The Family Table

Educating Families About the Benefits of Family Meals

Archive for the tag “thoughts”

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

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Casseroles are quick and easy!

casserole

Recipe of the Week

Casseroles are easy to make and can use up whatever foods you have may have available in your pantry. Use this quick list as you look at your pantry, it may even be a big help as you think of something fast to feed the kids before heading out to trick or treat or other nightly activities.

  1. Look for a grain – preferably whole grain like rice or pasta and cook it. One cup uncooked rice or pasta will give you about 2 cups cooked.
  2. Add 1 to 2 cups of leftover vegetables (or frozen or canned) like carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage.
  3. Add 1-2 cups of leftover or cooked or canned meat (browned hamburger, cooked chicken/turkey, tuna) or canned /cooked beans (kidney, chili beans, pinto, black), or even tofu.
  4. Mix in 1 -2 cups of cheese (shredded or sliced), maybe even stir in a can of your favorite creamed soup for the salt and added creaminess.

Heat this all together in a pan and you have supper. You can add a salad and some fruit on the side with a glass of milk and you have an incredibly easy, fast way to get supper on the table with all the food groups included. This recipe would be enough food for four nice size servings. If you have more mouths to feed, then increase the quantities. The great thing about casseroles is that if it turns out delicious, then write down the ingredients you used and you have now made your own recipe! If it is not your favorite, eat it and don’t use that combination again. If you have your kids help with cutting up vegetables or adding the other ingredients, you are encouraging them to be confident enough to try their own ideas. You or your kids may be the next great chef!

Linda Hathaway
Director of Curriculum & Education and Mother of Six

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

Trying New Foods this Fall

Quite little graphic of an apple tree in fall

Recipe of the Week

As fall approaches, my husband and I have discovered that this is a great time of year to visit our local farmers markets or stop by a roadside stand selling produce. At this time of year you will find many root vegetables such as potatoes, yams, turnips and parsnips. You may also find bags of onions, cabbage, pumpkins or beautiful mums.

I find the meals I am cooking start to change this time of year, too. I start looking for recipes that use more of the vegetables listed above, things that are hearty but still easy to cook, and I try using our crockpot more often. This week’s Apple Kielbasa recipe is one of our favorites and is easy and versatile. Enjoy trying this mix of fall flavors!

Twila Smith
Administrative Assistant and Mother of Two

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