Feeding kids can be hard. They have to eat every day, three times a day, plus snacks. I haven't done the math on that, but I think it's safe to say that it is a LOT of food.

I have a toddler and an infant, plus a husband. Both of us work outside the home, which means that we're often getting home right in time for dinner, everyone is hungry, and our magical dinner fairy has yet again forgotten to drop off our meal.

I used to scramble (sometimes literally. Eggs, anyone?), throwing together mac n cheese, pb&js, or a veggie plate of steam-in-a-bag greens and corn. Then I got wise to the idea of freezer cooking.


So many recipes can be made ahead, frozen, then served up quickly after a long, busy day. My favorite way to tackle prep is to either make a few meals on Sunday afternoon or prep tomorrow's dinner after the kids have gone to bed.

What I LOVE about these recipes is that, while they freeze beautifully, they're also delicious right after you make them, so I just double the recipe, serve one that night, then save another in the freezer for a few weeks later. Basically, I've become my own magical dinner fairy (minus the glitter).

My favorites are recipes that you can put your own spin on, like these bad boys.

Twice-Baked Potatoes Four Ways

Barbecued pork? Bacon and goat cheese? This recipe has a way to satisfy everyone at your table.


And these awesome meatballs? Serve them over noodles, over rice, in a hoagie, or beside a pile of fresh veggies.

Letting kids customize their meals (within reason!) ups the odds that they'll actually inject and enjoy the delicious recipes you find and make, so encourage them to mix it up and try new things.

Dinner is messy, but planning it doesn't have to be. Happy cooking!

By Ashley Kappel and Ashley Kappel