The Importance of Family Dinner

Training Table 

Sitting down to family meals during the week may seem unrealistic given everyone’s busy schedules. The truth is, children who routinely eat meals with their families are more likely to eat their vegetables and do well in school. To help make family weeknight meals easier to pull off, try these helpful ideas:

  • Plan ahead. Decide what to have for dinner throughout the week. Check the fridge and cupboard. Make a list. Knowing what you need will help you shop faster and save money.
  • Make ahead. Take 20 minutes during the weekend to slice carrots, celery, broccoli, peppers and other veggies. Sliced veggies are perfect for snacking, making last-minute stir-fries or adding to a packed lunch.
  • Make double and halve your time. Fix a bigger batch of soup, stew, pasta sauce or chili on the weekend. Pack in family or individual portions and store in the fridge or freezer for easy weeknight meals.
  • Use leftovers. Cook once, eat twice. Grill extra chicken for tomorrow’s pasta. Roast extra veggies, top with hummus and sandwich between whole grain bread for a delicious lunch.
  • Pack the freezer. Frozen vegetables and fruits can be just as nutritious as fresh— choose ones that do not contain added sugar, salt or flavourings. Toss vegetables in pasta sauce or steam and serve with baked chicken breast. Frozen berries are great in smoothies or as an accompaniment to frozen yogurt or ice cream. Try munching on frozen mango chunks for a snack or dessert.
  • Know your backup plan. Have extra veggies or meat in the freezer, along with pasta and canned beans in the cupboard. Canned vegetables, beans, chickpeas and fruit are great backups later in the week if fresh produce is dwindling. Choose vegetables and beans with no added salt and be sure to rinse before using. Look for fruit packed in juice instead of syrup. With these staples on hand, whipping up a last-minute meal is a cinch
  • Cut down on cleanup. Create meals that use only one or two pots. Think stir-fries, stews or pasta. Save time by washing knives and cutting boards as your veggies sauté.
  • Ask for help. Get your partner and kids involved with food prep. Depending on their age, kids can chop veggies, set the table, wash dishes or help cook the entire meal.
  • Use your tools. A slow cooker is a great way to have healthier meals ready when you get home. Prepare stew ingredients the night before and store them in the fridge. Before leaving in the morning, throw everything into the cooker and let it do the work for you!

Using these tips will help you get a nutritious dinner on the table quickly so you and your family can enjoy time together. It may seem daunting to clear everyone’s schedules, but it’s well worth it.

