We’ve partnered with El Monterey to share how we make family dinner fun!
We are a few weeks into the school year and I feel like we are finally in the swing of things–morning routines, after-school routines, dinner and bedtime routines. Mom life is all about those routines! It feels good to finally settle into them though! Out of all of the routines, the one that is the most important to me is having a family dinner together, sitting around a table, eating and talking with each other. We didn’t have a kitchen table for the first couple of months in our new house and it made that tricky. I’m so happy to finally have a cozy kitchen table, in a cozy little kitchen to sit and eat with my boys. Well, try to sit and eat with them, lol.
I want family dinners together to be something the boys remember! Hopefully they will remember good food, but also just remember the love and laughter we shared together. And hopefully we’ll all forget the tears and tantrums…’cause they happen at the dinner table too.
I’m a big believer that dinner doesn’t have to be gourmet (or even always homemade)! I need quick meals and need food my family will actually eat! I try to keep our meals healthy, and while Brett and I eat lower carb/higher protein diets we don’t expect the boys to eat the same way. So guess what?! They can have that frozen burrito they love so much for dinner. And I’m okay with that!
The boys love El Monterey’s Bean and Cheese Burritos, so I serve them with some healthy simple sides that really make a complete meal. You guys, I loved bean and cheese burritos growing up, too. Still do!
I like to bake the burritos and then melt a little cheese over the top! Love that El Monterey’s burritos are made with real cheese and fresh-baked tortillas.
With just a couple of sides this meal is complete…and looks kinda gourmet, right?! The sides I served with our bean and cheese burritos were this White & Black Bean Dip, roasted zucchini seasoned with taco seasoning, and ranch rice. Recipe for the ranch rice below! The zucchini is just sliced, drizzled with olive oil, taco seasoning and in the oven for 15-20 minutes at 400.
Easiest dinner you guys!
We have a little game we like to play at the dinner table occasionally, called table talk. Brett and I write down some questions for everyone and put them into a jar, along with a pair of sunglasses. Everyone takes turn picking a question and answering it. When it’s your turn you have to wear the sunglasses and you are the only person that can talk (we have a bunch of little interrupters)!
We try and ask specific questions about their day, about things that they like, don’t like, things they are learning at school, friends, etc. One of the questions tonight was “did anything make you sad today?” It’s one way we get the boys to really talk to us! Plus, they usually giggle and have fun as we pass the sunglasses around and it just makes dinner time even more special.
Of course dinner time isn’t ever perfect. And I love that this picture caught Graham upset and Brett doing something ridiculous to try and make him happy. Totally real life. But we still try!
- 1 3/4 cup water
- 2 cup instant brown rice
- 1 packet ranch dressing mix
- Place 1 3/4 cup water in a medium saucepan and whisk in the ranch seasoning. Bring the water to a boil and add the rice. Once it all comes to a boil again, reduce heat, cover and let sit for 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork and serve!