|Beef and Bean Taco Dish|
Photo Courtesy: Recipe.com
According to a recent study by Welch's Kitchen Table Report, families are making the evening meal and quality time a priority with the kitchen table as mission control. Eighty-four percent of respondents said that one of their family parts of the day is the evening meal. The study also revealed that most families, 75% are eating dinner together an average of four or more nights of the week.
The Family Dinner Project.org website states that "sharing a family meal is good for the spirit, the brain and the health of all family members. Recent studies link regular family dinners with many behaviors such as lower rates of substance abuse, teen pregnancy and depression, as well as higher grade-point averages and self-esteem."
While many of us know the benefits of sharing a meal together, time can certainly be an issue when it comes to preparing and eating. One of the best ways to sidestep this obstacle is to cook big batches of soup or easy to make casseroles over the weekend to assist with the mid-week crunch.
To avoid the cooking rut (the feeling you have made the same thing over and over), diversifying the menu a bit will add some excitement for dinner time. A new spin on an old favorite, like tacos, or seeking a new recipe can often spark the urge to gather around the table. Involve the kids by letting them help plan a meal or make it one night a week. Another option would be to have designated nights, like Taco Tuesday or Meatless Mondays, and find unique recipes to try on the featured nights.
Here are a just a few healthy meal ideas that offer a new twist to some old favorites for your next family dinner:
|Cheesy Italian Meatball Casserole|
Photo Courtesy: BHG.com
When I was growing up, one of my favorite dinners was taco night. This delicious recipe from Recipe.com turns tacos into a hot-from-the-oven casserole sure to please the whole family!
Fast-Fix Caprese Pizza Toast
This warm open-faced sandwich version of Caprese salad can be paired with a fresh salad for a healthy "pizza night." Plus, it can be made up to two days ahead!
Cheesy Italian Meatball Casserole
Better Homes and Gardens has a one-dish twist on a classic dinner favorite: pasta and meatballs. Mounds of ricotta cheese add creaminess to the dish.
-- Weegee Manlove