  • Plan ahead. Decide what to have for dinner throughout the week. Check the fridge and cupboard. Make a list. Knowing what you need will help you shop faster and save money.
  • Make ahead. Take 20 minutes during the weekend to slice carrots, celery, broccoli, peppers and other veggies. Sliced veggies are perfect for snacking, making last-minute stir-fries or adding to a packed lunch.
  • Make double and halve your time.Fix a bigger batch of soup, stew, pasta sauce or chili on the weekend. Pack in family or individual portions and store in the fridge or freezer for easy weeknight meals.
  • Use leftovers. Cook once, eat twice. Grill extra chicken for tomorrow’s pasta. Roast extra veggies, top with hummus and sandwich between whole grain bread for a delicious lunch.
  • Pack the freezer. Frozen vegetables and fruits can be just as nutritious as fresh— choose ones that do not contain added sugar, salt or flavourings. Toss vegetables in pasta sauce or steam and serve with baked chicken breast. Frozen berries are great in smoothies or as an accompaniment to frozen yogurt or ice cream. Try munching on frozen mango chunks for a snack or dessert.
  • Know your backup plan. Have extra veggies or meat in the freezer, along with pasta and canned beans in the cupboard. Canned vegetables, beans, chickpeas and fruit are great backups later in the week if fresh produce is dwindling. Choose vegetables and beans with no added salt and be sure to rinse before using. Look for fruit packed in juice instead of syrup. With these staples on hand, whipping up a last-minute meal is a cinch
  • Cut down on cleanup. Create meals that use only one or two pots. Think stir-fries, stews or pasta. Save time by washing knives and cutting boards as your veggies sauté.
  • Ask for help. Get your partner and kids involved with food prep. Depending on their age, kids can chop veggies, set the table, wash dishes or help cook the entire meal.
  • Use your tools. A slow cooker is a great way to have healthier meals ready when you get home. Prepare stew ingredients the night before and store them in the fridge. Before leaving in the morning, throw everything into the cooker and let it do the work for you!
  • Plan ahead. Decide what to have for dinner throughout the week. Check the fridge and cupboard. Make a list. Knowing what you need will help you shop faster and save money.
  • Make ahead. Take 20 minutes during the weekend to slice carrots, celery, broccoli, peppers and other veggies. Sliced veggies are perfect for snacking, making last-minute stir-fries or adding to a packed lunch.
  • Make double and halve your time.Fix a bigger batch of soup, stew, pasta sauce or chili on the weekend. Pack in family or individual portions and store in the fridge or freezer for easy weeknight meals.
  • Use leftovers. Cook once, eat twice. Grill extra chicken for tomorrow’s pasta. Roast extra veggies, top with hummus and sandwich between whole grain bread for a delicious lunch.
  • Pack the freezer. Frozen vegetables and fruits can be just as nutritious as fresh— choose ones that do not contain added sugar, salt or flavourings. Toss vegetables in pasta sauce or steam and serve with baked chicken breast. Frozen berries are great in smoothies or as an accompaniment to frozen yogurt or ice cream. Try munching on frozen mango chunks for a snack or dessert.
  • Know your backup plan. Have extra veggies or meat in the freezer, along with pasta and canned beans in the cupboard. Canned vegetables, beans, chickpeas and fruit are great backups later in the week if fresh produce is dwindling. Choose vegetables and beans with no added salt and be sure to rinse before using. Look for fruit packed in juice instead of syrup. With these staples on hand, whipping up a last-minute meal is a cinch
  • Cut down on cleanup. Create meals that use only one or two pots. Think stir-fries, stews or pasta. Save time by washing knives and cutting boards as your veggies sauté.
  • Ask for help. Get your partner and kids involved with food prep. Depending on their age, kids can chop veggies, set the table, wash dishes or help cook the entire meal.
  • Use your tools. A slow cooker is a great way to have healthier meals ready when you get home. Prepare stew ingredients the night before and store them in the fridge. Before leaving in the morning, throw everything into the cooker and let it do the work for you!
  • Plan ahead. Decide what to have for dinner throughout the week. Check the fridge and cupboard. Make a list. Knowing what you need will help you shop faster and save money.
  • Make ahead. Take 20 minutes during the weekend to slice carrots, celery, broccoli, peppers and other veggies. Sliced veggies are perfect for snacking, making last-minute stir-fries or adding to a packed lunch.
  • Make double and halve your time.Fix a bigger batch of soup, stew, pasta sauce or chili on the weekend. Pack in family or individual portions and store in the fridge or freezer for easy weeknight meals.
  • Use leftovers. Cook once, eat twice. Grill extra chicken for tomorrow’s pasta. Roast extra veggies, top with hummus and sandwich between whole grain bread for a delicious lunch.
  • Pack the freezer. Frozen vegetables and fruits can be just as nutritious as fresh— choose ones that do not contain added sugar, salt or flavourings. Toss vegetables in pasta sauce or steam and serve with baked chicken breast. Frozen berries are great in smoothies or as an accompaniment to frozen yogurt or ice cream. Try munching on frozen mango chunks for a snack or dessert.
