Quick and Easy Does it for Family Meals

saladAfter a long day, busy parents may sometimes feel they don’t have the time or energy to prepare a healthy meal for their families.

Gayle Coleman, nutrition education program specialist with the University of Wisconsin-Extension offers some shortcuts for family cooks that save time and effort.

  • Combine ready-to-eat foods, such as a bag of prewashed salad greens, a rotisserie chicken, whole grain rolls, pineapple canned in juice, and low-fat milk for a quick and easy meal.
  • Use “planned overs” on busy nights. For example, on the weekend or a day when you have time, make enough chili or casserole for two meals. Set aside half for “planned overs.” If “planned overs” will not be eaten within a couple of days, freeze them for later use.
  • Keep quick and easy staples on hand for busy nights. For example, a jar of spaghetti sauce, package of noodles and frozen veggies can be used for a quick spaghetti dinner.
  • Have a few quick and easy “go to” recipes such as Breakfast Burritos or Tuna Melt Sandwiches.

UW-Extension Family Living and Wisconsin Nutrition Education Program educators around the state are taking part in the national Family & Consumer Sciences “Dining In” Day on Dec. 3. The day is designed to encourage families to prepare and share a healthy meal together to focus on nutrition and family communication.

In Wisconsin, Governor Scott Walker has proclaimed December 3 as Family & Consumer Sciences Day in recognition of the work of professionals, including UW-Extension educators, who work to improve life for Wisconsin families.

Learn more about Family & Consumer Sciences “Dine In” Day, and commit to “Dining In” on Dec. 3 by signing up online.

For more information about ways to promote family health and wellbeing, contact your local county UW-Extension office. Contact information is available at http://counties.uwex.edu

Posted on December 1, 2014