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Top 10 Healthy MyPlate Inspired Crockpot Meals

 

A slow cooker is one of the best ways to have dinner waiting for you in order to avoid the drive-thru! However, just the food you put in the slow cooker, may not make a complete and balanced meal! Pair your plate with veggies, fruit, grain, and proteins, and you have the perfect MyPlate meal!

At Super Healthy Kids, we are big fans of the dietary recommendations to make half your plate fruits and vegetables! Such big fans in fact, back in 2007 (even when MyPyramid was the icon of health recommendations) we created a kids plate to teach balanced meals.  Now that the Pyramid has been replaced with MyPlate, we are beyond thrilled!  It’s the best way to teach our kids about balance and portions.  Food groups are celebrated, rather than eliminated and balance is key.  While my kids would make their entire plate from grains, using MyPlate reminds them they need a portion of fruits, vegetables and protein as well to keep their meals in balance and get all the nutrients they need to grow and be strong.

The way I use the MyPlate concept in my house

My kids are teenagers now, and most nights will have seconds or thirds of our meal.  When they do, I tell them “In order to keep your meal balanced, you may have another roll (it’s always a roll they want seconds of), but you also must get a serving of fruit, vegetable, and protein!”  Otherwise, they’ll have 10 rolls and no veggies.  You get the idea. Myplate teaches them balance and portion control.

So, to make these crockpot meals balanced, we’ve added the perfect items to serve them with!

1)Chili

We actually use the same recipe for chili in a crockpot, that I use in the slow cooker.  On busy days, I put everything in the slow cooker.  It’s truly a “dump and go” meal.  The beauty of this meal is there is also veggies in the chili, and then we added a green salad to make our vegetables more visible, reinforcing the myplate idea with our kids.

Top 10 Healthy MyPlate Inspired Crockpot Meals. Balanced meals, in a crockpot!
  • Veggies– Green salad
  • Fruit– Grapes
  • Grains– Corn Chips
  • Protein– Chili
  • Dairy (Optional)- Cheese on top 

2) Crockpot BBQ

It’s not often we purchase drumsticks (I just don’t think there is very much meat on it), but they sure are tasty! We’ve bought them a few times in the past few months for our meal planning service, and my kids loved them. Plus, they are so easy. Basically, pouring BBQ sauce over a crockpot full of drumsticks, and turning it on!  So easy.  For this myplate meal we balanced it with green salad and grapes again, but added a roll.  (here is a recipe for more details from Sweet Treats and More)

Top 10 Healthy MyPlate Inspired Crockpot Meals. Balanced meals, in a crockpot!
  • Vegetable– Green salad with poppyseed dressing
  • Fruit– Grapes (although it feels like a summer meal, and watermelon would be great!)
  • Grains– Roll (make this whole wheat for more nutrition)
  • Protein– Drumsticks

3) 40 Clove Chicken

Garlic! So delicious and so good for you!  40 cloves worth might seem like a lot, but it isn’t! It’s actually perfect.   We served this myplate meal with some brown rice, mangoes and dried cranberries, plus raw veggies.  Here is a 40 clove slow cooker recipe from Funny Is Family.

Top 10 Healthy MyPlate Inspired Crockpot Meals. Balanced meals, in a crockpot!
  • Vegetables– Raw crudite’s
  • Fruit-Mangoes and dried cranberries
  • Grains– Brown Rice
  • Protein– 40 clove chicken

4) Rotisserie Chicken

One of my favorite things to purchase at Costco is a rotisserie chicken.  So, while this isn’t exactly cooked on a rotisserie, it’s sure tastes similar! Here is a recipe and instructions on this post from The Lean Green Bean.  We served this myplate meal with some broccoli slaw (we eat that a lot!!), grilled peaches, and a multi grain roll.

Top 10 Healthy MyPlate Inspired Crockpot Meals. Balanced meals, in a crockpot!
  • Vegetables– Broccoli Slaw
  • Fruit-Grilled peaches
  • Grains– Multi-grain roll
  • Protein– Rotisserie chicken

5) Rainbow Risotto

Yes, I just blogged about this on Monday, but we could eat this Rainbow Risotto every day! So cheesy and delicious. But, I wanted to add this one because I want to show that sometimes, we don’t need to use the crockpot every time for our main dish.  Plus, this is an easy way to get your grains in, even when you are gluten free!

Top 10 Healthy MyPlate Inspired Crockpot Meals. Balanced meals, in a crockpot!
  • Vegetables– Steamed broccoli and cauliflower
  • Fruit– chopped apples and tangerines
  • Grains– Rice/risotto
  • Protein– seasoned and baked chicken

6) Tuscan Chicken and Beans

We made this one for our meal planning site a few weeks back.  The Tuscan chicken and beans recipe we like is from the Lemon Bowl, and it gave us TWO sources of protein.  We love beans!  We don’t always eat meat.  In fact, we have usually two days a week that we have a vegetarian dinner. But this recipe called for both chicken and beans, which was fine by me!