  • Know your backup plan. Have extra veggies or meat in the freezer, along with pasta and canned beans in the cupboard. Canned vegetables, beans, chickpeas and fruit are great backups later in the week if fresh produce is dwindling. Choose vegetables and beans with no added salt and be sure to rinse before using. Look for fruit packed in juice instead of syrup. With these staples on hand, whipping up a last-minute meal is a cinch
  • Cut down on cleanup. Create meals that use only one or two pots. Think stir-fries, stews or pasta. Save time by washing knives and cutting boards as your veggies sauté.
  • Ask for help. Get your partner and kids involved with food prep. Depending on their age, kids can chop veggies, set the table, wash dishes or help cook the entire meal.
  • Use your tools. A slow cooker is a great way to have healthier meals ready when you get home. Prepare stew ingredients the night before and store them in the fridge. Before leaving in the morning, throw everything into the cooker and let it do the work for you!
  • Plan ahead. Decide what to have for dinner throughout the week. Check the fridge and cupboard. Make a list. Knowing what you need will help you shop faster and save money.
  • Make ahead. Take 20 minutes during the weekend to slice carrots, celery, broccoli, peppers and other veggies. Sliced veggies are perfect for snacking, making last-minute stir-fries or adding to a packed lunch.
  • Make double and halve your time.Fix a bigger batch of soup, stew, pasta sauce or chili on the weekend. Pack in family or individual portions and store in the fridge or freezer for easy weeknight meals.
  • Use leftovers. Cook once, eat twice. Grill extra chicken for tomorrow’s pasta. Roast extra veggies, top with hummus and sandwich between whole grain bread for a delicious lunch.
  • Pack the freezer. Frozen vegetables and fruits can be just as nutritious as fresh— choose ones that do not contain added sugar, salt or flavourings. Toss vegetables in pasta sauce or steam and serve with baked chicken breast. Frozen berries are great in smoothies or as an accompaniment to frozen yogurt or ice cream. Try munching on frozen mango chunks for a snack or dessert.
  • Know your backup plan. Have extra veggies or meat in the freezer, along with pasta and canned beans in the cupboard. Canned vegetables, beans, chickpeas and fruit are great backups later in the week if fresh produce is dwindling. Choose vegetables and beans with no added salt and be sure to rinse before using. Look for fruit packed in juice instead of syrup. With these staples on hand, whipping up a last-minute meal is a cinch
  • Cut down on cleanup. Create meals that use only one or two pots. Think stir-fries, stews or pasta. Save time by washing knives and cutting boards as your veggies sauté.
  • Ask for help. Get your partner and kids involved with food prep. Depending on their age, kids can chop veggies, set the table, wash dishes or help cook the entire meal.
  • Use your tools. A slow cooker is a great way to have healthier meals ready when you get home. Prepare stew ingredients the night before and store them in the fridge. Before leaving in the morning, throw everything into the cooker and let it do the work for you!
  • Plan ahead. Decide what to have for dinner throughout the week. Check the fridge and cupboard. Make a list. Knowing what you need will help you shop faster and save money.
  • Make ahead. Take 20 minutes during the weekend to slice carrots, celery, broccoli, peppers and other veggies. Sliced veggies are perfect for snacking, making last-minute stir-fries or adding to a packed lunch.
  • Make double and halve your time.Fix a bigger batch of soup, stew, pasta sauce or chili on the weekend. Pack in family or individual portions and store in the fridge or freezer for easy weeknight meals.
  • Use leftovers. Cook once, eat twice. Grill extra chicken for tomorrow’s pasta. Roast extra veggies, top with hummus and sandwich between whole grain bread for a delicious lunch.
  • Pack the freezer. Frozen vegetables and fruits can be just as nutritious as fresh— choose ones that do not contain added sugar, salt or flavourings. Toss vegetables in pasta sauce or steam and serve with baked chicken breast. Frozen berries are great in smoothies or as an accompaniment to frozen yogurt or ice cream. Try munching on frozen mango chunks for a snack or dessert.
  • Know your backup plan. Have extra veggies or meat in the freezer, along with pasta and canned beans in the cupboard. Canned vegetables, beans, chickpeas and fruit are great backups later in the week if fresh produce is dwindling. Choose vegetables and beans with no added salt and be sure to rinse before using. Look for fruit packed in juice instead of syrup. With these staples on hand, whipping up a last-minute meal is a cinch
  • Cut down on cleanup. Create meals that use only one or two pots. Think stir-fries, stews or pasta. Save time by washing knives and cutting boards as your veggies sauté.
  • Ask for help. Get your partner and kids involved with food prep. Depending on their age, kids can chop veggies, set the table, wash dishes or help cook the entire meal.
  • Use your tools. A slow cooker is a great way to have healthier meals ready when you get home. Prepare stew ingredients the night before and store them in the fridge. Before leaving in the morning, throw everything into the cooker and let it do the work for you!
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