This September, Our Family invites you to the table to share in family meals. Eating is of course important for survival, but is also bound in social connections. When we share meals with others, eating has a greater purpose and has a more profound, positive impact on health.
A family meal is technically any meal that is shared with others, whether family, friends, or someone you just met. The other part of what makes a meal a ‘family meal’ is when you serve plates from a pot or pan that is passed around at the table, or portioned from on the stove or counter. This way of serving food is called ‘family style’! At family meals, each family member is eating the same meal.
While family meals are most popular at home, they can also be enjoyed out and about or on-the-go such as packing a picnic. Enjoying family meals has proven to be have positive impacts on health. Family meals at home are generally more nutritious compared to those eaten in restaurants and are more affordable, costing less per serving compared to dining out. Family meals also provide the opportunity for children and adults to learn cooking skills which will enable them to make healthy meals throughout their life.
In addition to better nutrition and overall health, children who regularly eat family meals have better grades in school, are less likely to engage in risky behaviors such as using drugs, are more resilient, and have healthier weights. The benefits of family meals has many opportunities to positively impact the health of every child and person in a community.
Our Family offers a wide range of ingredients that will help you create a delicious and nutritious family meal. Shop Family Farefor an excellent line up of Our Family products. Shopping for the ingredients to be used in a family meal also presents the opportunity for children and adults to learn about budgeting and how to read the nutrition facts panels on foods to select the best option. Give this easy, kid friendly recipe a try tonight:
Baked Chicken Strips
- 1/4 cup white whole wheat flour
- 1 Our Family egg
- 1 tablespoon water
- 1 cup whole grain bread crumbs
- 1 pound thinly sliced chicken breast
- 2 cups fresh broccoli florets
- 2 tablespoons canola oil
- Salt and pepper to taste.
- Favorite dipping sauce, if desired
- Heat oven to 425°F. Line cookie sheet with foil; spray with cooking spray.
- In shallow dish, place flour. In another shallow dish, beat egg and water. In third shallow dish, place the bread crumbs. Coat chicken with flour; dip into egg mixture, then coat with bread crumb mixture. Place on the baking sheet.
- In another bowl combine the broccoli and oil and stir to evenly coat. Also arrange the broccoli on the baking sheet with the chicken
- Bake 15 to 20 minutes, turning chicken and broccoli once, until chicken is no longer pink in center and coating is golden brown. Serve with dipping sauce. Pair with baked apples for a balance meal.
This month and throughout the year, gather your family and friends or invite someone who may be alone and join us at the table for a tasty meal and better health!
"This medical and/or nutritional information is not intended to be a substitute for individual advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition."
Stephanie is an award-winning registered dietitian who believes in empowering every individual to make nutritious food choices to support a healthy lifestyle. She believes in the power of food as medicine and loves sharing about nutrition with others.