Getting a healthy dinner on the table that your family will eat can be a daily stressor – probably because we have to do it day in and day out. Even those of us who love food and enjoying cooking (that would be me) can get worn out from the constant task (that would be me, too.)
So, this past month, I was eager to work with Libby’s on their Dinner Dilemma initiative to help answer the timeless question, “what’s for dinner?” Here are a few solutions that have worked for me:
Schedule Supper: It almost sounds silly but putting a family meal (when everyone can be around the table) on the calendar makes it more likely that you will get a plan in place. Menu planning is my Achilles heel – I’m more of a “see what we’re in the mood for” cook – but I find if I schedule weekly dinners in advance, I’m less stressed and my family is, too.
Cook Once, Eat Twice: Leftovers are time savers but are even better when you can transform them into a completely new meal. One of my favorite repurposed recipes is to make a big batch of tomato sauce with extra lean ground turkey. I serve it over pasta and then the next night, add some beans and spices for a chili dinner. Or if I make grilled chicken with brown rice one night, I use the leftovers to stuff whole wheat tortillas for burritos the next night.
Do a Dinner Flip: As a kid, I loved when we had breakfast for dinner and as an adult, I realize it was my mom’s way of whipping up a quick, no-brainer meal (usually scrambled eggs with bacon.) In my house, we do multi-grain pancakes or even oatmeal for dinner, paired with cut fruit, veggie sticks and slices of cheese. Sometimes, I’ll even serve dessert first in the form of parfaits layered with nonfat Greek yogurt, sliced fruit, crushed whole grain cereal and nuts.
Upgrade Take-Out: There’s nothing wrong with pizza night (a Friday night staple for my family) especially when you load on the veggie toppings. Pair with a jazzed up salad and you got a nutritious and easy meal (plus Ieftover pizza is a great grab-and-go breakfast the next day!)
Check out Libby’s “What’s for Dinner?” board on Pinterest for more tasty solutions to mealtime.
And for more creative mealtime tips and ideas, click over to my post on Family Meals Matter and this Multitask Cooking post.