The Family Table

Educating Families About the Benefits of Family Meals

Heart Healthy Dinners


Recipe of the Week: Rosemary Balsamic Roasted Vegetables

How many times have we heard, “What’s for Dinner?”  I have heard this line a countless number of times… echoing off the walls in my kitchen.  The meaning of this phrase is vastly different for my family.  For my two teenagers, this demands serving up something fast because I am starving – and I want it now!  For my husband, dinner is sitting down to a meal that is relaxing and healthy.  Ideally, dinner is a time to unwind and reconnect as a family.  I shoot for a combination of  all three – with an emphasis on fast and healthy.

When it comes to a heart healthy diet, the main element to avoid is saturated fats.  How can this be done in a simple way?  This complex task can be accomplished by focusing on the “5” healthy food groups.  Go lean with protein- through chicken, fish, turkey, eggs, limiting red meat- which is high in saturated fats.  Throw in a vegetable, fruit, whole grain bread on the side, an ice cold glass of skim milk,  and voila!  You now have a heart healthy meal!  Enjoy!

Does this sound too easy?  Is it an unrealistic expectation?  Especially when you are in a rush after getting home from a hectic day at work?  Do you feel like you are in a cooking rut?  Do you need some fresh ideas?  Let me recommend to you the book called the No-Fad Diet by the American Heart Association.  In a society that is looking for the “quick fix” for weight loss, this book brings us back to the basics.  It shuns fad diets.  It provides multiple resources including advice, assessment quizzes, portion control tips, and over 190 tasty recipes!

No time for purchasing and reading a book?  Do a 2 second plate check at the table.  Analyze and determine if your plate includes the “5” healthy food groups.  Adapt the meal as needed to meet this goal.  Eat Healthy! Reap the benefits of a healthy lifestyle – see your family members grow strong and live long!

Debbie Harvey 2012

Debbie Harvey, Educator at the McMillen Center for Health Education


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