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What do normal families eat for dinner?

(44 Posts)
youaremychocolatecake Mon 09-Dec-13 00:21:22

I need some inspiration. In love cooking and had a pretty good routine going before I got pregnant with number 2 and simultaneously went off food and had zero energy.

I worked part time so on my days off I'd do some kind of recipe like a fish pie or toad in the hole, lasagne, curry or sometimes something a bit more involved. On my work days it would be something in the slow cooker or something I could pre-prepare in the morning and heat up/finish off later (I was good, not sure what happened?!) I used to plan meals 10/14 days in advance and do a big online shop.

I like my son to eat the same as us wherever possible and I never tended to use frozen stuff or anything convenient like old El Paso. I don't have anything against them - infact this is where I think I may be going wrong.

Anyway, cut to now and I'm just rubbish! I hardly ever do a big shop, I can't get inspired by food anymore and with a newborn baby to deal with it's all just a bit too much effort. We keep getting takeaways confused

Also now my oldest has started school he comes out starving so I feel like I need to feed him there and then!

I need ideas of what everyone eats for dinner in an average week. I don't feel I have the time or energy to be getting the recipe books out 5 times a week now. Simple family food.


Onesleeptillwembley Mon 09-Dec-13 01:15:50

What's a normal family? gringrin

CogitoErgoSometimes Mon 09-Dec-13 09:07:12

OK I'll go.... family of two

Yesterday. Roast chicken etc Quite a lot left over
Today. Omelettes with salad
Tuesday. Chicken/Veg Fried Rice using remainder of roast chicken. Carcass will be turned into stock.
Wednesday. Chunky ham/bean/lentil/veg soup (made with the chicken stock and using up a gammon joint from last week) with bread
Thursday. I have an evening hobby so it'll be 'Something out of the Freezer' ... chilli, bolognese etc
Friday. Probably Chicken Fajitas eaten whilst watching a movie!! (Our version of takeaway night)
Saturday. Salmon steaks with something.

CogitoErgoSometimes Mon 09-Dec-13 09:08:44

BTW... for DC just home from school we've tended to go for a glass of squash and a couple of biscuits or a slice of cake. Homework follows!

TinselinaBumSquash Mon 09-Dec-13 09:22:00

Family of 5 here, I use my slow cooker a lot! I chuck the stuff in before bed, stick the pot int he fridge so it's ready to literally just be switched on in the morning,

A weeks meals for us would be..

Monday - pie (using just a ready made puff pasty as a lid) or curry, both would be using the meat leftovers from Sundays roast (usually chicken) curry would be done in the SlowCooker and nothing beats a sc curry!

Tuesday - Shepard's Pie with what ever veg I have in either the freezer or fridge, usually some broccoli and carrots (this is my kids favourite)

Wed - This is our busy day so I chuck some huge potatoes into the oven rubbed with oil and salt, then top with tuna mayo and sweetcorn or beans and cheese.

Thurs - The kids have football training so of mime home starving, I would do a beef and ale stew in the slow cooker and serve with chunky, crust bread and mash.

Friday - Spag Bol, again making the bolognese in the Slow cooker, I used Half and half pork and beef mince and a tbsp of fennel and it tastes awesome and smells like a Jamie's Italian :D

Sat - we often eat out but if we're in I'll do a homemade pizza, I make a batch of bases and freeze them for easy use, then I let the kids top them. They're really nice and a lot better for us than the Dominoes we used to gorge on. blush

Sunday - Roast (usually chicken) I try and mix it up a bit by serving different sides, sometimes stuffing balls, yorkshires, sometimes a cauliflower cheese or mash instead of roasties and 3-4 veg types.

I hope that helps smile

bunjies Mon 09-Dec-13 09:22:14

We're a family of 2 adults & 3 children (1 teen & 2 primary). I usually go shopping once a week & have a rough menu. Menu for this week is

Mon - beef stew & dumplings (don't work on Mondays so usually make something more involved for 2 days)
Tues - baked fish with veg
Weds - beef stew with mash
Thurs - curried lentil & veg soup with bread
Fri - turkey meatballs in tomato sauce & pasta

Fruit, biscuits or home made cake/muffin (if I've bothered to make any on my day off) for after school snack.

Greek yoghurt with jam, honey or maple syrup for afters.

One of our favourite easy meals is Thai curry made with a bought Thai curry paste.

TinselinaBumSquash Mon 09-Dec-13 09:23:15

Should have said, for hungry children home from school, I usually do one 'baking' day every fortnight and fill up a large Tupperware container with flapjacks, cereal bars, cookies and cake. smile

schnockles Mon 09-Dec-13 09:47:09

We're a family of three - two adults and one eight month old. When DS was tiny I'd cook huge batches of chilli, bolognese, chicken or lamb curry and freeze to be able to microwave. I'd do this every couple of weeks and DH would look after DS all day.

Last week we had:
Monday - chicken curry with rice
Tuesday - leftover curry with rice and some cumin roasted veg (chop veg like squash and courgette, sprinkle with cumin seeds and powder, some paprika and chuck in the oven for 45 mins)
Wednesday - teriyaki salmon with broccoli and noodles
Thursday - spaghetti bolognese
Friday - vegetable and prawn stir fry
Saturday - leftover spaghetti bolognese
Sunday - roast beef, veg etc. remainder of beef to be used in lunches.

