By: Grace Derocha
Registered Dietitian and health & wellness coach at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan

Parents are busy people, everyone knows that.

We also know that your kids’ health is your highest priority.

So healthy, fast food is the goal as we get ready to mark Kids Opening Day at Comerica Park on Sunday, April 9.

Here’s a recipe that meets all your goals as the foundation of a healthy, fast meal.

The average American dines out between four and five times a week. Regularly choosing convenience foods over meals at home can negatively influence health based on portions, methods of preparation and commercial additives.

Did you know, the average restaurant dish contains 60 percent more calories than a homemade meal? This is due to servings sizes being between two and four times larger. It also typically costs between $9 and $25 per person, which can add up to more than $200 in one week for the average-sized family.

But that can all change by making healthier versions of your restaurant favorites at home. For example, a traditional pulled pork sandwich has anywhere between 400-700 calories and 6-10 grams of fat when served at a restaurant. However, this recipe for a healthier homemade version has 90-150 calories and only 1-5 grams of fat, because chicken is lower in fat and calories than pork.

This meal is easy to pull together with the help of a slow cooker, or great to serve at parties to get everyone in the barbecue mood before spring and summer arrive.


-3 lbs (about 5-6 count) boneless, skinless chicken thighs

-1.5 cups BBQ sauce of your favorite or make your own

-1/2 medium onion, grated (with juice)

-1 Tbsp. olive oil

-1 Tbsp. brown sugar



  1. Stir together all sauce ingredients in a 5-6 qt slow cooker.
  2. Add chicken and coat in sauce. Cover and cook on high 3 to 4 hours or on low for 6-7 hours. Chicken is done when cooked through and easy to shred.
  3. Shred chicken with two forks in slow cooker or you may remove and shred in a bowl. If you remove from sauce, replace back in crockpot to stay warm and ready to serve. Serve on a bun or with your favorite veggies.

Click here for more healthy recipes.


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