Tips to Make Healthy Dinners Disappear Every Night
By Sandy Schroeder
If you look back in wonder at family meals that everybody loved, you may be amazed at how much food has changed since you were a kid. Fast food, take-out and deliver-dinner-to-the-door conveniences changed everything. Simultaneously, a fresh dinner filled with tasty vegetables, lean meats and leafy greens may arrive one night, followed by a huge pepperoni/sausage pizza the next night.
At the same time, the drumbeat of health news has become much louder, and we are all more aware of saturated fats, trans fats, pesticides in fresh produce, and the need to eat fruits, vegetables, nuts, and lean meat or fish.
For me, the basic question is how do we get back to the fun of family dinners while using the best of what we have and know now? Think about it. That dinner from the past with fresh green beans, a leafy green salad, lean pork roast, and baked cauliflower with a flaky berry tart for dessert, might work well today with a few modifications.
Tips to Make Foods Fun Again
Here are some ways to make dinner a healthy pleasure from Wired magazine.
Make dinner a time to connect - Ditch electronics and sit down to a meal to relax and enjoy talking to each other. You might be amazed at how the food disappears in the midst of a good time.
Put fruits and veggies first - Celery sticks or cucumber slices with spicy yogurt or hummus dips work well when everyone is hungry.
Cook and shop together - Start kids out early helping to pick the vegetables at a farmers market, and help bake fruit loaves in the kitchen. As they grow they can do more kitchen tasks and will be proud to be one of the chefs for dinner.
Grow something - Make room to grow a few things, letting your kids help. It can be as simple as windowsill space or container gardening on a patio, or as involved as a garden plot. When kids help to do the digging, planting and harvesting, they are more apt to want to eat their produce and proudly serve it for dinner.
Start with family favorites - As you consider expanding the menu, consider which fruits or veggies are already favorites. Bananas, cherries, berries, or pineapple may be perfect for breads, tarts or salads. If avocados, beans and tomatoes are already favorites, try adding broccoli, radishes and carrots. At the same time look for recipes on sites such as Epicurious.com with good ways to make everything taste great.
Get everybody involved as you share the work and the decisions to make food fun again at your house.
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