Regardless of how picky your little eaters are, there are a few cooking tips and tricks that every mom and dad chef should have in their back pocket. When it comes time to serve up dinner, Christy Vega Fowler, Vice President of Los Angeles restaurant Casa Vega and mother of three boys knows how to appease those pint-sized appetites. We asked Christy how she prepares healthy and satisfying meals for her kids and what foods work best with fickle appetites.

As a working parent, what’s your go-to dinner recipe when your time in the evening is limited?
BBQ chicken, chopped salad with salami, apples & cheese, and corn on the cob. Frozen yogurt ice cream cones. Before I head out to work, I throw the chicken in a bowl with marinade. When we come home I get the pot of water boiling and throw in the corn. I heat the BBQ when we start homework at the table. Then I quickly throw the chicken on the grill and start chopping the salad while talking through any homework questions with the kiddos. I set the salad aside. ( I can chop a salad in 2 minutes flat!) I turn the chicken and check on the corn. The chicken and corn are usually done the same time and I set everything out family style.

What’s always in your pantry?
Couscous, white rice, pasta, canned tomatoes, tuna

If we took a peek in your kids’ lunch box, what would we find?
Carrots with ranch and/or hummus, tuna sandwich on Hawaiian rolls, H20 and fruit

Any surprising foods your kids love that you never thought to serve them?
Crab claws!!!

What are your kids’ favorite dish/meal?
Taco night…..I chop up grilled chicken and steaks, put out shredded lettuce, shredded cheese, guacamole and salsa. I bring home rice & beans. To top it all off, I make homemade tortilla chips. It’s fun and the kids love to assemble their own tacos!

Click here for Christy’s uber delicious recipe for chicken enchiladas with homemade enchilada sauce. Yum!