Fairylea Mon 09-Dec-13 09:54:42

2 adults 2 dc here (one a young toddler so eats bits of whatever we have). Dh and dd really fussy and won't eat left over anything as they don't like the taste of it. I won't eat any meat unless it's chicken or pork as I don't like it and I hate mashed anything so no mashed potato. dh won't eat a main meal unless it has meat in it so we are a fussy bunch!

This week we've had....

Quorn mince burritos (dh will just about tolerate these!)
Whole roast chicken and roast pots etc
chicken and chorizo paella
Dh and dd had lamb cchop and chips and I had egg and chips
Dd and dd had pork chop and mash and I had a bean burger in a bun with salad
We had a chicken nugget and chips and peas night
And then I did half price pork joint from tesco as a roast

Sometimes it's really hard pleasing everyone. We spend about £80-100 a week on food.

Jiltedjohnsjulie Mon 09-Dec-13 17:47:36

Can imagine that if you have newborn doing 10 day meal plans could be overwhelming. How about just planning for the next 3 days? You could cook a big ham tomorrow and do roast potatoes and veg. If you can manage you could boil the ham and par boil the potatoes if when Lo has a nap.

Wednesday do a carbonara with some leftover ham and Thursady try ham fried rice.

Lavenderhoney Mon 09-Dec-13 18:01:49

I never cooked separate meals for my dc, just whizzed up what I'd cooked or as they got older they had what we did.

Also not sure what normal is - I am a sahm and my dh works 16hr days so is never here for dinner.

I am lc, so I don't eat the carbs, dinners at my place are as follows, always a starter of saucisson, little green salad, whatever, and always pudding. Its usually ice cream or chocolate fondant, which I make.

Salmon, sliced and roasted potatoes, green beans with garlic all toasty.
Roast beef, lamb, chicken,
Veg - I make two choices from the following to cook- cauliflower, cabbage ( dc are mad for cabbage) broccoli, pan fried leeks and courgette, green beans boiled then fried with butter and garlic or roasted, aubergines, spinach panfried, squash, sweet potatoe etc
Sometimes we have sausages and pasta as its quick, with a quick veg from above
I make lasagne, pizza, and moussaka for the freezer, but I freeze lots.

I don't spend hours in the kitchen, I am just organisedsmile plus my dc like cooking.

I also make them a full English before school. They are like stickssmile

This week -

Sunday - vegetable pie (bought pastry), peas and sweetcorn
Monday - veggie Shepherd's pie, savoy cabbage, gravy
Tuesday - pasta with veggie bolognaise
Weds - dhal with rice and salad
Thursday - veggie burritos and homemade guacamole or salsa
Friday - out!
Saturday - Sunday dinner (but on Saturday)
Sunday - big breakfast, maybe soup for dinner

With a newborn, we ate a lot more pasta pesto type meals / bought quiche with baked potatoes and salad / something on toast etc

TheHeadlessLadyofCannock Mon 09-Dec-13 18:39:05

Things like curry (and other stew-type things like tagines) and lasagne that you used to make can be made in big batches, some portions kept in the fridge for the next day (curry and most stews are great the next day after a night in the fridge) and the rest frozen. You just hoick it out, defrost and, if you can be arsed, do some microwaved or maybe baked/roasted vegetables to sort of freshen it up. Indian pickles can hang around in the fridge for ages without going off, so you can buy a load in one go and then not have to think about buying more for a while. Naan bread freezes well too. Quinoa cooks much faster than rice if you want a grain/starch to go with it.

Also soup, with some nice bread/cheese to go with if you have a chance to pick some up.

Debs75 Mon 09-Dec-13 18:45:06

Family of 6 here

Tonight - Fish shop although I had a stir fry
Tuesday - not sure but something light as swimming an hour later
Wednesday - Jacket potatoes various fillings
Thursday - Chicken curry, DD1 has chicken nuggets
Friday - Toad in the hole, DD1 will have fish or chicken(again)
Saturday - at party with DD2 and 3 so DP will do chicken wings and nachos for him and DS, DD1 will be at boyfriends
Sunday - Roast chicken.

That sounds organised for me and usually we just go very ad hoc with meals. DD1 will only eat fish and chicken and hates saucy type meals. DD2 and DD3 were BLW so they have always eaten the same as us. DS will eat everything put in front of him and I am dieting. Mealtime is never easy, especially the deciding.

