food

The easy solution to the uninspired family dinner - no parent guilt required.

I am a modern, successful woman, however there are two thoughts that plague me each day and remind me that no matter how much society has progressed, it hasn’t progressed as much as it should have.

Those thoughts are:

  1. Have the kids got enough clean school uniforms and sports gear to last the week;
  2. What on earth am I going to cook for dinner tonight?

Dinner isn’t optional when you have three kids. They don’t care if I’m tired or if I’ve run out of time to make dinner. They want a meal, even if I’d be just as happy with peanut butter on toast. It can also be hard to think of interesting things to make. There are a few meals I can make that tick all their boxes (spaghetti and meatballs, tacos, chicken schnitzel).

They are reasonably quick to make, healthy-ish and eaten heartily by all of my children. However, I have to make sure I have all the ingredients. And the energy to cook it. And the motivation to clean up afterwards.

At this age they always want to 'help' but while cute, this takes so much longer. Image via iStock.

Then there are those meals that aren’t ideal (fish fingers, chicken noodles) but will do every now and then.

Taking the kids out to dinner is one of my favourite things to do but we normally limit it to once or twice a month because it can get really expensive - and because I have to try to find somewhere that is reasonably healthy, affordable and with a range of food so everyone is happy.

Chinese food is just too unhealthy. Pizza is just so heavy. And drive through is only for when you’re desperate. Ideally, what I want is a win-win; somewhere I can have a night off that’s healthy, doesn’t break the bank, and where all of us (me included) are happy to eat at.

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"Chinese food is just too unhealthy. Pizza is just so heavy. And drive through is only for when you’re desperate." Image via iStock.

Enter: Grill’d.

Some of my friends have been talking about it because one opened down the road from where I live. They sell healthy burgers and cater to a whole range of dietary requirements with artisan buns made with real ingredients, free from refined sugar and preservatives, as well as gluten friendly and low carb options, which is just brilliant.

You can choose from beef, lamb, chicken and vegetarian burgers, sliders, steak sandwiches (big tick from hubby), sweet potato and zucchini chips and amazing salads and you can add ingredients like goat's cheese, jalapenos and avocado to fancy-up your burgers.

I’m thinking a ‘Simon Says’ chicken burger on a Low Carb SuperBun with crispy trim bacon, crunchy baby cos lettuce, tomato, avocado and delicious herbed mayo. Holy yum.

The best bit is, Grill’d’s “paddock to plate” food philosophy. It highlights the quality of their fresh ingredients with none of the nasties I like to avoid. In fact, many of the ingredients used at Grill’d are sourced from small, local, family providers with fresh ingredients like tomato, beetroot, carrot and avocado hand sliced, shredded and mashed every day. And their buns? Well they’re delivered fresh daily from local bakers. What more could you ask for?

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"Ideally, what I want is a win-win; somewhere I can have a night off that’s healthy, doesn’t break the bank, and where all of us (me included) are happy to eat at." Image: Supplied.

And it’s no secret little people love the Grill’d Mini Me pack. It comes with a healthy mini beef or chicken burger with cheese and tomato sauce, mini chips and water or juice. And it also includes a cute, hands-on ‘Grill’d Farm’ puzzle activity to help teach our kids about where real food comes from, while making their own little farm collection.

There are 11 different character puzzles for kids to collect, each one wrapped in it’s own unique wrapper together with an information card about the food. Also the puzzles are 3D so children can create their own little farm while they are eating. The box that the meal and puzzle comes in resembles a barn with doors that can open. They are really cute but most importantly will keep your kids busy while you enjoy your food (and wine).

If you’re anything like me, Friday night is the night I’ve usually run out of steam to think of dinner, cook dinner, and clean up after dinner. Yep, it’s usually the night we venture out for something easy, healthy and mess-free for dinner - Grill’d certainly takes care of that.

How do you do a healthy dinner out with the kids?