The Family Table

Educating Families About the Benefits of Family Meals

Archive for the tag “culture”

Four Tips for Working Parents to Get Dinner on the Table

food_clock

This Week’s Recipe

A new study found home cooking is a major ingredient in a healthy diet.  People who cook at home more often eat fewer calories and their meals have fewer carbohydrates and fat than those who eat out more frequently.  This makes sense – it’s nearly impossible to make a meal at home that is as unhealthy as most restaurant meals!  However, the study found one of the main barriers to home cooking was working more than 35 hours a week outside of the home.

I fall into that category of working full-time and I agree – it makes getting dinner on the table every night more difficult.  Over the years I have found a few tips to make it easier to feed my family healthy home cooked meals after a long day at work:

  1. Keep it simple – a healthy dinner doesn’t need to be a major production. Sauté some chicken breasts in olive oil and serve with a side of veggies.  Dinner is on the table in 20 minutes and it is healthy and delicious.  I may melt some cheese on the chicken breasts or season them differently to mix things up.
  2. Dust off your crock pot – there are a million easy crock pot recipes and nothing is better than walking in the door to a dinner that is ready to go. I have the really big crock pot so I double the recipe and I will serve the crockpot meal at least twice during the week.  I assemble the meal the night before, put it in the fridge and then it’s in the crockpot and cooking before I leave for work.
  3. Take advantage of the weekends to do your prep work so you can get right to cooking and don’t waste time cutting veggies or mixing sauces after work. I don’t plan for more than 30 minutes from the time I walk in the door until dinner is on the table and having the prep work done in advance not only saves time, but it keeps my kitchen cleaner during the week.
  4. Make double or triple portions and freeze the leftovers for future dinners. I tend to make huge dinners on the weekends and the leftovers become healthy freezer meals.  I will pull a meal out to thaw before I leave for work and then pop it into the oven for 20 or 30 minutes to warm for dinner.

Holli-Seabury-2012

Holli Seabury
CEO and Mother of Seven

The Holiday Table is the Family Table

thanksgiving

This Week’s Recipe

The holiday season is kicking off this week with Thanksgiving, and many families have traditions that were started long ago and have been passed down through the generations. This week, as we sit around the table and remember all the things we have to be thankful for, we can continue to create beautiful memories with our loved ones. Whether it is each individual saying what they are thankful for before dinner, saying a special grace at the table, or spending time together watching football after the big dinner – we can all find something in our life for which to give thanks.

The quality time you are spending together as a family, has so many benefits and will build a tradition for future generations. Family meals bring benefits such as increased happiness in the home for all ages, higher grades in school, a reduced risk of eating disorders for youth, better nutrition, fewer cases of depression, lower risk of tobacco/alcohol/drug use and better communication among family members. These are only a few of the benefits of eating together!

As you sit down with your family tomorrow for Thanksgiving, enjoy every moment with them and remember to give thanks for even the small things in your life. The McMillen Center wishes you a very happy Thanksgiving and we are thankful you follow our Family Table Tip of the Week!

BethanyClapper_2012

Bethany Clapper, Director of Development & Marketing and Mother of Two

The Official Drink of Halloween

official_drink_of_halloween

Recipe of the Week

Tis’ the season for jack-o-lanterns, skeletons, and goblins! I still remember dressing up as Cinderella in a big white princess dress and going door to door saying ‘trick-or-treat’ hoping to end up with a bucket full of goodies at the end of the night. Now, I love opening up my door to trick-or-treaters and filling their bags with delicious treats. However, treats don’t have to be sticky, gooey candy. The words “healthy” and “Halloween” don’t appear to fit together in the same sentence but can!

Official Drink of HalloweenIn fact, the official drink of Halloween is chocolate milk. Both nutritious and delicious, chocolate milk is nutrition in disguise with nine essential nutrients including calcium, vitamin D, and protein. Research has shown that children who drink flavored milk are more likely to meet daily calcium recommendations compared to their peers who do not drink flavored milk. No need to worry about the sugar in chocolate milk either. Flavored milk contributes less than 2% of the total added sugar to the average teen’s diet. Sodas and fruit drinks, on the other hand, account of for 50% or more, delivering much less nutrition in the process. Kids who drink flavored milk increase their nutrient intake without higher intakes of added sugars and total fat.

Be sure to include chocolate milk in your Halloween festivities this year with these fun tips:

  • Fuel up your kiddos for a night of trick-or-treating by providing them with a healthy and nutritious glass of chocolate milk at the family table before heading out the door.
  • Hand out samples of chocolate milk to trick-or-treaters that come to your house.
  • Serve chocolate milk during school Halloween celebrations.
  • Warm-up chocolate milk for a delicious snack on Halloween night.

Danielle Sovinski

Danielle Sovinski is the Health and Wellness Coordinator for the American Dairy Association Indiana. She enjoys cooking and taking long walks with her husband and dog, Elly. Check out WinnersDrinkMilk.com or follow us on Facebook or Twitter @INDairy.

Taste of Fall

pumpkin_spice_lattee

Recipe of the Week

I recently read an article about how unhealthy the popular fall beverage, pumpkin spice lattes, really are when you buy them at your favorite chain provider. I was so disappointed because I love them! I love this time of year and all the foods, flavors and vegetables you typically can only find in the fall. What would a cool fall day be without my pumpkin spice latte!

It isn’t just the flavor. It is sipping on and enjoying a warm beverage on a cool day. Or it is enjoying one of my favorite beverages with having a great conversation with friends. Many times when you think of purchasing this type of beverage it may run through your mind about the nutritional value. Whether you are worried about artificial dyes, sugar content or fat I wanted to share an easy recipe to try at home. This recipe substitutes the artificial ingredients for things we have in our cabinets. Enjoy!

BethanyClapper_2012

Bethany Clapper, Director of Development & Marketing and Mother of Two

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