Easy After School Dinners for Busy Parents

Need some after school easy dinners that are healthy too? Potatoes to the rescue!

The school year is full of feeding-the-family-challenges, isn’t it? You’ve got to pack healthy lunches and for kids and fix them energizing after school snacks, and in the evenings, somehow manage to get a hearty supper on the table. You and your kids need something quick, easy, and healthy at the end of a long day of work and school, and a healthy dose of potatoes fits the bill perfectly.

Baking potatoes in the oven can take 45 minutes to an hour, but our farm fresh PotatOH products cook in the microwave in just minutes. Not only do potatoes make quick work when it comes to meal preparation, they’re healthy. Potatoes contain healthy carbohydrates, which fuel muscle and brain function. And at just 110 calories, a medium skin-on potato packs a nutritional punch! It’s rich in potassium and vitamin C and has 2 grams of fiber to help keep you and your kids feeling full.

The best part about potatoes? Kids love ’em! Check out these easy dinners for after school or any busy evening.

Easy After School Dinners 01

Spinach and Artichoke Two Potato Casserole

Who says it’s hard to get kids to eat their vegetables? Serve this healthy casserole as a vegetarian main dish, or cook up your favorite protein, and dish this up on the side.

Irish Potato Cakes with Sour Cream Sauce

This is another healthy potato recipe that you can serve as a main course or a side dish. Add a big salad, and you’ve got a healthy supper in no time flat.

Colcannon Chowder

Colcannon is a traditional Irish stew. It’s a perfect hearty meal on a cold night with some crust bread for dipping.

Lightened Up Loaded Baked Potato Soup

This potato soup recipes sneaks lots of healthy vegetables in. That creamy base is made from potatoes and cauliflower! Your kids will never guess that they’re eating their veggies.

After School Dinners 02

Chicken and Potato Pot Pie

Nothing says comfort food like a pot pie, and our version uses pre-made pie crust and microwave cooking to speed up the process.

Creamy Potato and Vegetable Casserole

Casseroles can be time-consuming, but this veggie-packed dish cooks up fast in the microwave to get supper on the table in a flash.

Chili Lime Chicken Potato Tacos

Kids love taco night! To make this meal into an event, serve the filling in a big bowl with other toppings – like diced tomato, shredded lettuce, and sour cream – and let everyone make their own tacos right at the table.

Southwest Chicken Casserole

This casserole is a one-dish meal, and it comes together quickly with the help of your microwave.

Do you have a go-to easy dinner that you cook up on busy school nights? Tell us about your kids’s favorite potato dishes in the comments!

Back to School Potato Recipes to Keep Kids Happy and Energized

Kids and a school bus

Need some quick and easy back to school recipes? We’ve got healthy, tasty snack and packed lunch options that your kids will love.
 
It’s about time to send those kiddos back to school, and all of that learning sure works up an appetite. Do your little ones come home with a big appetite? Whether you’re looking for a snack or a filling lunch to pack potatoes can help keep your kids happy, healthy, and full of energy for those long days in school.

Potatoes get a bad rep, but they’re actually good for kids if you use healthy preparation methods like microwaving, baking, or even grilling. They’re packed full of healthy carbohydrates – the stuff that your brain needs to function. A medium skin-on potato also provides a healthy dose of nutrients like vitamin C and potassium to keep your kids healthy. It’s also got 2 grams of fiber, which helps your kids feel full longer, so they can focus on school and homework.

The best part? Potatoes make a nutritious addition to lunch or snack time that your kids will actually eat. Check out these back to school recipes for packed lunches and after school snacks!

Potato Packed Lunch Ideas

Packed Potato Lunches

Packing your child’s lunch the night before can help you save time in the mornings. These are some easy lunch recipes that travel well.

Parmesan Panko Potato Balls – These make a filling snack alongside a sandwich or a thermos of soup.

Chili Lime Chicken Potato Tacos – To keep these from getting soggy, pack the filling and the taco shells separately, and let your child assemble them at lunch time. They’re lunch and an activity in one!

Cheese and Trees Potato Soup – When the weather starts to get cooler, send your kid to school with a thermos brimming with warm, hearty soup.

Bacon and Chive Potato Pancakes – You can pack these alone or in a container with greens. If you pack them solo, include some unsweetened applesauce for dipping to sneak in a serving of fruit.

Potato and Vegetable Stacks – These are a fun alternative to a sandwich that lets you sneak some healthy veggies into your kid’s lunch. Just pack extra dressing in a well-sealed container. You can use more of the Italian dressing from the recipe or try ranch.

After School Potato Snacks

After School Potato Snacks

The kids are always hungry when they come home from school. These simple recipes will tide them over until supper time.

Mini Sweet Potato Bites – Who needs processed finger foods when you can pile yummy toppings onto sliced sweet potato rounds?

Grilled Potato Dippers – Here’s a trade secret: if you don’t want to bust out the grill, you can skip that step and just microwave the potatoes before you slice ’em. Your kids will have so much fun with the dipping sauces, they’ll never notice the difference!

