A crock pot, also known as a slow cooker, comes in different shapes and sizes, but with the same end goal in mind: preparing a variety of delicious meals that require a special treatment. The most important feature of a crock pot is that it maintains a low temperature compared to other cooking methods. This property allows for long, slow cooking process which certain dishes, like different types of stew, soups and similar require.
Recipes for which a crock pot might come in handy are numerous, even when you narrow it down to crock pot meals. This article will focus on special types of dishes, If you are a parent, then you needn’t be told how cooking for children can sometimes really be a challenge and new ideas to add to your cooking repertoire are always more than welcome. As most parents are aware, crock pot or no crock pot, putting together meals that your children will be delighted with can be a frustrating experience. This article will try not to neglect the very important fact that kids can be rather picky when it comes to getting the food from their plates into their bellies.
Crock Pot Meals For Kids Ideas
A good advice to follow is to try and stick with the ingredients you already know your children will like and then add other things into the mix. The beauty of a crock pot cooking is that it will give you a chance to “mask” less favorable foods, like vegetables, into a dish that your kids will find appealing.
One ingredient that most children seem to like is definitely chicken. We will not try to get behind the reasoning for this, although there has got to be a number of studies explaining this phenomenon. Rather than doing that, we will present a few dishes that have chicken meat as their key ingredient.
Chicken Meat Crock Pot Meals
This is a very simple, yet extremely tasty recipe that will take only a few minutes to prepare and will provide you with a great dish for the entire family, children included. You will need some boneless chicken meat (chicken breasts are your best bet) and your favorite salsa sauce.
Put the chicken breasts in the crock pot, cover them with the sauce and add seasoning according to your personal taste. Mix everything up well, cover the crock pot and let it stew for about four or five hours and let this simple crock pot meal cook. Once you pop the lid open, you will be presented with shredded chicken mixed with salsa sauce, ready to serve.
Since chicken and salsa naturally go together, here you have a simple to do the recipe that will bring some variety to your kitchen table and, which is the most important, your kids will love it.
Whole Roast Chicken
Most kids simply love when they have a whole chicken to pick from. It adds an entertainment element to a meal, and for when it comes to kids that can make a difference between them eating their dinner entirely or barely touching it.
Preparing a whole chicken in a crock pot may sound strange at first but it is one of the easiest Meals For Kids, but it is actually not hard to do at all. There are just a few simple tricks you need to use to get the best results:
- Place the chicken upside down in the crock pot. This helps to lean the meat while preserving the moisture.
- Rub the chicken with spices before cooking. However, in order to really get that flavor out, first, microwave the spices you intend to use mixed with some oil. This mix will provide you with much better taste when it is all said and done.
- Cook for about four or five hours at low temperature. Your chicken should be ready to go when the breast temperature reaches 160 degrees and thigh temperature reaches 175 degrees. You can check this using your digital thermometer.
For the best taste, take the chicken out of the pot and cover it with aluminum foil for about fifteen minutes.
Chicken Caesar Sandwiches
If you have problems with getting your children to eat salad, then these sandwiches are a great solution to your dilemma. Another great thing about these sandwiches is that you will get tasty chicken meat without having to turn on your oven, which is something we all can appreciate during those hot summer days.
Preparation is simple enough. Place two pounds of boneless, skinless chicken thighs in a crock pot and let them cook on low temperature for about six or seven hours. Remove the lid and use a spoon to take out the chicken meat, place it on a cutting board and shred it.
Return the shredded chicken back into the pot and cover it with your favorite seasoning. Some ideas you might like include Parmesan cheese, parsley and pepper. Stir it well, place the lid back on and cook on high temperature for about 40 minutes.
In the meantime, prepare buns with lettuce and once 40 minutes have passed, spoon about a quarter mixture onto each bun. This recipe should be enough for twelve sandwiches and is a great solution for school lunches, soccer games and similar parent – children gatherings.
Bonus Recipe: Squash Lasagna
Apart from chicken, second favorite food of most children is pasta, in different shapes and sizes. Thus, children will love this easy meals for kids, this lasagna recipe and will not mind the added vegetables.
Place two 10-ounce packages of frozen winter squash puree in a bowl and mix it with 1/8 teaspoon of ground nutmeg. Use the second bowl to mix ricotta (one 32-ounce container) with 6 cups of spinach, 1/2 teaspoon of salt and quarter-teaspoon of pepper.
Spread a half of squash mix on the bottom of your crock pot and place three lasagna noodles on top. Then, pour the rest of the squash mixture, place another three lasagna noodles on top of it and add a half of the ricotta mixture.
Cook on low temperature for about three or four hours, until noodles, have become tender. Serve with the green salad or other addition as desired.
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Image One by Janie – https://www.flickr.com/photos/geishabot/4312748848/
Image Two by Taz + Belly – https://www.flickr.com/photos/29047966@N05/14986728669/