With today’s hectic schedules, family dinners often fall by the wayside. And complicating the issue, family members often have different food preferences. But who has time to prepare multiple meals? No one! Create meals with options instead.
Check out these meals with options …
Mexican Fiesta. Make your own tacos. Create stations filled with cooked, shredded beef, grilled chicken breast strips, or grilled fish. Include fat-free refried beans, low-fat shredded cheese, shredded lettuce, chopped tomatoes and whole-grain tortilla shells. Prepare a mixed green salad with plenty of fresh vegetables and top with low-fat dressing as a side dish. Let each family member create his or her own Mexican meal.
Salad Station. In a large salad bowl, toss mixed greens with low-fat vinaigrette dressing. On the side, set up plates with assorted fixings. Start off with a lean protein like grilled chicken breast, lean steak, your favorite fish, or try a vegetarian option like baked tofu. Pair your protein with an array of grilled vegetables like mushrooms, zucchini, peppers, asparagus and onions. Then finish off with healthy toppings like heart-healthy nuts and low-fat shredded cheese. Let each person build her/his own healthy salad creation.
Pasta Station. Prepare whole-grain pasta and top with marinara sauce. On the side, serve grilled chicken breast strips or grilled shrimp. Next, pair with cooked vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower, spinach, mushrooms or peppers. Let each family member create her/his own pasta primavera.
Rice Bowls. Start off with a bowl of cooked whole-grain brown or wild rice. Then pair with a lean protein such as pork loin, chicken breast or lean beef. Cut into strips, toss with your favorite reduced-sodium marinade and either stir fry or grill. Next choose your favorite vegetables like peppers, onions, mushrooms or broccoli—or a combination. Arrange meal components into separate bowls and let family members assemble her/his own rice bowls.
However you decide to prepare your family meal, the most important thing is to eat together and to have some fun while you’re doing it.
Natalie Menza, MS, RD
Manager of Health and Wellness
Wakefern Food Corporation