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Dinner is a time to unwind from the day. To sit down with your family, spouse, or friends and listen (and really hear) how they’re doing physically and emotionally. A time to bond.
As much as we may love to cook or want to cook, this may not always be an option. Our lives are busy; full of errands, work, kids, chores – sometimes we’re too tired to cook a full meal or don’t have the time. Yet families benefit dramatically from the routine of eating dinner together. And that’s why planning to include a family dinner – no matter your definition of ‘family’ – at least a few times a week is so important.
Studies show that families who take part in regular dinner meals have happier marriages and stronger family ties.
The advantages extend to kids as well – they are more likely to be leaner, do better in school, have better social skills, and are less likely to engage in risky behaviors.
Breaking bread with those you love is a way to share more than just words. You share good nutrients from a homemade meal, your feelings, and a way to relax. Not to mentions delicious leftovers!
Here are some tips to make cooking more relaxing and incredibly rewarding:
Plan your meals ahead of time to have ingredients on hand
Cut up lots of veggies on a Sunday to save time during busy week-nights
Get kids involved – have them help prepare the meal by chopping or mixing. This will also get them more excited to eat new things!
Make enough for leftovers. The next night you can just reheat and serve.
Use ingredients in different ways. Have leftovers from a whole roasted chicken? Use the extra meat in quick soup or toss some over a veggie-packed garden salad.
Learning and experimenting with cooking is a way to discover food. Not only what you can do with it but also becoming aware of new tastes, how food affects you emotionally or physically, how to listen to your hunger cues… and of course, Nutrition.
So break out those pots and pans and unleash the Foodie in you!
Casseroles & Pasta
Chicken and Turkey
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