Meals for “Practice Nights”

by Erin, The $5 Dinner Mom on April 22, 2010

T-ball has begun.

And the weekly practice is right smack dab in the middle of our normal dinner hour.  Really, it’s during the entire dinner hour. Thus far in my career as a mother, I’ve managed to schedule our activities around our normal meal times.  But this one is just beyond my control!  (And I know this won’t be the only time that practices and recitals and what not will be scheduled during dinner!)

So, we’re having one of my go-to meals…Spa





th Steamed Broccoli.


(Sorry about that typing…that was Tyler, on my lap, pressing the enter key! He just wanted to say HI to everyone!)

Let’s try that again…

For us tonight…Spaghetti with Steamed Broccoli!  Which we will likely eat in 2 shifts…kids before practice and Mom and Dad after practice. I’m thankful that I had spaghetti sauce in the freezer, so in a matter of 15 minutes, I got the pasta boiled while the broccoli steamed on the stovetop nearby, and the sauce thawed and warmed in the microwave!

What is your “Go-To Meal” for Practice Nights?!

{ 23 comments… read them below or add one }

Becky@ April 22, 2010 at 5:14 pm



nicole April 22, 2010 at 5:15 pm

panini with cheese, deli meet and tomatoes….fast and easy to make with a side salad and steamed veggies.


Carri April 22, 2010 at 7:00 pm

I love spaghetti as a go to meal. I try to make something in the crockpot or a make ahead meal like Shapard’s pie, chicken cutlet’s, taco’s and sometimes just a salad with meat in it. I try to have a lot of quick meals because we have a lot of time’s when practice, dance and other things come in the way of meal time. I still try to have our meal as a family though and I also try to have a snack ready as soon as we get home since the kid’s are almost always hungry again after the activity.


Linda April 22, 2010 at 7:46 pm

Breakfast for dinner is quick and everyone eats it well! Eggs or pancakes or waffles with cut up fruit and turkey sausage.


Amy April 22, 2010 at 8:08 pm

Omelets! I can fill them with fresh veggies, leftover meats, and cheese and serve with English Muffins or toast and fresh fruit. The high protein meal really sustains my brood through activities!!


ashleigh April 22, 2010 at 8:29 pm

Anything in a crock pot so we can eat as soon as we walk in.


Queen of the House April 22, 2010 at 9:17 pm

Funny that you posted this!!!! I just started posting ideas for On the Go meals earlier this week (….we have 3 boys that are all playing baseball. We need to rethink the family meal…it might have to start being a bowl of cereal before bed at the kitchen table instead of dinner. :)


Heidi April 22, 2010 at 9:20 pm

I was thinking tacos or frozen turkey burgers you can throw in the pan or on the grill when you get home. We like sandwiches with chicken salad or egg salad that I made up ahead of time. Pita pizzas are fun. I just spread some sauce or salsa on a piece of pita bread and top with toppings or just cheese. Bake for about 15 minutes.

Hope that helps. I’ve certainly had lots of busy nights this year with 3 teenagers!


Darla Baerg April 22, 2010 at 9:53 pm

I buy frozen meatballs and put them in a 9 x 13. I pour a bottle of barbeque sauce over them and cook them as directed on the package. I serve them over rice and my family LOVES it. And it warms easily for those coming in … after practice. :)


Kristal April 22, 2010 at 9:55 pm

We have practice every night of the week for one child or another during dinner. So we switch and have dinner for lunch. I pack leftovers for my hubby to have on the days he doesn’t have to coach his team. Crazy few weeks!


Amber April 23, 2010 at 7:51 am

homemade pizza. They can even eat it in the car! =)


Beth in Ohio April 23, 2010 at 8:09 am

I don’t have to worry about extra-cirricular activities, but some nights I’ll make dinners that take less than 15 minutes to prepare, because I’m just too darned worn out from the office! My newest thing, is using leftover rice, pasta or quickly boiling up a crunched up package of ramen noodles (without that high-sodium flavor packet), and making a Leftover Scramble.

Eggs, rice/noodles, diced leftover ham, chicken or turkey, leftover veggie (or some frozen veggies), onion, minced garlic, shredded cheese, and some seasonings.

