Healthy Meals for a family go beyond eating something nutritious. However, research has established the health benefits of eating healthy foods, including reduced risks of eating disorders and higher intake of vegetables and fruits, which is essential for growth.
Your family meals help foster a better parent-child relationship because as your child sits with everyone to enjoy a delicious meal, you can have different conversations.
Making healthy dinners for your family not just brings everyone together but also help your children develop their taste and learn your cultural values through your conversations.
What are the benefits?
There are several benefits of healthy family meals in different aspects of life. These benefits include:
- A healthier eating pattern in children
- Lower risk of depression in both children and adults
- Better nutrition with more vegetables and fruits
- Lower risk of developing eating disorders
- Higher self-esteem
- Better health and lower risk of obesity and other diseases resulting from lack of healthy meals
Most of these benefits come from having these healthy meals with the family.
Meal recipe ideas
Below are some meal prep and healthy recipes that you can try out at any time, including busy weeknights.
Slow-cooker chicken parmesan meatballs
You can make meatballs with an appetiser from a chicken parm. To prepare your sauce, add wine, garlic, basil, onion, salt, basil, and oregano in a slow cooker, then you can prepare the meatballs.
Add garlic, parmesan, basil, breadcrumbs, salt, oregano and ground chicken or turkey in a bowl, then add a tablespoon of seasoned meat in a disk and place a mozzarella ball in the centre. Next, wrap the meat around the cheese, roll it into a ball, and repeat the process. Add the meatballs to your slow cooker and cook in high heat for three hours or low heat for six hours.
Easy chicken enchilada casserole
Enchilada casserole is easy to prepare, and you can preserve it in the refrigerator for up to three days. You can easily make the enchilada sauce if a canned sauce is not available. All you have to do is season your crushed tomatoes with salt and spices, and you have the enchilada sauce.
This delicious recipe requires three easy steps. First, mix salt, chile powder, tomatoes, and cumin in a bowl, then coat your casserole dish with cooking spray. Add half a cup of your tomato sauce to the bottom of the prepared dish, then add tortilla wedges over the tomato sauce, beans, chicken, cheese and sauce.
Add another layer of your tortillas, and other ingredients added previously, cover the casserole dish with a foil and refrigerate until you are ready to cook.
Before cooking, preheat your oven to 3750F, then bake the uncovered casserole until it's hot and bubbling for 35 – 40 minutes. You can also microwave the casserole on medium-high heat for 12 – 15 minutes while covered with wax paper
Spaghetti with a quick meat source
You can try spaghetti with meat sauce instead of opening a new jar of sauce, then serve with garlic bread and steamed broccoli. Boil water in a pot for a few minutes and cook the pasta in it for 8 – 10 minutes until the pasta is soft. While the pasta gets soft, heat oil in a skillet over medium heat, then add carrot, celery, and onion as you stir occasionally. Turn off the heat after 5 – 8 minutes, when the onion becomes brown.
Add garlic and seasoning, then cook for about thirty minutes while stirring until the mixture is no longer pink. Increase the heat too high, stir in tomatoes and cook until it thickens. Add salt and parsley, then serve the sauce over the paste after sprinkling cheese on your meal.
Loaded twice-baked potatoes
Potato is usually a family favourite as it's comfort food when you stuff it with the perfect mixture of cheddar cheese, broccoli florets, sour cream, and lean ground beef. You can add a simple salad on the side to make it a healthier meal.
Pierce the potatoes with a fork, then place in a microwave and cook on medium heat while turning it 1 – 2 times within 20 minutes. Alternatively, use the potato setting on your microwave and cook following the manufacturer's instructions.
Boil the meat in a skillet over medium heat while occasionally stirring for three minutes. Transfer the meat to a bowl, then increase the heat to high and add water alongside broccoli to the skillet. Cover and allow to cook until the broccoli is tender, then add the meat.
Cut out the top third part of the cooked potatoes, scoop out your potatoes' insides into a bowl, and place the potato shells in a baking dish. Add salt, pepper, sour cream and a half cup of cheddar inside the potato, then smash with a potato masher or use a fork.
Add the potato mixture and scallions to the meat and broccoli, then stir to mix properly. Share the potato mixture among the potato shells, then top with cheese and microwave on high heat for 2- 4 minutes. You would notice the cheese melt from the hot fillings. Your potatoes are ready to serve.
Meals serve as a vital bonding tool in the family, and you can utilise the opportunity to build a better relationship with your children while giving them good meals. While making meals, ensure you make what everyone enjoys, especially your children. However, incorporate healthy foods like vegetables to ensure everyone gets essential nutrients.
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