Top 10 Healthy MyPlate Inspired Crockpot Meals. Balanced meals, in a crockpot!
  • Vegetables– Broccoli (eat raw if you have no time for prep. If you do, we recommend Roasting the broccoli!
  • Fruit– Cherries
  • Grains– Orzo pasta
  • Protein– chicken and beans

7) Sweet Pulled Pork

Pork roasts and beef roasts are best cooked in a slow cooker.  Am I right?  How else are you going to get that perfect shred! We found this delicious recipe from Gimme Some Oven, that sweetens up the pork with apple cider!

Top 10 Healthy MyPlate Inspired Crockpot Meals. Balanced meals, in a crockpot!
  • Vegetables– Brussels Sprouts- Roasted!
  • Fruit– Warmed apples!  Until they were soft. YUM!!
  • Grains– Brown Rice
  • Protein– Shredded pork

8) Crockpot Meatballs

Skinny Taste posted this Turkey Crockpot meatballs recipe, and we’ve used it several times!   The prep on this obviously takes a little extra time, but the result is super delicious.  Plus, we don’t just use ground turkey because we have been told it’s leaner or healthier, but we actually really love the taste of ground turkey!  We added some sauteed green beans, rice (yes, I know it’s white- we can’t be perfect all the time, and I have about 10000 pounds of white rice in my basement).  And chopped apples and pears.

Top 10 Healthy MyPlate Inspired Crockpot Meals. Balanced meals, in a crockpot!
  • Vegetables– Sauteed green beans
  • Fruit– Pears and apples
  • Grains– Rice
  • Protein– Ground Turkey meatballs.

9) Auntie’s Roast

And the beef roast!  Of course.  The recipe I use for this is simple.  1 Beef Roast, Salt, 1 onion, 1 bay leaf, 3 cloves of garlic, and 1/2 cup of water.  We roasted some root veggies (potatoes and carrots in a hot 400 degree oven, drizzled with a little olive oil and salt).  Pineapple, and french bread!

Top 10 Healthy MyPlate Inspired Crockpot Meals. Balanced meals, in a crockpot!

 

  • Vegetables-Roasted Root veggies
  • Fruit– Pineapple
  • Grains– French bread
  • Protein– Beef Roast

10) Kids Choice Pasta

Marinara sauce becomes thick and delicious when made in a slow cooker! We use this recipe, except combine all the ingredients (plus cooked ground beef) in the slow cooker instead of on a pot, and set on low for about 4-6 hours.   This is great to do at the end of tomato season, and then freeze your marinara sauce.

Top 10 Healthy MyPlate Inspired Crockpot Meals. Balanced meals, in a crockpot!
  • Vegetables– Green Salad
  • Fruit– Mangoes
  • Grains– Pasta
  • Protein– Ground Beef Marinara Sauce

Want more Choose MyPlate meals?  Follow our pinterest board, and as we find them, we’ll pin them!

Top 10 Healthy MyPlate Inspired Crockpot Meals. Balanced meals, in a crockpot! Top 10 Healthy MyPlate Inspired Crockpot Meals. Balanced meals, in a crockpot! http://www.superhealthykids.com/top-10-healthy-myplate-inspired-crockpot-meals/


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14 Comments

Amy! This is so crazy. I found your page today because I was looking for a way to make nuggets from leftover turkey, and fell in love with your site. And then I saw your link to my Crock Pot Thursday garlic chicken post! How small is this internet, huh?

Thank you for the mention, and again, love your site!

Reply

Amy!! That IS SO crazy!! and how random. Especially because it’s literally been months or maybe even years since we’ve linked to other blogs, and we happened to do it on the day you found us!!!
So, welcome, and can’t wait to read more from your blog as well~~

Reply

Yes, definitely- in fact, we have a cute little dairy bowl that goes with our plates. It didn’t seem to fit in these meals, but either a glass of milk, a slice of cheese, or a small bowl of yogurt would definitely make it a true “Myplate” meal. 🙂

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Jen

Thank you for providing healthy, simple visual ideas beyond the norm.! I have been stuck in a daily rut of eggs, cheese, peanut butter, strawberries and bananas, and overwhelmed at the thought of what to do for veggies 🙁

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Andrea Thompson

These are fun but how about some vegetarian choices? Even the risotto had chicken with it! Animal protein is never a necessity obviously and certainly not at every meal. Thanks.

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Alaina

Thank you for these great recipes! My little guy has an allergy to tomatoes, for the meatball recipe, could I sub chicken broth instead of the stewed tomatoes?

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