Easy Meals for Busy Parents

Estimated time to read 5 minutes

Between job obligations, social outings, kid’s playdates, household chores, and MUCH more … meal prep is often the very last thing on a busy parent’s mind!

If you’re juggling multiple plates in the air at once, anxiously waiting for one to drop, you are not alone. Time-strapped parents don’t have time to make elaborate breakfast, lunch, and dinner, which is why easy meals for busy parents is key to making a household run efficiently.

In this blog post, we’re sharing simple meal ideas for busy parents to turn to on days when nothing seems to go right…but at least you can rest assured meal time goes smoothly!

Family dinner recipe ideas

Parents often ask themselves, “how do I make family dinner recipes healthy?” After all, many of the meals we grew up on aren’t always the healthiest, and those meals may include ingredients that, due to dietary preferences or restrictions, you or your children can no longer have.

But fear not! We’re sharing a few family dinner recipe ideas sure to please everyone at the table and keep the whole crew feeling full and happy all night long.

Cheesy tomato soup spaghetti

Spaghetti is just a liiiitle messy … which makes it a flavorful favorite dish of kids! This recipe is easier than ever, consisting of just 6 simple ingredients. Proper Good’s Tomato Basil Soup provides the base for the sauce, and this plant-based, gluten-free soup has all of the rich flavor without any of the bad stuff! ;)

Tomato Basil Spaghetti Recipe - Eat Proper Good

Add in ground beef, cream, and cheese, and voila! An excellent topper to spaghetti noodles. Keep in mind that if you’re lactose intolerant, you can always swap out the heavy cream for another option, like oat milk. If the mixture feels a little too thin, add a tablespoon of flour to thicken it up.

Healthier oven fried chicken tenders

Dippable, flavorful, and fun, chicken tenders are a favorite kids’ meal. For busy parents, it’s super easy to pop in the oven! However, frozen chicken tenders are often filled with sodium and preservatives, making them a less nutritious meal option for families looking to eat healthy.

The good news is that chicken tenders are easier than ever to make at home! Oven fried chicken tenders are healthier than store bought varieties, and this recipe from The Busy Baker is a lower fat alternative that doesn’t compromise on flavor. A fun dinner idea could be to make these chicken tenders and have a variety of healthy dipping sauces for kids to try and choose from! In stores, there are often low sugar, dairy-free options for ranch, BBQ, buffalo, and more.

Chicken pot pie

There’s something so comforting about a dish that uses a warm pie crust, isn’t there?! Chicken pot pie is a cozy staple, and it can be made using a variety of ingredients and healthy swaps. Proper Good’s Cream of Chicken adds a nice creaminess to this pot pie and is made with collagen-rich bone broth. Plus, it includes a whopping 20g of protein and zero added sugar!

Chicken Pot Pie Recipe - Eat Proper Good

This dish is amazing as a standalone, but if you’re craving a side dish or have a bigger group at the table, ham and scalloped potatoes pairs well with pot pie.

Cheesy pepperoni buns

These cheesy pepperoni buns are reminiscent of bagel bites, a kid-favorite after-school snack. But with a homemade touch! For picky eaters who won’t go near a vegetable, this family dinner recipe idea fits the bill. No “out there” ingredients, yet still delicious!

Pizza sauce delivers a rich tomato flavor, and the combo of buns, ground beef, pepperoni, and cheese let busy parents spend minimal time in the kitchen.

One pot broccoli and lemon pasta

It’s no secret that children aren’t always thrilled to eat their veggies. But when those veggies are mixed with other tasty ingredients, even the fussiest little ones can’t complain! ;)

This one pot broccoli and lemon pasta sneaks a serving of broccoli into your kiddo’s daily routine, while olive oil, garlic, lemon, and parmesan adds flavor. A side of garlic bread would go well with this dish!

Proper Good soups

Family dinner recipe ideas have never been simpler with Proper Good, because, well … sometimes you just don’t feel like cooking at all! And that’s perfectly okay when you have a nutritious, delicious option like Proper Good in your pantry.

Chicken Noodle Soup - Eat Proper Good

Here’s a fun family dinner idea: get a Proper Good soup delivery of 6 different varieties, then have everyone pick their favorite! Everyone can enjoy their favorite soup on family movie night or before playing board games, and you can make these easy grilled cheese ghosts to dip, we made this dish for Halloween but you can easily make stars, hearts or other fun shapes to dip any time of the year!

Our picks

Cream of chicken soup

The ultimate veggie and hummus sandwich

This sandwich is perfect for children who are more adventurous with the foods they eat! Hummus is a Middle Eastern spread made from cooked, mashed chickpeas and blended with tahini, lemon juice, and garlic. 

The great thing about this sandwich is that you can add any veggies you want! Hummus is versatile and goes with any type of bread and vegetable. Choose from vegetables like zucchini, carrots, peppers, lettuce, and more.

Healthy broccoli cheddar and bacon quiche

While quiche is often enjoyed at the breakfast table, it can also be made using ingredients for dinner time as well! Who says breakfast can’t be for dinner, anyway? (certainly not us! We love breakfast for dinner)

Healthy Bacon Quiche - Eat Proper Good

This quiche uses creamy Proper Good broccoli cheddar soup combined with eggs and whole milk in a pre-made pie crust. We’ve also taken the guesswork out for you and suggested a few tasty “add ins” for this quiche, like bacon, black pepper, parsley, and shredded cheese!

Southwest chili quesadilla

Why go to a restaurant for a quesadilla or splurge on pricey delivery when you can make a flavorful, healthy quesadilla at home? This southwest chili quesadilla recipe is a busy parent’s dream–consisting of 1 pouch of Proper Good Southwest chili, cheese, guacamole, and tortillas, you can throw this together at the last minute.

Wondering how to make family dinner recipes healthy? Well now you know that it is simpler than it looks! And, family dinner recipe ideas don’t have to be complicated or expensive. Just a few ingredients is all you need to whip together a meal that is filling, nutritious, and delicious!

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