Festive Papas Tapas – Do your kids like white potatoes better than sweets? Try these easy potato bites!

Baked Potato Nachos – Nachos are the ultimate kid-friendly food, but corn chips are usually deep fried. Instead of greasy chips, use healthy potato slices as the base for your nacho toppings.

Buffalo Chicken Potato Skins – You can make this into a quick dish by cooking your potatoes in the microwave instead of baking before you cut them.

 

Creative Commons photo via woodleywonderworks on Flickr

 

Back to School Snack Recipe: Sweet Potato Bites

Sweet Potato Bites

This back to school recipe makes a healthy school lunch snack with just a few minutes of prep work.

Many school lunch snacks that kids grab are not the healthiest: sugary snacks like cookies and candy might fill your kid up, but you’re in for a sugar crash and a tough evening. Next time your kids need a snack for lunch while at school, try this recipe starring sweet potatoes to satisfy that sweet tooth without so much processed sugar.

Sweet potatoes give your kids a dose of vitamins and fiber to boost their energy for long school days. One medium sweet potato gives your children 30 percent of their daily dose of vitamin C and 4 grams of filling dietary fiber to keep them full until supper time [source: Nutrition Data]. Not too shabby for one tasty orange spud!

These sweet potato bites are a little bit sweet, a little bit salty, and sure to be a hit with your kids. Think of them as a lighter version of potato skins!

Sweet Potato Bites

Sweet Potato Bites

Cook time: 7-10 minutes
Prep time: 5 minutes
Serves 2

Nutrition per serving (using turkey bacon): 130 calories; 20 g carbs; 7 g fat; 4 g protein

Ingredients

  • 1 Sweet PotatOH
  • 1/4 cup low fat sour cream
  • 2 strips of turkey or vegetarian bacon, cooked and chopped
  • 1/4 cup green onions – green parts only – chopped

Directions

  1. Cook the 1 Sweet PotatOH in the microwave according to package directions while you prep the bacon and green onions.
  2. Slice the potato into 1/4″ coins and arrange on a plate. Top each coin with a dollop of sour cream and sprinkle the whole plate with bacon and green onions.

6 Gluten Free Summer Potato Salads

Need some gluten free summer salads for your next cookout or picnic potluck? We’ve got you covered.

Gluten in a salad? Yep! Those innocent croutons and bottled salad dressings often contain gluten ingredients, and that’s no good if you’re allergic or sensitive to gluten. We’ve got some easy, delicious gluten free summer salads to keep you eating healthy all summer long.

Here at Farm Fresh Direct, we love a big, hearty meal, but in the middle of a scorcher of a summer, sometimes a salad is just the thing to fill you up without heating up the house. Besides, who says a salad can’t be hearty?

Potatoes are the perfect addition to your summer salad to transform a bowl of greens into a filling dish. And the best part? Unlike croutons or bread sticks, potatoes are a naturally gluten free food. They’ve also got 8% of your daily fiber, and dietary fiber helps you feel full longer without so many extra calories.

Mayo Free Potato Salad

1. Mayo-Free Potato Salad

Mayonnaise isn’t the healthiest ingredient, and not all brands are gluten free. Next time you’re hankerin’ for some potato salad, try a mayo-free version instead. This recipe calls for mustard, and most are gluten free. If you’re not sure, you can check this list of gluten free mustards. Image Source: Go Dairy Free.

 

Mediterranean Savory Salad

2. Mediterranean Sun-Kissed Savory Salad

Filling potatoes tossed with fresh veggies and some tasty feta cheese? Yes, please! This salad is perfect for summertime, and all of the ingredients in this salad are naturally gluten free, and it’s filling enough to be a meal all on its own.

 

Three Potato Salad

3. Three-Potato Salad with Arugula

Who says that gluten free eating has to be boring? This three-potato salad combines sweet potatoes, white potatoes, and purple potatoes to make a hearty party in your mouth. Serve it up on a bed of tangy arugula for a gluten free feast. Image Source: Fat Free Vegan Kitchen.

 

Sweet Potato Kale

4. Sweet Potato & Kale Salad with Pineapple

Savory greens and sweet pineapple pair up perfectly with plenty of chopped sweet potato. You can eat this colorful, gluten free salad as a main dish or serve it as a side. It’s great alongside grilled chicken or a grilled portobello mushroom.

 

Warm Spinach Salad with Smokey Pecans and Sweet Potato

5. Warm Spinach Salad with Sweet Potato

Not crazy for kale? Eat your greens with this filling spinach salad instead. This is another recipe that calls for mustard. Most mustard is already gluten free, but if you want to be 100% sure, click here for a list of gluten free mustards. Image Source: Amandeleine.

 

Warm Potato Salad (Thumb)

6. Warm Honey Mustard Potato Salad with Green Beans

This salad features seasonal green beans tossed with potatoes in a sweet and tangy gluten free dressing. Serve this as a side dish with chicken, fish, or beef. See the note in the previous recipe about choosing a gluten free mustard.