Family Dinner Reboot

Sitting with my family in the mall food court on a Sunday night eating dinner I knew I had hit rock bottom.

It had been one of those loooong painful Sundays when the kids were cranky and were “bored” despite my best efforts to shuttle them around all weekend to activities while my husband had to work. I hadn’t had time to get to the grocery store in a week and other then grabbing milk at Target, I hadn’t cooked since Thursday. I was just too tired after work on Friday and I think we ended up at Qdoba. So I did what any good mom would do and bought the kids candy at the mall candy store after dinner for desert!

We’ve all been here. So what does a nutritionist mom do to turn things around (after eating gummies and candy sticks with the kids)? I take a deep breath and find my way back to the middle.

First I make a grocery list with all the ingredients for my “go-to” meals, my reset button if you will. These include tacos, chicken noodle soup, and pot roast. These three recipes actually provide five dinners because you can use left over taco meat to make nachos or quesadillas and leftover beef from the pot roast makes amazing French dip sandwiches. The next five nights of dinners are covered! Having the rest of the weeks dinners planned gives you some breathing room to get yourself together.

Head to the grocery store or Super Target armed with a latte if that makes it more bearable and buy:

Tacos and Nachos:


1 ½ lb of lean ground sirloin (preferably grass fed)

1-2 tomatoes

1 package of whole-wheat tortillas

1 package shredded cheese

8 oz Greek yogurt (sub for sour cream)

1 avocado


1 bag of tortilla chips


Cook ground sirloin seasoning with your favorite taco seasoning, serve in tortillas with all the sides. Use leftover taco meat within the next 4 days to make nachos with.

Chicken Noodle Soup:


1lb chicken breast

1 16oz bag of frozen mixed vegetables

32oz organic chicken broth

½ C diced celery (off the salad bar)

½ C sliced red onion (off the salad bar)

1-bag egg noodles (fresh egg noodles are better if you can find them)


Add ingredients 1-5 to the crock-pot in the morning and let cook on low all day. Add as many egg noodles, as you would like to the soup about 15min before serving. Eat leftovers within 4 days.

Beef Pot Roast and French Dip Sandwiches:


3lb chuck roast or bottom round roast (preferably grass fed)

1 small bag baby carrots

2 large golden or red potatoes

1 packet of organic French onion soup mix

1 package of whole-wheat hoagie buns

Sliced provolone cheese

Beef broth for au jus


Add ingredients 1-4 to the crock and let it cook all day on low and serve. With in the next 4 days use leftover roast beef to make French dip sandwiches.

Sometimes we all need a little “reboot” and it feels so good to get back on track. This plan will get you through to the weekend and then you can continue to make plans for the next week. But like me if you end up in the mall food court occasionally don’t feel bad, instead let yourself enjoy the moment, and then reboot!

#family #familymeals #recipes #dinner #meal

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Nourished Avenue
Whitney Wright MS,RDN,LMNT
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