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            Family Time: Let’s Eat

Since March, with many restaurants closed or open at reduced capacity, many of us have spent a lot more time eating meals together with our families, spouse, significant others or roommates than we ever thought we would. Even people who live alone are doing Zoom dinner dates with friends and family members.  

Here are some tips and resources on making eating together easier:

Halfway Homemade – Don’t feel like your whole meal needs to be made from scratch.  This is a marathon, not a sprint and you don’t need to be Julia Child or a Top Chef. Think about meals that combine at least one ready-to-eat item. 

·      Combine a deli rotisserie chicken with a rice or pasta dish, vegetables or a salad.

·      Buy a flatbread or thin crust cheese pizza and dress it up with more toppings like tomato slices, artichoke hearts, ground beef or soy crumbles or sausage and have it with a big tossed salad. 

·      Spaghetti and meatballs – Use frozen turkey or lean meatballs and serve with jarred spaghetti sauce, homemade garlic bread and a tossed salad. 

·      Board Meals – Make up a platter of lunch meats, hummus, cheese, pickles, nuts and olives for a DIY dinner. Serve with bread, rolls or crackers and cut up vegetables tray and dip.  

Resource: https://www.budgetbytes.com. Check out the “Ingles Table” magazine available in the Ingles Deli or look for the recipes online at www.ingles-markets.com.

Kids in the Kitchen – If you have kids at home, this is a great time to get them involved with meal prep and/or clean up. Find age appropriate tasks they can do. Young kids can easily shuck corn and toss a salad and can even be taught to wash dishes. Older children, with supervision, can cut up vegetables, stir items on the stove and load/unload the dishwasher.

Resource: https://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/educational/wecan/downloads/cookwithchildren.pdf. 

Cultivate Conversation – Whether you’re having dinner with your kids, friends or spouse/significant other, turn off the TV and put devices away and talk.  

Need some conversation starters?  

·      “If you could be a superhero, what would your name be and what would be your superpower?”

·      “If you could go back in time to a different century and meet someone, who would you want to meet?”

·      “If you saw someone getting picked on because of how they look, what would you do or say?” 

 Resource:  https://thefamilydinnerproject.org/conversation

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Read or Share this story: https://www.upstateparent.com/story/news/2020/10/26/tips-and-resources-making-eating-together-easier-leah-mcgrath/6042125002/