Check out the Cambells soup site. They have lots of casserole recipes. Try looking into other products that you like. Most have websites and recipes. Cereals, Canned Food

Companys. Meat producers. Look up the labels on the web.

Cathy - posted on 11/06/2009

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Hi Hillary! I just got a new cookbook called Busy People's Fast and Frugal recipes, and it sounds perfect for you! I have copied one of the recipes that sounded good to me. I have also found a lot of free recipes on the Cooking for Busy People website you might want to check out too. I hope you like this!





Ham, Green Beans, and Potatoes (One-Pan Meal) 15 minutes

I am not a fan of one-pan meals, but this flavor combination goes together so well that

it seems like they were meant to be together. Kind of like peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. . . . but a LOT healthier!

Ingredients needed

1-pound package diced lean ham

2 (15-ounce) cans sliced new potatoes

2 (14.5-ounce) cans French-style green beans

1/3 cup fat-free Italian salad dressing

1/2 tablespoon dried parsley

1/4 cup French-fried onions, crushed

Instructions

In a 12-inch nonstick saucepan, cook ham on high heat.

While the meat is cooking, drain the potatoes and green beans.

Add the potatoes, green beans, salad dressing, and dried parsley to the cooked ham. Stir until well mixed.

Once it comes to a boil, reduce the heat to medium-low and continue to let it simmer for 5 more minutes to heat thoroughly, and to infuse the seasonings and flavors.

Just before serving sprinkle the top with French-fried onions.



Yield: 51/2 (1-cup) servings

[deleted account]

what ever we eat at dinner I always have a dish of raw veggies and dressing or dip.
My kids will eat some veggies raw when they don't like cooked. I slice up small zuchinni, turnuips, I even peal and slice the big stems off broccoli, I cook the flower part and the kids fight over the raw stems. Carrots cellery califlower even green beans are good raw. And my kids love stir fry. There are little seasoning packets in the oriental food section that give all the directions. This is a good way to use left over chicken,etc.
I always say with stir fry you can feed 20 people with one chicken breast.

Jackie - posted on 11/06/2009

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Oh and please don't feed your darling children hamburger helper. Have you ever seen those noodles go bad. Its not a pretty sight and its definitely not natural. Make your own homemade versions and avoid those chemical processed foods. Its really no better then eating at mcdonalds!

Jackie - posted on 11/06/2009

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Invest in a slow cooker. You can prepare the meal before work and it will be done when you guys walk thru the door. Because its a slow cooker you can buy meats that aren't the top in quality. They won't be tough... they will actually be really soft and tender because thats what the slow cooker is for.

Donna - posted on 11/05/2009

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Chicken and Dumplings



The night before, boil a chicken with salt, pepper, one diced onion, and a little garlic. Debone.

And option to this is to use chicken breasts and thighs.

RESERVE CHICKEN BROTH.



The day of the meal, this next part will only take about 30 minutes.

Put chicken and broth in big pot. If you use a whole chicken, you'll have maybe 5 cups of water and add three cups of milk. Get it hot.

**This part is important - in 1/2 cup of COLD water, put three teaspoons of CORN STARCH. Stir it up and add it to the warm pout of chicken. This iwll act as a thickener.

*Then add two cans of biscuits. I use the cheapest biscuit, off brand, doesn't matter.

Put the lid on and let them cook. This part takes maybe ten mintues.



YUM!

Tammy - posted on 11/05/2009

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hey guys, your missing the obvious!! Tuna Helper, Hamburger Helper, Chicken Helper. They have so many different varieties now and they are pretty good. Also, you can get easy recipes for the "Helpers" on Betty Crocker.com Campbells Soup recipes at Campbellsoup.com........also, try Kraft.com Simple and easy. Good Luck!

[deleted account]

Chow mein in the can costs a few bucks layered over rice! Just heat and serve over 7 minute rice!

Martha - posted on 11/05/2009

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i tried a new recipe last night for tortelini soup it is easy and quick serve with some store bought garlic bread. ingredients are 1 cup beef broth,2 cups water, 1 lb sausage or hamburger browned, 1 can french onion soup, 1 can italian tomatoes,1 can green beans, 1 package frozen or fresh tortelin mix every thing and cook until boiling and tortelini is cooked top with parmesean cheese. you can add different vegetables if you want or use raviolis instead

Elisha - posted on 11/05/2009

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Cheap and easy spaghetti that taste like homemade Spaghetti...I'm Italian..trust me I know!

1lb ground hamburger meat
1mid size bottle Ragu (garlic, tomato, onion)
1onion (chopped or buy the kind already chopped)
1pk mushrooms (optional)

Before you leave for work, brown your meat with the the onion add pepper. Drain grease, add sauce and mushrooms in your crockpot. Put it on low and allow to cook for at least 7hrs...no longer than 10. Prep time takes all of 10mins in the morning to brown your meat...Onions don't have to be fully cooked when browning the meat...it will finish up during the day in the crockpot. When you get home turn it off and start your noodles...you can use spaghetti, Macaroni elbow noodles...ravioli's, ect... My 2yr old loves this! You can't even see the onions.

ANDRENIA - posted on 11/05/2009

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we normally do alot of homestyle bakes ready in 5 minutes in the oven 30 minutes and good to go. Its pretty healthy lots of veggies in the pot pies. Youcan get them at Walmart for $ 3.94 a box or close to it!

Jill - posted on 11/05/2009

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Last night I made a meal my kid's loved. Very cheap and easy.
I went to walmart and purchased bagged ravioli. They were $2.00 a bag. I bought 2 because I have 5 people in my family. Anyway for this meal you will need:

1 or 2 bag's ravioli depending on your family size
1 pound of hamburger meat
1 jar of spaghetti sauce
1 package mozzarella cheese

Boil the ravioli for 5 minutes as directed on the package
cook hamburger meat and season to your liking
once hamburger meat is cooked add your sauce and heat

put cooked ravioli in casserole dish top with your meat sauce and then top with cheese
Put in oven on 400 till the cheese is melted.

Very cheap and look's and tastes like you spent a while cooking it. Cook time is total about a half hour. This meal cost me about $13.00

I hope you enjoy!

[deleted account]

My favorite cookbook ever is called "Deceptively Delicious" by Jessica Seinfeld - the idea behind the book is adding pureed veggies to regular foods to make them healthier but still yummy. I've even gone beyond it and just done stuff like adding cauliflower purees to Kraft Dinner, and it's still yummy but I don't feel as guilty :D

I'm also all about frozen veggies - they're fast and easy to prepare, and healthy, and yummy!

Deanna - posted on 11/05/2009

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For something quick I make Turkey sandwiches,lays or grapes,etc. Next day I will make PB & Jelly with bananas. You can put beef cheeks in the crockpot in the morn and have barbacoa tacos in the evening,all you do is put it on low,garlic,seasoning,and sliced onions. Or even beef tacos,w lettuce tomato,and cheese. Grilled cheese. You could even try different shapes of past with just parmesean over it,w/ veg on the side or a salad. I make sauce for myself,in the freezer section and the store they have some turkey meatballs,my kids love them! Last is take 90min on 350 in the oven season some chicken thighs,add bell pepper& onions cover with foil in a square pan,90min later tender chicken. sides seasoned potatoes and greens beans. Hope that helps! Deanna

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