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Six Kid-Approved Back-to-School Dinners

Promo for blog post on back to school dinner recipes
Sep 18, 2023

The school bells are ringing once again. Can you believe how quickly September came around? Juggling the planning and preparation of after-school dinners can be a challenge. But you can relax knowing Food Hero has your back!  All six recipes in this blog are “kid-approved.” That means that kids throughout Oregon tasted and enjoyed these recipes.  Kids are even more likely to try new foods when they help prepare them. Invite them into the kitchen to help. Let’s explore these six after-school dinners for this fall season!

Recipe 1: Easy Meatballs

Easy Meatballs Recipe served on table

These tender, flavorful meatballs can steal the spotlight on any plate. Served with rice or pasta, they’re oh-so-satisfying. Instead of breadcrumbs, try making them with oats. Easy Meatballs also include onions and carrots for a flavor boost. For even more veggies, serve them with a side of Food Hero’s Roasted Vegetables. If you are cooking with kids, show them how to measure and mix the ingredients to form meatballs.

Recipe 2: Skillet Mac and Cheese

Meet your new comfort food: Skillet Mac and Cheese. It's creamy, cheesy and so tasty. This recipe lets you add your favorite veggies. Whether fresh or frozen, broccoli, carrots, cauliflower, celery, spinach, tomatoes and zucchini work well.  Cooking with kids?  Teach them how to safely stir while cooking.

Recipe 3: Tasty Hamburger Skillet

Tasty Hamburger Skillet is a mix of beans, seasoned beef and rice—all in one pan. It's filling and packed with flavor. Take a bite and savor the goodness.  An added bonus?  This is a one-pot meal.  That means you’ll spend less time cleaning up! If you are cooking with kids, teach them how to safely chop veggies to add to the mix!

Recipe 4: Vegetarian Chili

Vegetarian Chili Recipe served on table


Vibrant colors and hearty beans come together in our Vegetarian Chili. Top it off with cheddar cheese for a creamy finish! As the season changes and the weather gets cooler, soups, stews and chilis become great choices. They’re warm and filling, and are easy to make ahead of time, saving you precious moments on those busy school nights.  Cooking with kids?  Teach them how to grate cheese using a box grater.

Recipe 5: White Chicken Chili

When the weather cools, White Chicken Chili can help warm you up. This chili is packed with tender chicken and beans in a flavorful broth. And guess what? It’s ready in under an hour! Got kids in the kitchen?  This is a great recipe to have them help you measure out ingredients and add to the saucepan.

Recipe 6: Spinach and Black Bean Enchiladas

Love enchiladas? Our Spinach and Black Bean Enchiladas combine black beans with veggies wrapped in tender tortillas. They’re covered in a flavorful tomato sauce and topped with creamy mozzarella cheese.  Serve them with your favorite hot sauce or salsa. Food Hero has two salsa recipes developed by the Latin Heritage workgroup: Salsa Roja and Salsa Verde. If you are cooking with kids, show kids how to use a colander to rinse beans.

Planning ahead with these meals can help make getting dinner on the table a bit easier. Whether it's meatballs, a skillet dinner, chili or enchiladas, these recipes can make busy days feel special.

So, when the leaves change color and school routines start, take time to have dinner together. Check out our Tell Me More Conversations Cards to help make mealtime fun. From the team at Food Hero, we wish you a fantastic school year.

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