Toddlers: 12 - 24 Months

Need Dinner Ideas

DH works out of state a few days a week so when it comes to dinner it's only myself and DS. Back in the day (and even still now) on these nights I'll eat a big lunch at work and either eat a bowl of cereal in the evening or a light snack.

Well now that I have DS I would like to cook us dinner, or at least him, but it has to be on a smaller scale.  I'm not a huge cook but it's important for me to make sure DS has a healthy home cooked dinner.

DS is on all table food now and is a pretty good eater.

Anyone in this situation or do you have any tips/advice on good dinners on a smaller scale?





Re: Need Dinner Ideas

  • In a pinch I do baked potatoes in the microwave, then when they are nearly done I smash them open, throw some peas, broccoli, salsa, baked beans or tuna and some cheese on top then pop it back in the microwave to heat up the topping and melt the cheese.

    I also often use our Hamilton Beach indoor grill (it's like a george foreman).  I grill boneless chicken or pork chops.  I pair it with a microwaved/baked sweet potato and some other veg and it's a pretty quick meal.  Generally takes less than 15 minutes to prep and cook.  The grill is easier for me to manage while I'm watching L alone than a bbq.

    I also love making him home made mac and cheese with whole wheat pasta and I throw some ham or sausage in it and veggies like steamed broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, peas or green beans.  I make enough to last a few meals and freeze the extra or save it for lunches the next couple days. 

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  • One alternative idea to the smaller scale is to do a normal batch and freeze the rest in small portions. Then you have quick meals for other nights too.
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  • image mainerocks:
    One alternative idea to the smaller scale is to do a normal batch and freeze the rest in small portions. Then you have quick meals for other nights too.

    This is what I was thinking - I'm all about some crock pot cooking

    Mexican is a good go-to for us. DS loves quesadillas

    Pasta dishes are also a good portion control meal, you can make as much or as little as you like 


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  • I typically microwave a sweet potato, half it and cut it up into squares. I give him one half and put the other half in the fridge for later or the next day's lunch. Same thing with canned vegetables. He loves green beans, sweet peas and carrots. I also boil several pieces of chicken strips and cut that into smaller pieces. Oh and pasta. I buy the swirly kind (can't think of the name right off) and put a small amount of olive oil and then sprinkle it with Parmesan cheese. 

    I always try to give him fruit so on the go, I grab a 4 pack of Kroger's fruit cups and drain out the juice.  Very easy!


  • One thing we do if it is just DH and DD or DD and I is fish.  We buy the freezer packages with single servings in them.  That way we can just take out 2.  DD loves fish and tilapia and salmon are her favorite!  We always have a fruit and veggie to go with and sometimes add rice or something.
  • I always keep applesauce, canned and fresh fruit, yogurt and frozen veggies on hand, and usually if I don't have a specific meal planned, I heat up some meatballs I have frozen and do pasta with it, or chicken and rice. I also buy frozen chicken from tyson that is pre-grilled / cooked then frozen and you just have to re-heat in the oven (or microwave), it is very quick and you can use lots of different sauces or marinades, or even plain and it is actually pretty good. The pieces are pretty small so 1 is perfect for DD usually.


    Crock put chili is also a favorite of hers, and she loves baked beans too. I also found she loves naked burritos (just cook up some canned beans, rice, add some salsa or sauce and add some cheese and and sour cream). 

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  • Blackbeans and rice are quick & easy. For ds I just put them in a bowl, for me I wrap it into a burrito with cheese & salsa. We bought a big bag of frozen mixed veg. I take a handful of that out & microwave it as a side. Frozen ravioli is easy to make small portions. Cheese quesadillas or grilled cheese are our go to when I don't feel like cooking much. Also, ds loves scrambled eggs, so we do that for dinner too.
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