Tip #1: Utilize your slow cooker this season.
Now that the summer heat is dissipating, I bet the family won’t mind having a hot home-cooked meal for dinner that will warm them from the inside out. It can be tough to put a homemade meal together after a long day at work or school. But if you have a slow cooker – sometimes called a crock pot - you may be able to do the prep ahead of time and let your meal cook during the day while you’re out.
A slow cooker is an electric dish that cooks food at a low, steady temperature. It usually takes about 8-12 hours to cook a meal. So, if you put it on at 8 am before you leave in the morning, you can come home around 5 or 6 pm and have dinner ready when you walk in the door. Look for healthy slow cooker recipes for soups, stews, roasts, or chili online. In the morning, simply throw in your ingredients and you’ll be ready for the troops when they come home for dinner!
Here’s a slow cooker recipe to get you started from one of our cookbooks Diabetes & Heart Healthy Meals for Two: Slow Cooker Beef and Bell Pepper Stew.
Tip #2: Resist turning to Halloween candy for snacks this month.
Yes, we know – this is easier said than done. With Halloween just around the corner, there won’t be a shortage of chocolates and sweet candies in the house. While it is fine to enjoy these convenient treats once in a while, they are not the best snacks for every day. Try not to buy candy until a day or two before Halloween, so you don’t have it sitting around the house. When you do buy candy, pick something that you don’t really care for or is less enticing to you.
Stock up on some quick healthy snacks so you have an option other than candy – should you be tempted by the Snickers and Milky Ways. Here are some healthy snack ideas that include some of our favorite fall foods and other seasonal produce:
• 1/3 cup Pumpkin Seed Cluster Snack Mix
• One small pear with a string cheese
• Apple slices with peanut butter
• Raw broccoli and cauliflower with hummus
• Grapes plus a single serving package of cottage cheese (buy low-sodium if available)
• Almonds and dried cranberry mix
• ½ cup of broth-based soup or vegetarian chili
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