This week I’ve been sharing my top 3 game-changing tips for feeding my family healthfully and conveniently. My first tip is to automate breakfast (find out how, here.)  Another amazing tip is my kid-snacks hack: Making Healthy Snacking Fun & Easy. And HERE on this page, my friends, I have the ultimate make-dinner-time-go-so-smoothly-with-less-mess-and-less-stress-and-more-kids-eating-veggies hack!

So it’s 5-6 p.m. and what are many of us moms and dads doing? We are prepping dinner. Our kids are tired and hungry and it’s been a long day. While we’re making dinner, the kids come in and out, trying to grab snacks. I don’t know about you, but this used to stress me out because:

  • I am making dinner and I want them to eat it
  • I don’t want to fill their bellies with junk (which is what they want to snack on right before dinner)
  • I don’t want them to “spoil their dinner”
  • I don’t want them to make a mess on top of the mess that I am making

These stressors were hard hurdles for me to get over and I found a way to turn my dinner-prepping time into something I can control and the kids will benefit from. So here’s what I do:

The Veggie Bar

While I am deciding what to make for dinner and getting all the prep ready, the first thing I do is I get out “the veggie bar.” This can be as simple as picking up a veggie tray when you do your weekly shopping. Pull out the veggie tray and set it on the counter. I’ve taught my kids that during this dinner prep time, they’re allowed to eat whatever I put on the counter at this time.

I have a special tray in the fridge that we use for our veggie bar. It’s got their favorite veggies and dips. Sometimes it’s ranch (healthy ranch dressing recipe here), hummus or guacamole. Throw in some nuts or olives if you like, and just put it on the counter!

If they don’t touch it, I don’t mind because they will be having dinner in a minute, which also includes veggies. But usually they’re pretty hungry at this time, and therefore more willing to eat whatever I put out. I am not worried about them spoiling their dinner by dipping carrots in ranch before we eat dinner.

Having this veggie bar has SAVED my dinner routine!

I’d love to hear your favorite game changing hacks. What has helped you make healthy eating more convenient?