Celebrate Family Day Monday, Sept. 23
More than a decade of research from the National Center of Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University has found that the more often children eat dinner with their families the less likely they are to smoke, drink or use drugs. On Monday, Sept. 23 parents are encouraged to connect with their kids through family dinner. Sitting down to dinner together offers an opportunity to connect, share and listen to what kids have on their mind.
Family dinners don’t have to be elaborate and time consuming. Coordinating schedules for family dinner time is a challenge, so you’ll want to keep things simple in the kitchen. Here are a few ideas.
When you need a meal on the table fast, skillet meals are an easy answer. The starch, vegetables, meat, or plant protein is all cooked in one pan. Preparation time is minimal and cooking time is usually less than 30 minutes! Macaroni, couscous, instant rice, and frozen hash browns all work well in skillet meals. Use a heavy nonstick skillet with a lid. For every 1 cup of starch add 1 cup of cooking liquid such as V-8 juice, low sodium chicken broth, or a low fat soup like black bean or vegetable. The source of protein can be cooked poultry, seafood, lean meat or beans. (Skillet meals are a great way to use leftover meat.) Throw in whatever frozen vegetables your family likes, cover and cook over medium heat until the liquid is absorbed, usually about 20 to 30 minutes depending on your choice of starch.
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