Coming out of quarantine many of us have been preparing a lot more meals at home. I will go out of my way to avoid being a short-order cook for my picky eater. Before you roll your eyes, it’s not because my kids are angels, raised by a dietitian and eat kale for every meal. In fact, that is probably the furthest from the truth. The truth is, I have three small children and I’m too tired to make multiple meals. That doesn’t mean I take off my dietitian hat at dinner time though, I still want to serve my family affordable healthy meals that they will EAT. Whether you have a picky eater or not, I think we all can agree that we don’t want to make multiple trips to the grocery store.That is why I love to shop at ALDI. ALDI has everything I need and it seems that every time I go in I find new great foods to try. At my most recent trip to ALDI I found this 90 second quinoa and brown rice packet that makes a great addition to my taco bar (will share picture). If you haven’t made a trip into ALDI recently you may not know that they have Earth Grown, an entire line of vegetarian and plant-based products, some of the lowest priced organic produce in the grocery industry and a whole line of wine and beer under $10*. I’ve partnered with them to share with you 5 ways I avoid being a short-order cook for my family.
1. Create Simple Meals.
When I have made complicated “kid-friendly” meals with hidden ingredients, it usually turns into a treasure hunt for my picky eater to find the foods she doesn’t like. My kids prefer seeing all the ingredients. Keeping my meals simple with a good protein source and a frozen veggie is a great place to start. I like to use Fremont Fish Market frozen fish and shrimp because no matter what happens at dinnertime I can have it on the table in 15 minutes or less and it pairs really well with a simple frozen veggie and fresh fruit.
2. Build-Your-Own Bars
We love to do build-your-own pizza, burger, or taco bars. Having a build your own bar allows my family to pick what they want but I’m only preparing one meal. I recently shared all my ideas for a build-your-own taco bar on Good Day Kansas check out the segment here.
3. Serve a Less Traditional Meal
4. Pair a Favorite with Something New
My kids, like most kids, love things like chicken fingers, fish sticks and PB&J. I like to serve those things alongside other foods that maybe they have never had or they don’t enjoy as much. I love this recipe for Sweet Potato Salad, it is a spin on traditional potato salad.
5. When All Else Fails, Serve Dessert First!
This summer I have been obsessed with these chocolate covered cookie dough balls. I have served them for breakfast, lunch and dinner. They have a secret though, the base is chickpeas, so I am giving my family a dose of fiber and protein with each bite. I know that in case my best attempts at serving dinner fails, I can trust dessert to provide them the nutrients they need.
For more info, check out ALDI.us, @ALDIUSA on Instagram and Twitter, and @ALDI.USA for Facebook. Use #ALDILove to show off your own build-your-own bar fueled by ALDI.
*Price and availability may vary.