Popcorn for Dinner (& Other Dinner Confessions)

Dinner Confessions

As a working mom, the few hours between walking in the door and getting the kids into bed can by the most hectic.  Followed closely by the morning routine where we usually only have an hour to get everyone up, fed, dressed, packed and out the door – winter and summer!  But there’s something about having to make something to eat, after a long day, that sometimes feels so overwhelming.

How much time do you have in your day to prepare dinner? For me it’s about 30 minutes. That’s not a lot of time, including cooking and prep work.  I have been known to “cheat” at dinner time.  In fact, it happens at least once a week.

Dinner ConfessionsMy go-to cheat dinner for my girls is popcorn.  At least once a week the girls will have a bag of popcorn between them.  Often milk, carrot sticks and cucumber slices are the side dishes to this quick dinner.  Occasionally we’ll throw in applesauce, or pepperoni off the leftover pizza I’m eating.  We try to fit in a few food groups!

I contacted my email list to see who else out there might have some dinner confessions to share.  

I got a few great replies.  Most of my “working mom” blogger friends had something to share with me!

Lexie from Mommy: Home Manager: When I have time over the weekend to meal plan, that definitely works best! I don’t normally get around to it though, so during the week I try to think about dinner a day or so before. A lot of the time I end up digging through our fridge when I get home and pulling out whatever is easy. One night we had NOTHING, so I made pasta with frozen spinach and dried parmesan cheese out of the packets that come with pizza delivery. I don’t know how long they had been in our pantry, but I definitely couldn’t remember the last time we ordered pizza.

Julie from Fab Working Mom Life: TV dinners! Lean Cuisine has been my long-time friend, especially when my husband was away. It’s not like the Toddler eats anyway.  I survive off frozen dinners and my toddler off cereal bars.

Brenda from Brenda Love Sharing:  I don’t have any confessions for you. We are on a heart healthy diet, so every night I make sure we have a healthy dinner.  (I wanted to add this to show that everyone isn’t like me – some people make dinners a priority, and that’s amazing!  I am envious of Brenda’s ethic here!!)

PS – Each of these ladies has been featured in my Working Moms Series.  You can read their posts here, and let me know if you’d like to be featured too!

Popcorn for Dinner (& Other Dinner Confessions)

I also put a shout out on Twitter.  

Twitter is my best network for connecting with as many people as possible.  I was surprised by the dinner confessions I got there!

Jessica Goodwin, author: When all else fails, cereal.

Robin from The Mama Playbook: Does ice cream and peanut butter count?!

Kid + Kin: We like to throw something in the crockpot. This crockpot Indian chicken is a fav – Click here for the recipe.  (I love the idea of crockpot cooking, but I’m nowhere near organized enough to get something ready while rushing my kids through the morning routine.  Plus we are out of the house for at least 8 hours during the workday so everything overcooks!)

Gail from Frugal Family Adventures: Frozen pizza

Academic Mom Life: My 2yo is all about protein bars and protein shakes. If she’s not feeling dinner that is what she asks for.

Britney from The ‘Not So’ Basic Single Mom: My daughter loves Campbell’s soup, but hates the chicken so I have to scoop out all the chicken.

All of these are also fun, and funny, dinner confessions!


My Facebook page also got me some great suggestions – from people I actually know!

Dinner Confessions

Keltie, my artist friend, shared this: A bowl of cereal is a meal no matter what time of day it is! (I would totally agree with this one!)

My niece Tiffany left me this comment on my post: Peanut butter and jam or if I have a tiny bit of energy remaining it’s hamburger helper!

And then my mom left a super-practical idea: A quick meal for us is a package of Sidekicks with a can of tuna and a couple of handfuls of peas thrown in. I don’t know if the kids would like it but you might.


I love connecting with my readers.  I’m so happy so know there are other folks out there who sometimes parent (or don’t parent) the way I do.  Plus great ideas and inspiration can come from these shout out posts of mine.

If you are interested in joining my email list for future opportunities to be included in a post, please sign up!  I routinely send out an email once a week.  It’s an update of what happened on the blog that week.  When I’m looking for input for posts like these I will send out another, separate, email.  And occasionally I come across neat opportunities, or I share fun life-news items with my email list as well.  But what I never do is spam you – I promise!

Do you have a dinner confession to share?  

Please share with me in the comments!  (Bonus points if you have a wild and crazy dinner your kids love, but may not be the most healthy or conventional dinner-style meal!)  I look forward to reading your ideas.


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  1. On my days off, I cook up some meals, and then freeze them. At the dollar store they have some plastic rectangular containers which feed about 2 people and 1 child depending on appetites. In those containers I would put spaghetti sauce, chili, chicken cacciatore, lasagna, cabbage rolls, and any other big meals I might make on my days off that I can quickly grab on the days where I don’t feel like cooking or don’t have time.

    1. I do love the idea of making big batch meals. We do that with spaghetti sauces and (once or twice) soups. I should try to make more things – and teach Emma how to do it too! Thanks for the ideas Darlene. ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. Hi, visiting from #globalblogging! I agree with cereal. Scrambled eggs and toast also works in our house. My kids are older now, too, so they can grab things like Mac and cheese cups or hot dogs and make those themselves. Woo hoo!

    1. Strangely my kids don’t care much for scrambled eggs – toast (esp english muffins and bagels) are always a big hit. Often I will pair a bread-based dinner with raw veggies and milk and feel like I did a good enough job finding some food groups. Thanks for sharing Katy!

  3. Oh yeah. I think most of us are WITH you. AT least once/week we have “Pick your own supper night” and almost everyone eats cereal that night..I have a hard time believing the woman who said she never ever cheats on dinner. Never??? Not possible. Life happens to all of us, right?

    1. I don’t know – I believe there are some (a very few) people out there who truly are organized! That is so not me, but if you can get a “good” dinner on the table every day, I am awed by your forward thinking.
      PS – on cereal/toast/raw veggies night I often eat very little and get my calories from a glass of wine!

  4. I meal plan but don’t always stick to it…Only on Friday I felt too lazy too cook so ordered Domino’s. hehehe
    There are some evenings where I make sure the kids eat then have cereal myself or chocolate spread sandwiches. #MMBC

    1. Domino’s is one of our go-to take out dinners. Emma even likes their boneless chicken!
      I do the same – make sure the kids eat “well” while I eat almost nothing and/or a glass of wine!

  5. Hi Jess, I can think of worse things than a bag of popcorn and veggie sticks for dinner. When the children were younger I didn’t see anything wrong with giving them a ‘plate buffet’ of anything I had at hand. Lumps of cheese, fruit and veg and a few crackers. Breakfast cereal also makes a good emergency meal too.

    Thank you for linking up with the #MMBC.


  6. Loved this post! Just the other night, we had crackers, cheese, yogurt, and tomatoes ๐Ÿ™‚ I often just grab a few snacks, and funny enough, my kids love it :)! #globalblogging

  7. Cereal is a classic for me or if I have slightly more time a packet of frozen microwave rice mixed with a packet of frozen microwave veg with some grated cheese thrown on top. For some reason he seems to love it despite the healthiness? #stayclassymama

  8. I do cook and cheat by making things ahead or quick dishes. If I’m really stuck she loves penne, so by the time that’s boiled I grate some parmesan or whizz up some rocket or basil with olive oil and she loves it. #StayClassyMama

    1. One of my co-workers tells me about her son, who only ate cereal as a child – nothing else, on the days I complain about my kids eating habits. Somehow it makes me feel better knowing he’s a grown man now, and a fully functioning member of society!

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