A Dinner Idea

Last week, I let the kids help me meal plan for the week. They each got to pick a dinner we would have one night, and then on the night we had their dinner, they got to cook it. It was a blast!

Bean picked BBQ chicken and “macaroni and peas,” which is something he used to have in preschool. Basically, you mix peas and macaroni and cheese together. He was pretty excited to show us his own special idea since none of us had eaten “macaroni and peas” before.

For Gracie’s night, she wanted salad. She’s a strange little thing. She loves a good salad. And when I tried to convince her to let us have something else with it, like chicken or something, she was adamant. Only salad.

When I went grocery shopping for the week, I decided that I would make an actual salad bar for dinner on Gracie’s night. If we were going to have salad, we might as well get all the fixings! So, on Gracie’s night, she helped put all the toppings into bowls for us.

We had: cucumbers, carrots, green peppers, diced leftover BBQ chicken, sunflower seeds, croutons, bacon bits, celery, and cheese. Next time, I think I’m going to add some spinach to the salad mix. The kids will never even know with all the other stuff they get to pile on.


I also bought a bit loaf of french bread and crisped it up in the oven right before we ate.

The kids loved it because they got to fix their own salads, I loved it because I could accommodate for my diet, and Chris loved it because everyone ate their dinner and we didn’t have to referee dinner for once.

It’s such a simple dinner idea, and with warmer weather coming soon (sooner here than other places in the country, I’m afraid…), I though I would share.

Bon appétit!

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5 Thoughts to “A Dinner Idea”

  1. LIssa

    ew…bacon bits…little crumbles of carcinogens 🙂 But the meal picking is a great idea!

  2. Sara T.

    I do this with my 3 preteen/teen humans! Even at their ages it seriously cuts down on the “What’s for dinner? I don’t like that.” grumbling. After a few weeks even my hubby wanted in on the action. My only request is that their choices for dinner & which night they wanted have to respect whatever activities happen on that night…no massive prep on nights we aren’t home to eat til 8:30pm, etc. Works quite well!

  3. Mae

    This is such a great idea! My kids are pretty good eaters already, but there are those times when even the “fool proof” meals are declined. We don’t really force our kids to eat, but we put a little bit of something on their plate that we know for sure they will eat: fruit so I know they will have a little something in their belly. If they don’t eat enough of their dinner, they know not to ask for a snack or even more fruit bc they won’t get it. Your idea may help them feel like they have more of a “control” over what they are eating. Although Parker will likely choose pizza and Avery will choose chicken fingers. Maybe I’ll ask them to choose the veggies with our meal too. Lol

  4. Becky

    Thank you!!! 🙂 🙂 <3 I and my daughter have loved your meal ideas – separate lttle containers for everything was a huge hit! Food, every day, three times a day, for every body, is such A DRAG. Sharing your fun ideas to make it less tedious is always appreciated.

  5. We have definitely found that if Sullivan is involved in anyway with the choosing of a meal then there is no dinner battle. We have to preface it with “no chicken nuggets or hot dogs” to get a real answer out of him. We also have a step stool that he brings in and “helps” us cook. We try to let him take care of one thing every night.

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