It is a given in our family that we sit down at the dinner table for family dinner every night. There is the occasional night that The Husband has to work late and we miss him at the dinner table. For every other day, we feel that family dinner time is an important time for us to connect, talk about our days, and teach our children proper etiquette.
As my family’s personal chef, I feel like, if we are going to sit down and have a family dinner, I may as well cook something nice for the occasion. I reserve the frozen pizza for days when I get home from running errands late or days when Little Brother has exhausted me beyond my capacity to cook. On all other days I try to make our meals as healthy and complete as possible.
Given that March is National Nutrition Month®, I’ve been even more aware of the need to provide healthy food for myself and my family–and not just at dinner time. Here are some tips for healthier meals and snacks:
- Cut out the heavily sugared cereals. At our house those irresistibly sweet cereals are called “candy cereal” and are reserved for special occasions like Christmas and birthdays.
- Buy only a limited amount of packaged snacks, crackers, etc. My children are much less excited to eat healthy veggies and other unprocessed foods when we have a huge array of snacks and crackers awaiting them in the pantry.
- When you cut vegetables for dinner at night, cut a little extra to save and snack on the next day.
- Incorporate vegetables into the main dish of every meal you make. If you don’t already do this it is actually a very simple and yummy change to make, as vegetables add a complimentary flavor to just about any meal.
- When you’re feeling like munching on something while you’re watching TV, forgo the ice cream and cookies (this is one that I need to practice more), and instead grab some veggies paired with a healthy dip. If convenience is your thing check out single serve packets like Wholly Guacamole® 100 calorie snack packs.
Yesterday was a brutal day for me. Little Brother is sick, or has CRAZY allergies, I don’t know. He gets really ornery when he’s not feeling well. I had a ton of errands to run and didn’t get home from running them til 6:30 pm–and I still had to get dinner on the table. Thankfully, I’d picked up lots of stuff to have a “make your own” salad night. Prep was super fast, and Big Brother, who loves salad, was ecstatic that he got to make his own. I included toppings like sliced bell pepper, mushroom and onion, cottage cheese (super yummy in place of salad dressing), shredded cheese, Hormel® Natural Choice Honey Ham Deli Meat (can I just say the honey ham is amazing! It tastes like thanksgiving leftovers–only not so dry!), and Hormel® Turkey pepperoni minis (okay so these aren’t super healthy, but if they entice your kids to eat healthy foods they might not otherwise eat then, I say, it is worth a shot).
What is your favorite “eat right” tip? What is your family’s favorite nutritious meal?
Disclosure: I wrote this post while participating in the Hormel Extended Family blogger program. This post is entirely my own content, ideas, opinions, etc. I was not compensated, but did receive coupons for some free products to try. This post will also give me an entry into a contest for Hormel Extended Family bloggers.