There is something kids love about eating their dinner in trays. Every time we go to the grocery store, they ask for TV Dinners. Most of our meals are homemade so a TV dinner is a treat. I remember eating TV dinners for lunch with my mother when I was a little girl. She always cooked all of our meals herself so I know what kind of treat it was to get a TV dinner every once in a while. Back then, they were in aluminum trays. If mom was too busy cleaning house, she would heat up a TV dinner in the oven for us. You would get meat, some kind of potatoes, usually mashed, and a vegetable. Now, the TV dinners come with a dessert. The kids love the ones that have the brownies with sprinkles. KFC now offers something similar to the TV dinner. I think the reason why the kids are so fond of these dinners is because they come in a tray.
I bought some trays that look like school trays from Tupperware. I wanted to keep them for special occasions but my kids drag them out almost every evening and ask if they can eat off of them. Sometimes I give in, but I like for them to eat from regular dinner plates at dinner. So we compromise. They can eat from the trays for lunch. The kids actually eat more when they get to use the trays.
I decided to make my own TV dinners. I went to our local Dollar Store and found divider dishes with lids. Tupperware has these too, but I needed seven. It was less expensive to go to the Dollar Store. I fixed up Salisbury steaks, mash potatoes and corn. Then I put them in the freezer and, of course, within the week, my kids discovered them and ate them up. I could hardly get them to eat Salisbury steak before. It was a treat to watch them gobble it all up. I have fixed chicken, hamburgers, Lasagna and Spaghetti so far and they love it. I prepare the meals the same way I do if we are going to eat them for dinner. Then I just put the portions in the containers and add them to the freezer. When the kids are hungry and it’s time for a meal, they can just get them out and heat them up. This idea was very handy when I was dealing with sick siblings and didn’t have time to fix dinner because we were at the doctors.