Dad-Made Meals for the Win
Fun, flavor, and fabulous recipes — they're really all you need to get your kids in the kitchen with you. Are you a dad — or do you know one — who wants to channel his inner kitchen rockstar while making great memories with his little ones? You can use these kid-friendly recipes to whip up wonderful meals with your children and earn your title as the ultimate breakfast, lunch, and dinner hero.
Start the day off right with a portable, protein-packed breakfast. This is a fun and easy recipe that's simple to change up according to what you and your kids like best. Don't want bacon? Try a thin slice of deli ham, smoked salmon, or zucchini instead.
- 10 large eggs
- 12 slices bacon
- 1 cup shredded cheese
- 1 cup milk
- 2 tablespoons Italian parsley, finely chopped
- Optional add-ins: diced onions, sauteed spinach, diced bell peppers, or any of your other favorite omelette add-ins
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Wrap a piece of bacon around the inside of each cup of a 12-cup non-stick muffin tin. You may need to trim the bacon slices so they don't overlap too much.
- Combine the remaining ingredients in a large bowl.
- Divide the egg, cheese, and veggie mixture evenly among the cups.
- Bake for about 30 minutes, or until the centers are set and the tops are nicely browned.
- Scoop each cup out with a large spoon or a knife and serve immediately.
Fun enough for game day but hearty enough for dinner on the fly, totchos (tater tot nachos) are favorites for kids and dads alike. Pick your toppings (swap the beef for zesty chorizo or make it vegetarian with black beans), pick your protein, layer it all up, and pop it in the oven for a fast, creative dish that's sure to earn dad a round of applause.
- 1 bag frozen tater tots
- 1 pound ground beef, diced chorizo, or other meat
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 2-3 teaspoons chili powder
- 2 teaspoons garlic powder
- 2 teaspoons onion powder
- 4 cups shredded cheese (cheddar, Monterey jack, or a Mexican blend)
- 2 cups diced bell peppers
- 2 cups chopped tomatoes
- 1 can sliced black olives
- 1/2 cup sliced scallions
- Salsa, sour cream, guacamole
- Preheat the oven to 450 F or the temperature specified on the tater tots bag.
- Place the tots in a single layer on a lightly greased casserole dish or a baking sheet.
- Bake the tots for around 20 minutes or until they're golden and very crisp.
- Meanwhile, brown the meat in a skillet over medium heat. Drain the fat.
- Put the pan back on the burner and add the powdered seasonings, sautéing for another couple minutes to develop the flavors.
- Top the crisp tots with the seasoned beef, chopped bell peppers, and cheese.
- Bake for another 10 minutes, or until the cheese is melted.
Sprinkle sliced green onions, olives, and tomatoes on top of the hot totchos and serve with your favorite salsa, sour cream, and guacamole.
Pita breads make pizza night easy-breezy, allowing everyone to build their own personal creation. It's also a lot easier and faster than rolling and stretching your own dough. Prep the toppings ahead of time and let the kids create the pizzas. Best of all, dinner can be on the table in under 20 minutes with these fun, kid-sizes pies.
- 3 pitas
- 1 or 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
- 1 cup pizza sauce or your favorite jarred spaghetti sauce from Food Lion
- Pepperoni, chopped chicken, or cooked sausage
- Any additional toppings you love: pineapple, sliced scallions, chopped mushrooms, fresh herbs, chopped baby spinach
- Preheat the oven to 400 F.
- Split each pita in half and top as desired.
- Bake for 6 to 8 minutes until the pita is crisp and the cheese is melted.
Is a backyard barbecue more Dad's speed? While Dad should do all the grilling, kids love helping out by mixing up the spices. If you don't use all the spice mixture, store what's left in an airtight container for up to 30 days.
- 1/2 cup light brown sugar
- 1-2 teaspoons sea salt
- 1 -2 teaspoons coarse black pepper
- 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
- 2 teaspoons coriander
- 2 tablespoons garlic powder
- 2 tablespoons onion powder
- 2 teaspoons ground mustard
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne
- 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- Mix the spices in a large bowl or jar — kids love shaking it to mix it.
- Preheat the grill to medium heat.
- Sprinkle the spice mixture over both sides of the chicken breasts.
- Grill the chicken for approximately 6 to 8 minutes per side or until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part reads 165 F.
Hot Dog Bar
Kids love making their own choices. Let dad grill the dogs while the kids help out by picking the sides and making their own hot dog masterpieces. Ketchup, mustard, relish — they're all well and good. But setting up a buffet of fun and unexpected toppings is sure to keep the fun meter high and the kids happy. It's also a great idea if you're having friends and family over because it's an easy way to feed a crowd and let dad make his own tasty creation too. A few ideas to include on your hot dog bar include:
- Mac and cheese
- Crushed potato or corn chips
- Shredded cheese
- Fruit salsa (peach, strawberry, watermelon — whatever fruit the kids love best)
- Guacamole and sliced scallions for a Mexi-Cali take on a traditional hot dog
- Sliced cucumber, carrot shreds, fresh mint, and spicy mayo for banh mi dogs
- Steak sauce, sautéed mushrooms, and onions for a steakhouse-inspired dog
There's almost no better way to enjoy some good old-fashioned family time than over a great meal. Start planning your shopping list before you stock up on all your essentials at your local Food Lion. Craving more inspiration? Check out our Fresh Ideas blog!