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The Healthy Family Meals Newsletter, Issue #120 Feeding Busy Families
May 18, 2009

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Kindy's Musings....

As your family dietitian, I will be scoping out the most relevant research and news that you can use to help your family make healthy nutrition and wellness choices.


Feeding Busy Families

Today's Diet & Nutrition magazine recently featured a great article about feeding your family. “I’m not a chef, and I’m not into complicated meals,” says Sandra K. Nissenberg, MS, RD. A surprising statement from the coauthor of a cookbook. “That doesn’t matter because I think busy people need very practical, simple, solutions.”

Those strategies abound in Quick Meal Solutions: More Than 150 New, Easy, Tasty, and Nutritious Recipes for Families on the Go, which offers time-saving insights to help busy families avoid the drive-thru window. Her advice is timely, since the National Restaurant Association reports that dual-income Americans eat out with their children at least four meals during an average week.

Nissenberg is in favor of fast food—the healthy kind prepared in a snap at home.

Many kids say they would actually prefer eating at home at the dinner table rather than from a bag in the backseat. “Parents can often avoid the drive-thru if they have a few snacks in the car to tide kids over for another hour or so. Choices may include juice boxes, water, some granola, and dried fruit in a Ziploc bag,” says Nissenberg. She adds that if you do find yourself hitting a fast food place, remember you are still the role model, so try to make healthy choices.

As for putting dinner on the table, “Having something to work with in your pantry is key,” says Nissenberg. “From these, you can make ‘one-dish dinners’ that are ready in a just a few minutes.”

Nissenberg favors bags of prepackaged stir-fry vegetables, which can be combined with chicken breasts and rice for a meal in minutes. Other one-dish dinners include skillet meals (think super-fast frittatas made of egg, cheese, and vegetables) and pasta (top uncooked pasta with a little water and sauce, bake it, sprinkle on cheese, and you’ve got a meal the kids will love). She also advises using the Crock-Pot to make fabulous smelling stews that will be ready the moment you walk in the house.

Read the latest food trends and happenings with the links below:






One-dish meals speak for themselves. They’re easy for Mom and favorites of families.


1 tablespoon oil

1 green pepper, sliced

1 medium onion

1 pound lean ground beef

1 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

2 eggs

2 cups corn nibblets, fresh or frozen

1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes, drained

1/2 cup dry breadcrumbs

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the green pepper and onion. Sauté them for 3 minutes. Add the beef, salt, and black pepper. Remove the mixture from the heat. Stir in the eggs and mix well.

Layer half of the corn in the bottom of a 2-quart baking dish, then half of the beef mixture, then a layer of tomatoes. Repeat with another layer of corn, beef mixture, and tomatoes. Cover this with bread crumbs. Bake for 30 minutes until it’s cooked throughout.

Makes 6 servings

Source: Your family will love these sample recipes from Quick Meal Solutions. And for more of Nissenberg’s family-friendly suggestions, visit

What will your family do for healthier MEALTIMES?

Celebrating Healthy Families 2009

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Thanks for reading and have a great week!

Kindy --Your Family Dietitian

Copyright (c) 2009,

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