Join the Meeting Place for Moms!
Talk to other moms, share advice, and have fun!

(minimum 6 characters)


Posted by on Jan. 1, 2012 at 11:44 PM
  • 31 Replies
1 mom liked this

ok, so im a single mom of a toddler and a pre-schooler. I work full-time in a very busy Drs office, after picking up my kids from daycare, I get home around 6:30-7pm to feed them, bathe them, homework etc .. the last thing I want to do is cook. Is just me and my two children who dont really eat that much, I dont really like to cook. So I need ideas on easy and fast meals ?? I get home with no idea on what to make .. HELP !

by on Jan. 1, 2012 at 11:44 PM
Add your quick reply below:
You must be a member to reply to this post.
Replies (1-10):
by on Jan. 2, 2012 at 7:22 AM
1 mom liked this

I hate to cook, too; like you, I also work, volunteer, and have a pretty busy life. 

You can feed your family healthy meals, with some planning. On the weekends, I cook and freeze beans, brown rice, chili/stew/soups, pizza, etc. Keep lots of chopped frozen vegetables on hand; they can go in jarred sauces, stir-fries, etc.  Keep lots of whole grain pastas and tortillas around. Pick up a slowcooker on freecycle, unless you already have one

I have a ton of recipes that are tasty, healthy, simple, family and budget friendly; send me a message offlist if you would like some.

by on Jan. 2, 2012 at 7:31 AM

Do you have a crock pot?  That's my favorite kitchen appliance for easy dinners!  Put your stuff in it, plug it in, get home and dinner is pretty much ready!  A pork or beef roast, a packet of onion soup mix and a little water, and then all you need to do is cook up some rice or make some quick mashed potatoes (steam and mash work great), and dinner is ready!  I have a crock pot cookbook that I love, but here's a link to a website for them: or there is at least one crock pot group here on Cafe Mom.  The other advice that I'd give is to use the weekend to get ready for the week.  Make meals that will have enough for leftovers for during the week, or get the ingredients ready to make cooking dinner easier during the week.  Good luck!

by on Jan. 2, 2012 at 4:31 PM

 I like to use my crockpot or make homemade freezer meals for busy times. Spaghetti is a go-to at my house on busy days as well. I like to serve it with a quick salad.

by on Jan. 2, 2012 at 5:43 PM
2 moms liked this

My dd has never liked to cook, either.  Her idea of cooking was open the freezer, pull something out, nuke it.  Or open a can.  Nothing wrong with that, but you've got to put some nutrition in those little ones (and yourself!), and keep them from getting into the habit of being picky eaters.  (Read: fast food)

Crockpot....excellent suggestion!  Also, after they've gone to bed (and they should be down no later than 8pm), you can pre-make a casserole.


You can get it ready to throw in the oven as soon as you hit the door and it'll be done in 30 min.  I've never seen a kid who doesn't like it.

1 lb. hamburger (cheap, baby, cheap!)

1 can cream of celery soup

1/2 pkg. frozen tater tots

(optionals:  finely diced celery, onion, carrots ---- and shredded cheese)

Brown the hamburger in a skillet, along with the celery, onion, and carrots. Drain off the fat.  Stir in the can of soup.  (Don't add water.)

Put the mixture into a 1- or 1-1/2 qt. casserole dish.  (The round kind.)  Top with frozen tater tots in a single layer. (Go ahead...squish those things in there, but don't put them on top of each other.)  If you want to save some time and have more tots, put it in an 8" x 8" square pan, and cut the cooking time to about 20 min.

Bake at 400 degrees (pre-heated oven) for about 30 min.  You'll be able to tell when it's done because the mixture will be bubbly at the sides, and the tots will be crispy golden-brown.

If you like, you can then turn the oven off, pull the casserole out, and sprinkle it with cheddar cheese.  It'll probably melt on its own, but you can also return it to the oven for a few minutes until it's melted.

Most kids love it with ketchup.  Your toddler might want his tots picked off and put on the side so he can use his fingers, and give him a spoon for the hamburger part.

Good side dishes would be green beans, corn, or peas.  If they hate veggies, then throw out some fruit cocktail.  Almost any kid will eat that.

by on Jan. 2, 2012 at 6:11 PM
1 mom liked this

Here's another possibility.  You could have it ready to pop in the oven when you get home.  (Another one of those "after the kids are in bed" times.)

This simple Shepherd's Pie recipe is made from only five ingredients.

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 40 minutes

Total Time: 50 minutes

Yield: 6 servings


  • 1 lb. lean ground beef
  • 1 onion, chopped (I'd make it a small one for kids)
  • 2 cups frozen mixed vegetables
  • 10 oz. can cream of mushroom soup with roasted garlic
  • 1 tsp. dried marjoram leaves
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 3 cups refrigerated mashed potatoes


Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In heavy skillet cook ground beef and onion until beef is brown and onion is tender, stirring to break up meat, about 10 minutes. Drain well. Stir in vegetables and soup and cook until hot, about 4 minutes, then add marjoram and salt and pepper to taste.

Place in 9 inch pie plate. Spoon mashed potatoes over hot meat mixture. Bake at 375 degrees for 35-45 minutes until potatoes are golden brown 

NOTE:  I don't think you'd have to use the marjoram, and you could probably use instant potatoes that you fix up with hot milk/water, salt and pepper, and butter.  For extra flavor if you don't have the marjoram, try seasoned salt or Soul Food seasoning (at Dollar General or Family Dollar for...yeah, about a dollar or 50 instead of salt and pepper called for.  Measure it as if you had mixed the S & P together.  Your little ones will like using a spoon with the mashed potatoes, and if you're afraid they won't eat their veggies, stir it together before you serve it to them --- but I'd leave a little mashed potatoes on the top so they don't think they're eating *goop*.  lol  You can even entice them with some sort of story about shepherds, and how they were out in the fields all night watching the sheep and keeping the wolves away.  They'd make this over their fire.  Make it up!  And if they push the veggies away, you can always pull out fruit cocktail for "dessert"....or pears, sliced peaches, pineapple...

Do I sound like a mom who raised 3 kids?  BWAHAHAHAHaaaaaa

by on Jan. 2, 2012 at 7:07 PM

Crock pot!!!
There are sooo many healthy AND easy things that you can just toss in there....and dinner is done when you walk in the door!

by on Jan. 2, 2012 at 7:08 PM

Freezer meals are great too.  Make dishes ahead of time (on weekends or whenever you have a few hours to throw some meals together) and freeze them.  Then just pull them out of the freezer and toss in the oven or crock pot.

by on Jan. 2, 2012 at 8:23 PM
1 mom liked this

 Welcome to the group!! I have a picky toddler so i have to work around that.

by on Jan. 2, 2012 at 9:04 PM
Chicken pot pie just buy the already cooked chicken microwave it shred it, in a medium bowl mix it with a celery and potato cans of soup, a bag of frozen mixed vegetables. Top it with a pie crust. Put in in the over 350 for 45 minutes and your done. My picky kids love this.
by on Jan. 2, 2012 at 10:34 PM

crock pots!! they are the best just like everyone has been saying =) also check out my blog! you seem very very busy and i have been taking time to write a blog for people like you! great recipies, fun things to do with the kids and tips on keeping your life organized! hope it helps!

Add your quick reply below:
You must be a member to reply to this post.
Join the Meeting Place for Moms!
Talk to other moms, share advice, and have fun!

(minimum 6 characters)