Fall is here, and with that has come the shifting schedules of back-to-school. Now you’re back trying to get a half-decent meal on the table when you’re shuttling between three after-school activities!
Here are some tips to help you prepare healthy fall family meals while embracing the start of the cold season:
1. Use your slow cooker
Use back-to-school as a chance to put your slow cooker to work after a summer of rest! It cooks all day long while the kids are at school and you’re at work or chasing a busy toddler.
The caveat is that it does require some prep time in the morning. If that doesn’t work for you, set aside some time on the weekend to prep one or two slow cooker meals and freeze them in ziploc bags. Do a quick online search for meals you can take out of your freezer, drop into your slow cooker, and head out the door.
Some family-friendly slow cooker meal ideas:
Chili (with ground beef, turkey, or vegetarian with kidney beans, black beans, or chick peas)
Pulled chicken or pulled pork sandwiches
Chicken “stir-fry” with whole grain rice
Chicken or vegetarian tortilla soup
Chicken cacciatore with whole grain pasta
Soups: tomato-basil, lentil, etc. (make grilled cheese for dipping!)
2. Let go and think outside the box
Let’s face it – none of us will have our act together every day. Last-minute park play dates come up or maybe it’s just been an exhausting day at work. Keep an arsenal of quick meals in your pantry for when you just can’t muster the energy to make anything else:
Tuna sandwiches with veggies and dip
Whole grain or lentil pasta with low-sodium jarred spaghetti sauce
Whole-grain English muffin pizzas with salad
A slow cooker meal that you double-batched another day and froze for today
Scrambled eggs, fruit, and whole-grain toast
Hummus, whole grain pita bread, and veggies
A quick stove-top egg frittatta made with whatever veggies your family likes
3. Cold-weather family classics
Embrace those chilly fall days and enjoy making a family favorite:
Whole-grain spaghetti and meatballs with salad
Meatloaf or roast chicken with oven-roasted fall veggies like carrots, sweet potatoes, and parsnip
Salmon with brown rice and roasted asparagus
Lasagne layered with ricotta and spinach or roasted veggies
Have you tried any of these healthy fall family meal ideas? Which ones are your favorites? For more tips and advice on planning delicious and nutritious meals for your family all year round, contact us today!