Ahhh … summer is FINALLY here, and the kiddos are off! That means no (or fewer) schedules, late nights swimming, and lazy mornings. It also means that the children will be home all day. Read: you need to be prepared with easy recipes for kids. I have a few tips on how to manage this below, and I also want to share a recipe for kid-friendly meatballs, which are perfect to have on hand for the little (and bigger) ones. Make a batch on the weekend and be prepared when hunger calls!
Tips on keeping food on hand for when the kids are at home
- Make your grocery list together. Ask your children for suggestions; perhaps they would like to plan a meal, or maybe they have a hankering for a certain food this week. Before you shop, make sure to have a plan.
- Take them shopping with you. There are soooo many lessons to be learned at the grocery store, valuable lessons that will serve them well in years to come. Don’t deny them of this opportunity!
- Be prepared for company. I don’t know about you, but it seems that I can never have too much food on hand. There are the times when the neighbors just drop by, or the last minute invites to a friends where you want to bring something. I like to try to have extras available in case they are needed.
- Double up on fruits and veggies. Hey, even adults sometimes turn to food when boredom strikes. Having additional produce on hand can make a great option for the times when that two-word phrase strikes.
- Be flexible. I’m a 90/10 gal, and I try to keep my kids to 80/20, but I’m flexible. While we won’t do it every day, an occasional ice cream stop or bag of chips out at the pool is all part of the fun summer memories we’re making. Don’t sweat it!
- 2 TBSP Parmesan cheese
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 2 tsp dried oregano
- 1/2 cup bread crumbs GF if needed
- 1.5 lbs. ground beef sub chicken if desired
- 2 eggs beaten
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
In a large bowl, mix Parmesan cheese, salt, oregano and bread crumbs. Add eggs and meat and combine, being careful to not over-mix.
Using an ice-cream scooper (or even a spoon), form meatballs, aiming for the size of a golf ball. Place about 1 inch apart on a foil-lined baking sheet. Bake for 15 minutes; flip and cook for 5-7 more minutes, or until crispy on the outside.
Kid-friendly meatballs are perfect for popping and having available for the kids who are at home; they also make great school lunch add-ins, too. I served these atop of mashed potatoes in the images shown, but they are super with pasta and marinara or as a meatball sub sandwich. #obvs Or some kiddos may just prefer to dip them in ketchup! Another no-fail recipe for the kids is the Broccoli Cheddar Soup, which my kids enjoy year-round.
Now tell me, what do you have planned for the summer?
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These look delicious! Sometimes I cook my meatballs in barbecue sauce and serve with mashed potatoes.
Is each meatball supposed to be 1/4 lb of beef?
Good question – the answer is no, each serving is 1/4 lb of beef. Thanks for asking!
Wow this is an amazing recipe! It was very easy to follow and my 16 month-old loves it! I ve been looking for ways to incorporate beef into his diet and this is definitely a keeper! Even I enjoyed them ?? Thank you for sharing.
Oh yay! I’m so glad you both enjoyed them. Thank you for sharing your feedback!!
Can these be adapted to vegetarian?
Even though there are vegetables tucked into this recipe, I still recommend being honest with your kids about what they re eating. Let them take a bite, be excited about their dinner, and then share the good news! Great recipe, my toddler loves these! Do you need to put the mince through the processor, or could I just mix in the mince? Ta
I am somewhat confused as there are no vegetables in these meatballs. That said, I agree – I’m always a big fan of letting kids know exactly what they are eating. No need to truly hide them aside from the fact that it can influence their taste buds. I hope you get to enjoy these meatballs!
Wow these are great! I made them for my kids and they love them!they have the perfect texture and taste delicious!
These were surprisingly super easy to make and so yummy! Definitely a win-win:)
Wow! My kids 7 and 9 gobbled these up. This is recipe is going in my forever recipe book! It’s a rare moment when my kids gobble up anything these days. And yes, it’s delicious dipped in ketchup, reminds me of meatloaf. Next time I’ll serve them w pasta marinara. Thanks! 🙂