Family Meals, Family Time

With the number of hours we have in a day, we want to make the most of them. Time with family is often at the top of the list. We can use meal time as a key way to connect with the ones we love.

Here are some tips for making your meal a success for your family:

Make meal time stress-free! Avoid stress at mealtime by planning a weekly menu. Get everyone’s ideas. Give jobs for each meal. Some can wash. Some can clean-up. Post the menu in a place for all to see. Try a chalkboard in the kitchen.

Prep when you have more time. Get all the meal items ready for the week. After you shop, make prepping a family event. Cut the vegetables. Measure what’s needed for each meal. Store all these foods ready to go in containers.

Put family mealtime at the top of your list. Set aside time in your family’s schedule each week. Try to cook, eat, and clean up together.

Try a different meal time. If evenings are too hectic at your house, use other meals for family time. A weekend brunch or afternoon snack time may work better.

Keep it fun! The family table can be a media- and stress-free zone. Use your family time to be focused on each other. Make a rule that no phones are allowed at the table.

Source: MyPlate My Wins Tip Sheet, March 2017, USDA

Try this quick recipe for veggies that can be used as a meal or a snack.

Dunkin’ Veggies
5 cups raw vegetables, rinsed, and cut into bite-sized pieces. May use baby carrots, celery sticks, broccoli, cauliflower, or cherry tomatoes.

Honey Mustard Dip
¼ cup honey; 2 Tbsp brown mustard; 2 Tbsp fat-free evaporated milk; 1 Tbsp fresh parsley, rinsed, dried, and chopped (or 1 tsp dried); 1 Tbsp fresh chives, rinsed, dried, and chopped (or 1 tsp dried)

Combine all these ingredients. Serve with Dunkin’ Veggies.

Source: Deliciously Healthy Family Meals

For more ideas on living well, call Four Corners Health Department at 877-337-3573. Visit our website at . Check out the archive of recipes for busy families. Be sure to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.