Family Dinners in a Flash
, Meal Planning
Did you know that kids in families who eat together are more confident, have better vocabularies and score higher on tests? It can be tricky to schedule regular meals together, but the stronger bond your family will share is worth the effort.
Make time to eat with your family using the following tips from registered dietitians—the food and nutrition experts!
Quick Guide to Nutritious Meals
Planning in advance saves you time and allows you the opportunity to pack your family meal with an extra nutritional punch. So before you head to the grocery, consider the following criteria for healthier options:
- Include at least one selection from each of the five food groups: grains, vegetables, fruits, dairy and protein foods.
- Limit your intake of foods that are high in fat.
- Incorporate high-fiber foods like whole-grain breads and cereals, vegetables, fruits, dry beans, nuts and seeds.
Here's a balanced and nutritious dinner that the entire family will love: Mediterranean chicken breast (a boneless, skinless chicken breast baked for 20 minutes with lemon juice and a pinch of oregano and topped with feta cheese); steamed broccoli; brown rice; vanilla low-fat yogurt topped with fresh berries; and a glass of water.
Make Meals a Family Affair
Even if in a rush, families can still work together for meal preparation: adults can be in charge of the entrée, older kids can prepare the salad and little ones can set the table.
Finally, to make the most of your family meals, make conversation part of the dining experience and reduce distractions by turning off the TV and phones and tuning in to your loved ones.