As a busy mother of two children with completely different tastes, a wife of an executive who often travels, a registered dietitian and someone with a crazy, healthy palate, I would say I have quite a challenge when it comes to feeding my family something they will enjoy eating.  But during this time of year, it is not impossible to serve healthy fall recipes your family will not only love, but they will be asking for them again and again.

Many of today’s families consist of dual earners outside the home and somewhere in between there, they are dropping off and picking up the kids from school and daycare.  Throw in the homework, sports practice, and you now have minimal time (or energy) for a healthy family dinner at home.  It does not need to be this way.

As a meal planner, I find that many familes love their crockpots.  With this method, you are able to keep your meals super clean, easy to prepare and quick to clean up, too.  During cooler fall months, its not abnormal to see things such as beef stews or chili in a crockpot.  You are able to include your favorite protein packed meats, fresh or frozen vegetables and then finish it with a fresh dessert consisting of chilled fruits.  One amazing recipe that is simple and includes some fall root vegetables is a beef stew.

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For a simple stew:

– Choose your favorite cut of beef, preferably a leaner cut while still avoiding the the leanest since they tend to become tougher through cooking.
– Place the meat into your crockpot along with large pieces of carrots, potatoes, onions and even Brussels sprouts would work if you keep them whole.
– Season with freshly ground pepper, sea salt, and your favorite combination of herbs; truly, you cannot go wrong here.
– Top it off with a BPA-free, can of diced tomatoes and approximately 1/4 cup flour to thicken it up.
– Stir together in the crockpot and then allow it to cook on low for 6-7 hours, checking to be sure the meat is no longer pink.

Speaking of root vegetables, did you know that they are in season during the cooler, fall months? Some of them include, potatoes, carrots, beets, rutabaga and turnips.  Root vegetables should be included in your regular vegetable intake, because they are great sources of calcium, fiber and phytonutrients which fight back against some forms of cancer.  Not to mention, most of them taste great when simply roasted with a little sea salt, freshly cracked pepper and coconut oil.

Healthy fall recipes appleWhat other reasons are there for choosing seasonal foods, such as those used in fall inspired recipes?

– Choosing foods that are season will keep your grocery bills lower – Dad is happy!
– Seasonal foods are richer in nutrients since they are being harvested at their peakness of gowth and typically you are buying items that have grown locally or at least within your residing country – Mom is happy!
– Richness in colors are seen at this time year and everyone loves a great presentation when it comes to mealtime – Kids are enticed and happy!

Have a sweet tooth like me? Or maybe you are trying to help your family wipe out the dessert habit after dinner? Why not try some freshly baked apples instead? The whole family can get involved with prepping this one, too.

Baked apples: 

– Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Farenheit.
– Then, mix approximately 1/2 cup brown sugar (or sugar substitute if you would prefer), a serving of your favorite protein powder and 1 teaspoon of cinnamon, in a small bowl.
– Next, cut the very tops of four apples off and core them out, reserving the top portion of the apple if desired.
– Stuff each apple as best you can, with the filling
– Drizzle 1/2-1 tablespoon of cocount oil into each apple, sprinkle with some cinnamon and place them into a baking dish that has a small amount of water on the bottom of it.
– Cover the dish with foil and bake for 45 minutes.  Eventually you can make these without the sugar because your family will love how sweet the apples are on their own.

Having more home-cooked family meals just may be what is needed to bring the family together around the dinner table more often.  Having this togetherness will open so many doors of opportunity to truly learn more about what’s important to your family.

Loved the tips? Grab a full Balanced diet plan your whole family could enjoy!

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