Healthy Dinners at Home

Life can be tough on family dinnertime. Fortunately, there are ways to get a tasty and healthy dinner ready quickly. It all starts with a little planning and organization.

Here are a few ideas:

  • Get the family involved. Dinner doesn't have to be one person's responsibility. Even young children can be a part of planning and preparing meals. Assign age-appropriate jobs, such as getting items from the refrigerator or pantry, choosing the fruit or vegetable, mixing pre-cut vegetables into a salad, or setting or clearing the table.
  • Plan menus in advance. Pick options that are easy and popular with everyone. Once you have an entrée, such as chicken longrice, spaghetti, or crockpot stew, all you have to add is a vegetable and/or fruit and perhaps a starch to complete the meal. Start with one or two nights or plan a whole week. Looking for fast recipe ideas? There are menu-planning services for purchase on the web, or you can find dozens of recipes with nutrition analyses at InMyKitchen.sodexo.com, a free recipe and nutrition website.
  • Make extra for later. For example, when cooking ground beef, it's just as easy to cook a double or triple batch. Freeze an extra pound or two that can be reheated for tacos or spaghetti sauce. Try slicing and freezing extra beef, pork, chicken or fish for future stir-fry dishes. Drop any one of these into a wok or skillet for quick cooking on a busy night.

Bringing dinners back home takes a little planning, but gets easier with practice and is well worth the effort. Your whole family will feel better when they are eating nutritious meals together.