The holidays are a time when families stop and take time to gather around the dinner table. Meals are often prepared at length and prep may happen days in advance, but outside of the holiday season, who has time for such elaborate meals? Research says family meal time is important, so this holiday season we’re offering you some tips to make family meals a priority – and easy – all year long.
If the idea of planning and cooking family meals seems daunting, check out these tips to make it easier:
- Plan your meals in advance and let the kids help. By having them involved in the planning, they will feel more vested in the meal.
- Family meals do not need to be elaborate – keep it simple. Salads and soups are a great option. Consider trying these tasty recipes:White Bean, Cucumber and Tomato Salad with Mediterranean Sardine Fillets and Easy New England Clam Chowder
- Use canned or frozen foods to make prep time easier. Chicken of the Sea canned crabmeat, shrimp, oysters and clams are perfect protein sources for this time of the year.
- Make dishes that can be cooked in advance and then warmed up prior to serving. Poblano Corn Pudding and White Clam Sauce are good recipes to make the day before.
- Whip up a new side to go with the leftovers from the night before and you will have an easy dinner ready to go with minimal prep. This recipe for Oyster Stuffing pairs well with leftover chicken or turkey.
- If your family’s schedule doesn’t allow for everyone to sit down for dinner together, try breakfast. A family gathering over oatmeal, scrambled eggs or more involved dishes like Maryland-style Crab Cakes still counts as quality family time.
Source: WebMD, Health, Importance of Family Dinners VIII