Fall calls for warm and cozy dinners that serve two purposes: dinner and leftovers. That's where my chicken enchilada soup recipe comes in - it's packed with a ton flavor with little impact on your blood sugar.
We’ve reached that point of the year where we’ve been cooking fresh, home-cooked meals every single day, motivated by the new year and now we need something we can throw in a slow cooker, set it, and forget it to keep us warm on these cold nights!
Finding ways to fit family dinners into our busy schedules has changed the way my whole family eats. And this time of year, a slow cooker or pressure cooker is the perfect way to make this happen. But if you're struggling to get your kids to sit down and enjoy a proper meal at dinner time, I have a few strategies to help!
Here's the thing, most kids are ravenous by the time they get home from school. But this can quickly turn into a snack-fest and by the time we plate dinner, kids can end up under-eating the meal we really want them to enjoy... And they miss out on getting in protein, fat, fiber, and greens!
Here's what I do to stop that behavior (80% of the time) in our home*:
- I’ll make dinner early! I throw meal times out the window, and I ensure that the protein, fat, fiber and greens I’m serving for dinner are ready and available around 4:30. My kids are eating 2 to 3x more real food for dinner now and they aren’t over snacking or asking for late night snacks.
- We eat dinner as a family but if Chris or myself can’t sit down around 4:30, we like to do a “last call” where they can have seconds of the dinner or a different type of whole food based snack around 6 p.m., and then my kids are satiated before bed at 7-7:30 p.m.
- I always pack protein, fat, fiber, and greens in their school lunches, so I have my kids open up their planet box lunchboxes on their way home as a snack. This way before we get home, they’ve eaten a little to cut their hunger enough to wait the hour until dinner and we’re also limiting food waste. Win, win!
- If your kids eat all their lunch, this is a unique opportunity to bring a protein-based snack like a hard boiled egg, a beef stick - we love chomps, or some pulled rotisserie chicken to carpool.
- If they’re whining for food after school, I have them pop in the kitchen with me to chop veggies as my sous chef while I prep dinner and they just end up eating them. I like to make whole food snacks easy to access so they have the ability to help themselves to some snacks if needed.
*I realize not everyone has this flexibility but it’s worth a shot if you have the ability! Now onto the recipe!