Friday, March 11, 2016

Savor the Flavor Tip #11 - Enact Family Meal Time

Plan to eat as a family at least a few times each week. Set a regular mealtime. Turn off the TV,phones and other electronic devices to encourage mealtime talk. Get kids involved in meal planning and cooking and use this time to teach them about good nutrition.  Family meal time is a great way to stay connected to your children and find out about things going on in their lives.

Research shows that children and teens who participate in family dinners consume less fat, soda, and fried foods and more fruits and vegetables, as well as more individual nutrients.  We know it is important to have family meals, so how do we get started?

Start by putting some time into planning.  Review calendars, and schedule meal dates if you need to.  Start by adding just one or two sit down meals a week.  Then strive to reach a goal of 7 family meals a week.  Be sure to keep the conversation light and fun, so everyone will enjoy their experience.

There is some stress involved when you get home from a busy day at work and are faced with an empty pan and no idea of where to start.  Having a menu plan helps reduce stress.

Also, look for ways to get the rest of the family involved in the meal.  They can help prepare the food and clean up.  Often we can cook a meal, eat, and clean up in less time than it takes to go out to eat.

Plan your meals around your activities.  Look for easy foods to prepare on evenings when you have several activities and little time. 

Plan meals several days ahead so you will have enough time to get the ingredients together or thaw the meat out. 

Ask your family for meal suggestions and plan to serve some favorites during the week.

Here is a great family dish, just add a salad you your meal is complete.

Bubble Pizza
Create a jazzed-up version by adding favorite toppings.

1-½ pounds ground beef
1 can (15 ounces) pizza sauce
2 tubes (12 ounces each) refrigerated buttermilk biscuits
1-½ cups (6 ounces) shredded mozzarella cheese
1 cup (4 ounces) shredded cheddar cheese

In a skillet, brown the beef and drain.  Stir in pizza sauce.  Quarter the biscuits; place in a greased 13X9X2 inch baking dish.  Top with the beef mixture.  Bake uncovered, at 400 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes.  Sprinkle with cheeses.  Bake 5 to 10 minutes longer or until cheese is melted.  Let stand for 5 to 10 minutes before serving.  Makes 6 to 8 servings.

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