During these winter months, it may seem harder and harder to keep warm! And with some limited food options during the cold weather, your meals may seem a little lackluster. But there are plenty of recipes and meals you can make that will fill you up and provide dinners for the week. 

Soups and Stews

Nothing screams winter more than soups, chilis and stews. It’s the quintessential meal of these cold, dark days. They offer rich broths, hearty vegetables and instant warmth. But that also doesn’t mean reaching for a can of soup, either. Making soups and stews at home are a great way to spend less money, make more food, and involve your children in the cooking process! Of course, if your children are on the younger side, it’s best to leave all the chopping and slicing to the adults, but there’s still plenty for them to do. They can pick the vegetables themselves, at the grocery store, and help you decide which soups and stews to make. They can pick which starches and proteins to put in the big pot as well, along with the spices (within reason!). This is a great way to let your child or children get creative and help explore their culinary palette. If your children are picky, it’s also a good way to help introduce other foods to them. They can pick something they may or may not like and if they truly don’t enjoy that flavor, it can be picked out of a soup or stew relatively easily. Soups, chilis and stews can be saved for later in the freezer or for leftovers later in the week. 

Rich Oven Meals

Sometimes the best meals for winter are the rich casseroles and other oven-inspired dinners. Making macaroni and cheese from scratch is quite fast, and tastes so much better coming out of the oven than a stove or microwave directions. There are shortcuts on making lasagna which can help cut down the overall prep time as well. Scalloped potatoes, baked chicken and dumplings, eggplant parmesan, stuffed peppers or squash, spaghetti bakes and more. Making variations on the classic casserole dish also works, such as tuna, veggie, crab, potato, cabbage roll, rice, zucchini, broccoli, chicken, turkey, the list goes on and on! The ingredients can vary depending on what your children prefer most, and you can also sneak some extra vegetables in there too. You can also make as much or as little of the casseroles and oven dishes as you’d like, freezing leftovers or making it again later in the week. So even if it takes a chunk of your time to prep and cook that first day, you’ll save time later in the week when you can pop the leftovers back into the oven for a quick re-heat. 

There are so many ways to get creative with recipes in the winter. Make sure to include your children as much as possible to help lighten your prep time and get them involved in cooking their own meals.    

Katie Kyzivat

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