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Dinner is usually the heartiest meal of the day. Your family has been wide awake and doing their thing for hours already. They have gone to work, gone to school, had a few meals but are probably craving that big one at the end of the day, the homemade meal that has all the good things in it - and even a delicious dessert! The whole family is looking forward to having something good for that all-important final meal in the evening. In fact, experts say that the dinner meal means much more than good nutrition. It can also make a difference in the way your kids act during the day and the way they see the world. Sitting down to a good home-cooked meal can mean much more to a child than a simple way to fill their belly before it's time for bed.
When kids sit down to a cooked meal for dinner, they are much more likely to eat less fats and fewer fried foods, while veggies and fruits take center stage instead. Kids who sit down to eat with the family are much less likely to be obese - at a time when nearly one in five children in the United States are overweight, keeping your kids at a healthy weight has never been more important; or more challenging! In addition, surveys have shown that eating dinner together as a family can help with social issues. Kids who eat dinner every night get better grades in school; tend to stay away from vices like cigarettes and alcohol, and report talking to their parents much more than those who simply eat dinner on the run.
But how to make dinner more appealing to kids who are in that "picky" phase, or who want to eat something not quite as healthy as you would like? Creating a family dinner for you and your children can include one main dish that the kids will definitely eat, and you can spice it up with side dishes that are a little more adventurous. By doing this, you ensure that there is something everyone likes. You can also cook with lower fat and less sodium, thus making even their old favorites into a healthy new dish without sacrificing that entire flavor they love so much. These recipes can help you make quick, easy meals at home that the whole family will enjoy. As an added bonus, many of these recipes make excellent leftovers that can be sent to school in the lunch pail the next day.
Are you ready to have some healthy dinners in the weeks to come? Let's get started!