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10-Minute meals to leave for the babysitter

Molly Cerreta Smith has enjoyed a career in the publishing industry for more than 10 years. As an editor of several regional magazines, she has had the opportunity throughout her career to meet many local celebrities, businesspeople, ent...

Easy meals the babysitter can whip up

These fun, kid-friendly dinner ideas are a breeze to prepare before you head out the door, or they are easy enough for the sitter to tackle while she watches the kids.

Chicken sloppy Joes

Chicken sloppy Joes

Serves 6

These chicken sloppy Joes by Six Sisters' Stuff give traditional sloppy Joes a healthy makeover, and they are super easy to boot.

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound ground chicken
  • 1 packet Mrs. Dash Sloppy Joe Seasoning
  • 1 cup onion, diced
  • 1 (8 ounce) can tomato sauce
  • 1/2 cup green bell pepper, diced
  • 1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
  • Hamburger buns

Directions:

  1. In a large skillet over medium heat, cook chicken, onions and green pepper until chicken is no longer pink and vegetables are tender.
  2. Add Mrs. Dash Sloppy Joe Seasoning, tomato sauce and Worcestershire sauce.
  3. Mix well and simmer until heated through.
  4. Serve on buns or rolls.

Mini Mexican pizzas

Mini Mexican pizzas

Serves 6

With this easy and kid-friendly recipe from Catherine of Food Family & Finds, the kids can combine pizza night and taco night! The sitter will have no trouble putting together these filling and nutritionally balanced mini Mexican pizzas.

Ingredients (from bottom to top):

  • Tortilla
  • Seasoned beef
  • Shredded cheese
  • Tortilla
  • Sour cream
  • Lettuce
  • Tomatoes and black olives

Directions:

  1. Brown and season ground beef (Cat uses Taco Bell's seasoning mix), chop up toppings and layer ingredients in order listed.
  2. Add refried beans and taco sauce to suit your kids' preferences.

Perfectly petite pizzas

Perfectly petite pizzas

Serves 8

This recipe for deconstructed petite pizzas by Produce for Kids helps kids (and sitters!) rethink their definition of pizza by incorporating whole-grain English muffins and lots of veggies. And the sitter won't even have to turn on the oven to re-create this easy, nutritious meal.

Ingredients:

  • 2 whole-wheat English muffins
  • 4 tablespoons tomato sauce
  • 1/4 pound deli roast beef
  • 1/4 pound mozzarella cheese, sliced
  • 4 tablespoons guacamole
  • 1 medium tomato, sliced
  • 2 mini cucumbers, sliced

Directions:

  1. Toast the English muffins.
  2. Spread 1 tablespoon of tomato sauce on each English muffin.
  3. Add roast beef, cheese, 1 tablespoon guacamole, tomato and cucumber.

Pizza lollipops

Serves 4

These super-easy pizza roll-ups from FamilyFun magazine can be put together in a jiffy — and they'll get gobbled up even faster!

Pizza pinwheels

Ingredients:

  • 2 9-inch wheat tortillas
  • 2 tablespoons cream cheese
  • 4 thin slices provolone
  • 8 deli-style (extra-large) slices pepperoni
  • Marinara sauce or pizza sauce, for serving

Directions:

  1. Cover tortillas with a damp paper towel and microwave them for 10 seconds.
  2. Spread each one with 1 tablespoon of the cream cheese, then layer it with 2 slices of provolone and 4 slices of pepperoni.
  3. Roll up and secure the tortilla with 10 toothpicks, spacing them evenly.
  4. Trim off the ends of the tortilla and then slice it up between the picks.
  5. Serve with marinara or pizza sauce.

Tomato burger soup

Tomato burger soup

Serves 4

Janet of 10 Minute Meals created this wholesome and easy tomato burger soup to soothe her sick little one. But this warm and comforting meal doesn't have to be reserved for a sick day!

Ingredients:

  • 1 quart of crushed tomatoes
  • 1 small can of tomato juice
  • 1 small onion
  • 1/4 pound hamburger
  • 1 teaspoon powdered garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/4 teaspoon celery seed
  • 1/2 pound elbow macaroni, prepared according to package
  • Fresh basil
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, shaved

Directions:

  1. In a saucepan, brown the hamburger and season with garlic, onion powder and celery seed.
  2. Add the onion and bay leaf and don't drain.
  3. Add the red pepper, tomatoes and tomato juice.
  4. Bring to a boil.
  5. Add the macaroni and top with basil and cheese.
  6. Serve and enjoy.

More kid-friendly recipes

Homemade cracker sandwiches
Baked chicken fingers with sweet and tangy dipping sauce
Cheeseburger pie

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