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Baseball and Busy Nights: Easy Family Meals

In our household, spring brings lots of great things: baseball and busy nights. It has been a pretty tough year, and we are slowly coming out of this hibernation and social isolation. The kids are back to school in person and really seem to be benefitting from seeing their peers.

With this in mind, we’ve decided to allow the boys to play baseball. That’s great news for everyone! The boys are (all 3, including B) very excited to have something to do, friends to see, and a bit more structure to their day.

B has been going in to work every day, and I have recently returned to a work schedule in the office and at school sites. With this in mind, it will make things far busier. There will be many a night that we stop by the house, get changed, and roll on out the door. All of you parents know, it is tough! It can be so tempting to just put it off and pick up something on the way home, but I know that isn't the best for everyone, especially when it will be part of our regular routine for a few months (we hope).

Apparently, you are supposed to continue to feed your children, even when you are busy. So, that leaves us with the need for some creative options for meals.

So, I decided to round up some of my favorite quick dinner recipes in case you are feeling the same way. These recipes are healthy-ish, easy on the prep, and will have you and the kiddos eating in no time.

Here's the key: We plan to build a dinner plate into their lunch box. We use these bento box lunch boxes, which we love! Easy cleanup, portable into a cooler bag, and they keep things at the proper temperature.

I love these because, although a bit spendier than a traditional lunch box, they clean up easy and we don't have a million of those tiny kid Tupperware that just seem to get lost. Also, we aren't using a lot of Ziploc bags, so I feel like we are helping out Mother Earth a bit.

Take to the Field Meals

Some of these meals are a bit improvised on our end, and I did a little digging for some links that I thought looked great. I will admit, this section is a little self-serving. As I looked at our calendar, I realized that there are a few nights where the kids have back-to-back games and will certainly be hungry at the field. So, you can benefit from my planning! Sharing is caring, after all.

"Snack Dinner"- I always give them parameters and then let them build away. Usually, they must include at least one of the following: a carb (like pita bread), a fruit (go for berries that don't need to be cut up), a protein (hard-boiled egg, lunchmeat, cheese, etc.), a veggie (baby carrots or cherry tomatoes are popular at our house), and a treat (think about trail mix with M&Ms or something they can nibble on).

"Burrito on the Go"- Growing up in AZ, our kids love all the Mexican food they can get. If we have chicken the night before, I can plan ahead and make some extra. Throw it in a tortilla, wrap it up with some toppings, wrap it all in foil and pack it away. Think about all the burrito combos you could make: bean and cheese, various meats, black bean mash, even falafel with Greek yogurt! Then, just bring some extra snacks (chips and guacamole?) on the side and you are feeding kids at the field!

Lentil and Farro "Falafel" - Check out this link to a make-ahead faux falafel patty recipe by Maui Flower Child. It takes a little planning ahead, but this could be a great meatless option for on-the-go nights. The kids can have a variety of dip options and some fruit on the side, and I can top a salad with it for a filling adult option. I am definitely going to try these! (concept/photo credit: Maui Flower Child)

Sandwich Sushi- use a tortilla or rice paper wrap to roll up your kiddo's favorite sandwich and slice into sushi-sized rolls. The novelty is so much more fun than a regular sandwich! Pair it with grapes, and carrot sticks!

Caprese Kabobs- Get some good old-fashioned kabob sticks and some spinach, basil, mozzarella, cherry tomatoes, and store-bought tortellini. Boom. is genius for coming up with this one! (concept/photo credit: ParentMap)

Greek Quinoa Bowls- Make some quinoa ahead of time. Each bowl can get a 1/3 or 1/2 cup scoop of this protein-packed grain and then topped with any favorites! Our kids sometimes want Greek style, with kalamata olives, crumbled goat cheese, cucumber, oregano, tomatoes, some canned (rinsed, drained) chickpeas, and anything else easy we have on hand. You could also do taco sauce, grilled chicken, avocado, black olives, and green onions. Feeling a little extra hipster? Pack them up in a mason jar! But, a good old-fashioned bowl with a lid works perfectly well also.

I hope these links and resources give you some new ideas! I know that sometimes we can get in a bit of a rut and eat the same meals over and over again.

Remember to keep life fresh,


Disclosure: Bear in mind that some of the links in this post are affiliate links and if you go through them to make a purchase I will earn a commission. Keep in mind that I link these companies and their products because of their quality and not because of the commission I receive from your purchases. I hope you enjoy these products as much as I do!

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Annie Dozeman
Annie Dozeman
Mar 09, 2021

I love these ideas for quick dinners. Having the kids have the choice of what they want is awesome, it makes them feel like part of the family when they help with their baseball dinners.

Mar 14, 2021
Replying to

Thanks, Annie! I am finding that the more they are involved, the more adventurous they are with new flavors!

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