Plan-Ahead Dinners That Kids Help Prepare

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Planning meals ahead can help you to save a lot of time and energy once dinner time rolls around. As a mother, it is highly likely that you stay busy throughout the entire day. When it's time to prepare dinner, you simply may not have the energy to get around to cooking. This could lead to spending extra money on unhealthy fast foods just because you don't have to cook in order to enjoy a meal. Now that school is out and summer has just begun, it's the perfect time to recruit your kids to help, in order to make ahead some meals that are not only fun to cook together, but are easy to freeze for a later time. Take a break from the stress of everyday life and simply spend some time together in the kitchen. These menu ideas are perfect for preparing freezer meals with the kids.

Beef Stew

While you may have a picky eater on your hands, allowing your child to help you with preparing and cooking the meal may encourage them to try some different food at dinner time. Ask for your kids' help in preparing beef stew, an easy dish that can be frozen and re-heated at a later time when you're scrambling to get out the door, but would still like to enjoy a home-cooked meal. Make this juicy beef stew in the oven, where it will cook for about 5 hours on 250 degrees F. Allow the kids to help cut up vegetables under your supervision, to measure ingredients and to then throw them all into the pot.

Ingredients:
- 2 lbs. beef stew meat
- 1 cup baby carrots
- 4 stalks of celery
- 2 medium onions
- 3 large potatoes
- 1/2 cup flour, 1/2 tsp. pepper, 1/2 tsp. salt
- 2 cups V8 juice

Simply brown the meat in a skillet and transfer all ingredients to baking dish. Bake at 250 degrees F for 5 hours and enjoy. Freeze once cool to enjoy later.

Other Menu and Entree Ideas

Some other excellent kid-friendly menu ideas that the children can help to prepare include Sweet and Sour Meatballs, Basic Quesadillas and Baked Macaroni and Cheese. The classic meal of Macaroni and Cheese is a favorite among children, but making it yourself rather than out of a box will provide you with a healthier option that not only looks good, but also appeals to your kids' taste buds.