When your ds comes home from school will he eat fruit? DS always has an apple and a banana as soon as he comes in, and often a sandwich if tea will be more then 90 mins away.

ameliarose2012 Mon 09-Dec-13 18:52:30

We've just started using the change 4 life recipes from the nhs website. They are mostly simple, healthy and delicious! I'd defo recommend looking if you're wanting inspiration! I'll post a link once I get onto laptop x

ameliarose2012 Mon 09-Dec-13 19:26:26

Meal Planner

Mrswellyboot Mon 09-Dec-13 19:31:58

A couple and a baby here but will do the same once he is bigger


Steak and home made wedges (when steak is on special offer)
Salmon and new potatoes
Roast beef


Sausages and mash
Mince dinners: taco's, Shepards pie, chilli, savoury mince
Chicken: stir fry, curry, sweet and sour, with stuffing
Beef cubes: stew, goulash
Pesto and pasta
Waffles and beans or scrambled eggs or bacon and beans or omelette

Mrswellyboot Mon 09-Dec-13 19:40:36

Me again

Get bisto best gravy. It is lovely and cook 2 lb stew in your slow cooker with carrots, parsnips, celery etc. leave it on for hours and hours the portion into tubs.

Don't neat yourself about everything being homemade every single night. I use this type of curry sauce

use fresh chicken and plenty of peppers, courgettes, mushrooms. Usually get veg on aldi. Make loads and freeze. It freezes really well.

Pesto, pasta and garlic bread is lovely.

Bulk cook mince with your veg again, garlic tinned toms then always have a stash of wraps or tacos and you will have a meal ready to go.

Don't forget soup and potatoes too

Grumbliest Mon 09-Dec-13 19:44:46

today was spinach paneer with homemade chappatis.. tomorrow I'm making a lamb mince lasagne(still need to master white sauce so will use dolmios),Wednesday it's lentils and chappatis, Thursday a homemade curry ( lamb, chicken or prawn..depending on what we have) and Friday is takeaway. All served with salad. Lunches are generally sandwiches, omelettes or noodles. I want to start cooking roasts but am quite inexperienced with this

IamInvisible Mon 09-Dec-13 19:48:17

There's not a lot wrong with the occasional frozen, or Old Paso IMO, especially when you have a newborn. Frozen veg has more nutrients in it than fresh.

Favourites here are
Turkey Stir Fry
Shepherds Pie
Stew and Dumplings
Minestrone soup
Sausages, either with mash and peas, or jackets cheese and beans. Sometimes I do them with roast potatoes, yorkshires and veg.
Fish fingers Jackets and cheese and beans
Fish pie
Pasta of some sort
Fish, new potatoes and salad

lljkk Mon 09-Dec-13 19:54:52

We never follow recipes. I have no energy for that.

We have two pots: a sauce pan & a steamer over it.
The sauce pan has a starch in it (spuds, rice or pasta).
The steamer is stuffed with a selection of veggies (hard ones at bottom). Everything cooks at once, although potatoes/rice often added later.

Under the grill will probably be some form of meat (bacon, chicken, sausages, fish fingers).

This is what we eat almost every night. A lot of boiled potatoes become roasties next day. Sometimes we skip the meat+starch & get a takeaway, but still have the veg.

On everything, DH puts butter & I add curry sauce or jar of pasta sauce, sometimes cheese. Works for us.

AngryFeet Mon 09-Dec-13 19:57:51

Monday - Chicken korma with rice and nan
Tuesday - Pulled pork with some sort of potato dish and brocolli
Wednesday - Lasagne
Thursday - Home late so something quick from the freezer generally - fish and chips and peas for example
Friday - Macaroni cheese and peas
Saturday - Sometimes a takeaway or spag bog or meat/pots/veg or shepherds pie
Sunday - Roast chicken and potatoes and veg

Too much pasta sometimes and I need to get more creative but the kids are only just coming out of their fussy stage so I am taking it slowly grin.

FeisMom Mon 09-Dec-13 20:00:35

For the post school starvation we go with hot chocolate and a biscuit / crumpet / tea cake, as we tend to eat later (7.00ish) as a family.

We have stuff on after school that mean I am in and out and DH doesn't get home til late so can't do anything that needs standing over to cook, these are always slow cooker nights, so usually some meat and veg in a sauce - casserole / bolognese / chilli / coq au vin / bourginion / stroganoff etc for these nights and then just have to do rice or pasta quickly when we get in, or I will stick baking potatoes in the oven for a couple of hours before I go out.

Saturday night is takeaway (or equivalent supermarket purchase cooked at home) - so Indian / Chinese / pizza etc

Sunday we have a cooked breakfast which keeps us going til we have roast dinner and pudding mid afternoon which in turn means that crumpets / sandwiches are enough for tea.

Monday is our fave night - leftover meat from Sunday dinner with chips and salad

Weegiemum Mon 09-Dec-13 20:11:25

This week:

Monday: homemade chicken pie, mash and veg
Tuesday: pasta bake with veg, chicken and Philly cheese
Wednesday: pasta bolognese
Thursday: home made pizza and garlic bread
Friday: baked salmon en croute with salad and crusty bread
Saturday:takeaway (MIL is coming!)
Sunday:sausage casserole with baked potatoes, broccoli, peas and stewed red cabbage, and Yorkshire puddings.

Dc take packed lunches through the week - at weekends it's salad, bread, dips, grilled cheese sandwiches, soup, noodles with veg etc. haven't decided yet.

Our church does a buffet lunch every Sunday so we eat there - bread, salad and a one-pot dish like soup, stew etc.

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