Being able to provide quick and healthy meals to your family is one of the hardest challenges as a parent, but it is also important to accomplish, and easier than it seems. And it’s definitely worth the effort, because mastering the ability to serve a convenient, healthy meal at dinnertime will make you feel just as good as your children will feel after eating it.
With so many distractions and responsibilities, we know it’s a feat getting dinner on the table. We know how much you want to do it, so when it seems like it’s too hard to do, push on, keeping in mind that studies have shown that children who eat family meals, also eat more fruits and vegetables and less saturated fat, leading to an overall better diet. Also, getting your family to sit at the dinner table is a great opportunity to connect with your children, and make time for conversion.
Figuring out how to have a healthy, relatively inexpensive meal on the dinner table may not be as hard as you think either. Preparation is the key to success in many of life’s ventures and dinner is no different. Plan a menu for the week ahead of time, and plan your food shopping according to the menu, so you’re not wasting time trying to figure what to make each night. The time you spend planning and shopping on the weekend for the meals will be made up for during the week when you know exactly what to make, have all the ingredients on hand, and won’t feel frantic.
Save even more time in the kitchen by cooking up a feast without having to work for it. How? Try a slow-cooker. Less expensive meats like chicken thighs and beef stewing meat, when slow cooked all day with proper spicing and stock sauce, are amazingly tender, delicious, nutritious, and unbelievably convenient (just set it when you leave the house in the morning, and when you return, dinner will be ready!).
And don’t forget that being a super mom doesn’t mean that you have to cook everything from scratch. Sometimes, you can rely on convenience items. For example, frozen vegetables may not have the crunch of fresh veggies, but they can still be just as nutritious, and can decrease your prep work. Those sauteed veggies can also serve as satisfying sides to Fairway’s rotisserie chickens or other hot dinner entrees. Don’t forget to love your leftovers, too, because those moist chicken strips can taste great the next day in a salad, in one of Fairway’s ready-made soups, or in a sandwich, paired with Fairway’s hand-pulled mozzarella, Fairway’s whole wheat baguette, some tomato slices, and some Fairway extra-virgin Baena drizzled on top.
What are some of your dinner strategies?
EVENT ALERT: If you’re in the Stamford, CT, area on Saturday, Sept. 17, head to Fairway’s Stamford store at 699 Canal Street for our Back-to-School Smart Start event where there will be arts and crafts for kids from 10 a.m. to noon, and a Q&A session with Carlon Colker, MD, from 11 to noon. Product samples will be distributed, too. Note: This is the Aug. 27 event that was rescheduled.