Millions of people in other countries make breakfasts like this all the time, so why not Americans too?


Jenny April 23, 2010 at 8:19 am

Two of our favorite practice night meals both involve the crockpot.
1. Meatball subs – put premade meatballs and a jar of spaghetti sauce in the crock pot before practice. Serve on buns with mozz and parm cheese.

2. Baked Potato Bar – wrap potatoes in foil. Place in crockpot on Low for 8 hours, High for 4 – 5. Serve with toppings of your choice. Our favorites are chopped ham, shredded cheese and ranch dressing.


Michelle April 23, 2010 at 8:48 am

skillet nachos. we ended up having them last night because of flag football practice and time was running tight. Last night I used sliced, marinated sirloin that I already had thawed, but typically I use ground beef or turkey…also good w/ chicken or meatless.

Smooth one can of refried black beans or mashed black beans in the bottom of an iron skillet. top with meat, taco seasonings, cheese, and bake at 350 until bubbly, about 15 minutes. serve with lettuce, tomatoes, and chips. we had chopped avocado and lime slices for squeezing over it last night, too. The boys LOVE this, and it’s fast.


Karen April 23, 2010 at 12:35 pm

I buy a frozen pizza to heat up when I don’t really feel like cooking(usually @ least once a week) vs. eating out for one time….


Johnetta April 23, 2010 at 1:00 pm

This same thing happened to us. All the kids activities end up right at dinner time. On those months my crockpot doesn’t leave my counter. It has a warm setting so it works well for “shift” dinners. There’s even nights I’ll cook pasta or soup before I pick up the kids from school and put it in there to keep warm.


Mandy April 23, 2010 at 1:54 pm

I serve open faced sandwiches (tuna melts, turkey melts, etc) along with veggie dippers.

We also do breakfast for dinner: eggs in some form, pancakes or waffles from the freezer, fruit.


Larissa April 23, 2010 at 3:17 pm

we like grilled cheese sandwiches or tuna sandwiches with fresh veggies and dip. we are blessed with a non-picky preschooler who has always LOVED tuna and veggies! great for swimming lesson days when you get home after the time you would normally eat and a bath is a must before bed….


maria April 23, 2010 at 6:00 pm

Usually practice night = leftover night! I too love my crock pot this time of year! I give the kids a more filling snack (sandwich and fruit, a slice of pizza and veggies) after school, so when we get home from practice, the girls each take a shower, by the time their out, dinner is on the table. We eat together (we try to make this happen every night since their time with Daddy is limited during the week because of work) and then the girls are ready for bed. We also use alot of the other ideas above if I don’t get the crock pot loaded and started on time.


Liz@HoosierHomemade April 25, 2010 at 9:30 pm

The crockpot is a life saver for me on game and practice nights. Last week I prepared and cooked a week’s worth of meals. It was lots of work, but so worth it.
You can see my post with recipes and a grocery list here…



Becky April 27, 2010 at 12:39 pm

I have 4 boys in hockey, lacrosse, football, tball, and waterpolo, as well as guitar and piano lessons. I make ahead meat & veggie filled buns – they are super easy.
I make the bread dough in the bread machine (with whole wheat flour if I am able to find it…small towns :o)
I then roll it out into a large rectangle about 1/2″ thick, cut it into about 4″squares, then fill it with a pre-cooked mixture of ground beef or turkey, frozen mixed veggies, onions, garlic, diced peppers etc. depending on what I have on hand. I pinch the buns close and bake them at 350 for about 20 minutes, brush them with butter and let them cool. I do a few dozen at a time, and freeze them in a large ziploc. They take about 40 seconds in the microwave to warm up. The boys will eat all kinds of things if I put them in these buns, and they are a complete meal with a glass of milk.


Amy April 27, 2010 at 7:18 pm

Funny to read this today because we are making something along thse lines right now — the lentil casserole posted on this site a few weeks ago! With swim lessons two nights a week during dinner prep time, I rely on crock pot meals, quick fixes (spaghetti, homemade pizza on a non-homemade crust, etc) and things that sit in the over for a long time. It’s really a trick to find both healthy and fast things to make …


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