I moved to a small town 3 hours from Salt Lake City last week. I had to pause the weekly blog for 2 weeks while moving, but I did not pause family dinners. Family dinner has been our anchor in this sea of newness.
The family dinner project reports that kids who regularly eat dinner with their family get these benefits (I bolded the ones that relate to me right now):
Better academic performance
Greater sense of resilience
Lower risk of substance abuse
Lower risk of teen pregnancy
Lower risk of depression
Lower likelihood of developing eating disorders
Lower rates of obesity
Better cardiovascular health in teens
Bigger vocabulary in preschoolers
Healthier eating patterns in young adults
There are also benefits for adults, including:
Better nutrition with more fruits and vegetables and less fast food
Lower risk of depression
I knew we needed the emotional benefits of family dinners, so I made it a priority. And now that I'm getting back into a rhythm, I can write more about what I'm cooking.
One of the most important thing you can do for your family is to sit down and eat together. It doesn't matter if it's Little Cesar's pizza, spaghetti from a jar, Kraft Macaroni and Cheese, or homemade rolls and roast beef. What matters is that you sit down and enjoy each other's company while you fill your bellies.
Once you have the habit of sitting down together, then you can focus on adding in healthy foods. Maybe later you focus on switching out unhealthy foods to healthier options.
Every week on this blog, I share what my menu looked like the past week. You will see a lot of the recipes from cooking class, and some new things that look weird. But I always post what we actually ate. The goal is that you can get some ideas for what to cook your family for dinner from seeing what a Registered Dietitian feeds her family on the regular.
Please don't compare yourself or think that you have to eat like I do. Again the purpose is to give you ideas, not to add any stress or anxiety to your life.
I hope you enjoy the blog! Here's my menu from the first week in a new town:
Sunday: (first day in the new house after arriving at midnight saturday!) one pot chicken and rice (prepared by my 12 year old), canned green beans, canned corn
Monday: Lentil tacos from the freezer (I froze the extras from July's cooking class and heated them in the microwave) + canned corn + chopped lettuce + watermelon
Tuesday: Tostadas topped with refried beans and chopped fresh tomatoes + corn on the cob (my 12 year old cooked for us)
Wednesday: Grilled salmon (from our freezer, I love this website for kid's recipes) + rice + watermelon (my 10 year old cooked for us with my help)
Thursday: Homemade pizza + melon + green salad (my husband cooked for us, I have no idea what recipe he used for crust, here's what our pizza usually looks like - we use pesto sauce)
Friday: Ham fried rice (to use up stuff in the fridge, been making this recipe for years) + watermelon
Saturday: Baked eggs + avocado toast + watermelon (not kiwis, they were too expensive!)
Sunday: Turkey Pozole for lunch (my husband is a hunter and cooked this with turkey he shot last year and it was SO YUMMY) + hot dog cookout up the canyon for dinner
I've got a yummy meal plan for this week! I hope I have time to make everything I want to cook! Please send me an email with any questions or comments! nicolebuhlerRD@gmail.com