Meals @ the ball field

We're halfway into softball season and with two ball players this year, our game schedule is keeping us hopping!

At our weeknight games, we don't usually walk off the field until around 7:00pm. Hungry, sweaty, tired kids are loads of fun at this hour. P.S. We have school tomorrow.

So I started asking around, trying to figure how other families handle dinner on game nights.

It sounds like most folks head home for a quick bite or just eat out after the game. I love me some In-N-Out and take-out of any variety, but it runs us anywhere from $25-50 for our big family. That adds up fast with two night games each week (not to mention the five other days of the week when I'd be glad not to cook dinner).

We'll definitely be eating out sometimes. But I want to challenge myself to do some planning ahead so we can eat together at the game. I think I can feed us all for less $, sneak in some more fruits and vegetables, and maybe get the kids to bed at a decent hour. Who's an overachiever? That would be me.🙋🏻 But seriously, I hope with some forward thinking we can limit our spending and maybe the whining, too.

Meals at the ball field have to be simple, portable, and something the kids will actually eat. Here are some "rules":

  • Food should be handheld (limit plates / utensils)
  • Served cold or lukewarm
  • Approved by picky eaters
  • Fresh cut veg & fruit on the side
  • Dessert if I'm feeling extra nice

This is what I've come up with so far—a list of picnic-style dinners to pack for weeknights at the game. Thanks to you cool people who inspired these good ideas! I definitely won't have time or willpower to make this happen for every game, but let's see how it goes!

Ball Game Meal Ideas

Bring a baguette, charcuterie, cheese, crackers, grapes, nuts, olives, and pickles. Snack dinner FTW.

Bake at home, wrap in foil, and tuck inside the original box for easy transport. If you can't be bothered to bake a frozen pizza, a Costco pizza is still a pretty good deal (but it's one more stop on the way to the game, and I assure you we're already late and forgot six things we needed). 

Hot dogs + sausages
Boil them at the last minute and wrap in foil. Try Niman Ranch or Fork in the Road for some interesting flavors. 

Check out these Baked Ham Sandwiches. So good. So many calories. Tried them last week—they were a crowd-pleaser and can be served from a disposable foil tray. I'm already thinking about some variations on this theme, like this Cheeseburger Casserole, WOW. 

Bean & cheese or breakfast burritos are going to be our best bet. To make assembly easier, I might do this Breakfast Bake ahead of time, scoop portions into tortillas, and wrap them in foil.

Crock pot
Apparently there's a mom who wheels in her crock pot on a wagon and serves pulled pork, etc. I seriously love the ambition, but I doubt I'll pull this one off.

Eating hot dogs from home in the peanut gallery. Go Panthers!

Eating hot dogs from home in the peanut gallery. Go Panthers!

Let's play ball (and feast)! Any other yummy ideas?