Every parent with more than one child has experienced the frustration of making sure things are fair and equal, and this pressure can be especially amplified at mealtime. From the number of meatballs on top of spaghetti to the closeness of the peas to the chicken breast, nobody notices minute differences between dinner plate quite like kids. And of course, parents of multiples will probably feel the mealtime-fairness pressure more than anyone!
Cooking can be overwhelming in itself, but cooking for kids can be even more of a challenge. The following make great go-to meals for parents of multiples, no matter what size brood you’re feeding. Not only do they all allow everyone to easily get his or her fair share at dinner time, but they’re perfect for making in big batches when you’ve got multiple hungry mouths to feed! Try out the following lunch and dinner ideas to eliminate one less stress at the dinner table.
Making individual sandwiches, subs or pita pockets for all of your multiples can be repetitive and time consuming. Instead of customizing personalized cold cuts, try melts instead. Simply place pitas, English muffins or slices of bread on a baking sheet, top with slices of tuna salad, chicken salad or turkey and stick a slice of cheese on everything. Stick the tray in the oven for a few minutes and you’ll have a tray full of open faced melts ready for everyone at the same time.
Avoid the argument of “she got more than I did” by having your kids serve themselves instead of having you divvy up portions. Create an assembly line on your kitchen counter and have everyone build his or her own plates. This method works well for meals like tacos and baked potatoes—plus, it will reduce cleanup for you.
One of the easiest ways to feed a large group at once is to choose meals that can be easily sliced and diced. French bread pizzas and flatbreads are easy dinners that can be stuck in the oven and cut into a large number of strips or slices at mealtime. Quesadillas are another good option; make a few big ones and then simply cut them into as many triangles as you need.
When it comes to feeding a crowd, one-pot meals are a parent’s best friend. There are hundreds of dishes that can be cooked up in one big, mess-free pot, and it’s incredibly easy to double, triple or even quadruple these types of recipes—just get yourself a bigger pot! Look for pasta recipes, easy chili recipes and comforting casserole bakes; they’re perfect for feeding big families.
This list is a good starting point for moms looking to cook easy meals for their kids, but it certainly isn’t exhaustive! What are your favorite meals for feeding your multiples?