Written by Gina Ruskie Askew, RDN
Family meals eaten together at home have been proven to help benefit the health and wellness of children and adolescents and to make families stronger1. Family meals can provide a regular time for the whole family to connect, which can help strengthen bonds and deepen relationships2. In fact, the more meals families shared, the better their overall diets, consuming more vegetables, fruit, fiber, calcium-rich foods and vitamins3. Daily life may be hectic currently with a change in schedules and routines with COVID, but Knorr is here to help to provide inspiration to get dinner on the table for your family!
Experimenting in the kitchen can sometimes be scary, especially if the prepared dish does not come out as you had expected, and your family is hungry and waiting for dinner! That is where products, such as Knorr Sides can be the perfect option with a variety of flavors to please even your pickiest of eaters. All you need to do is choose is your family’s favorite vegetables and protein to complement the flavors of Knorr Sides in order to help create a delicious meal using our sides-to-center technique!
Why do we love Knorr Sides?
- Versatility! Whether you ran out of an ingredient such as broccoli or someone in your family just will not eat it, you can easily swap in another ingredient in our recipes. With Knorr Sides Pantry Pals, you can get inspiration from the types of lean meat or plant-based protein, veggies and spices & herbs that work best for each flavor variant. For example, if your family is looking for a ‘Meatless Monday’ option, then try this Harvest Sweet Potato & Lentils or Mediterranean Chickpea Pilaf recipe.
- Affordable! At Knorr, we believe everyone should have access to affordable, good food, but sometimes, time is short and budgets are tight. That is why we’ve have created our Dinners Under $10 in 10 Minutes , to help cook delicious balanced meals that you can feel good about, without breaking the bank.
- Nutritious! Knorr is passionate about helping Americans create balanced meals they can feel good about. With our Knorr Better-For-You recipes, you can easily prepare delicious & nutritious meals by adding your choice of veggies and lean protein or plant-based protein. 90% of Americans4 do not consume enough veggies daily, therefore our Knorr Sides to Center recipes can help consumers increase their intake with at least 1/2 cup of veggies per serving, helping to increase their intake of positive nutrients such as Potassium and Fiber, like in this Cumin-scented Chicken & Pan-Roasted Chickpeas or Salmon & Kale with Lemon Herb Topping.
Engagement Opportunity! Meal prep is a perfect opportunity to get the whole family involved! Whether that is letting children help measure, stir, pour, cut (always keeping safety in mind) or allowing them to choose the vegetable they would like to include, it can be used as a bonding and learning activity. This Pineapple & Chicken Fried Rice or Creamy Chicken Florentine may be a good option to start with!
Mealtime Beverages Matter!
Don’t forget to think about your beverage options too! Did you know that tea is just as hydrating as water and unsweetened brewed green or black tea provides naturally occurring compounds called flavonoids? Based on daily consumption of 2-3 cups of unsweetened brewed green or black tea (between 200-500mg of flavonoids) as part of a diet consistent with dietary guidelines, drinking unsweetened Lipton green or black tea every day can help support a healthy heart. Decaffeinated brewed green or black tea provides the same benefit too! Lipton offers a variety of unsweetened options to choose from! Drink Up!
Join the movement and commit to cooking one more meal at home per week throughout the year. Your family will thank you for it! #FamilyMealsMovement
For Healthcare Professionals seeking additional information and inspiration, check out FMI Foundation’s Family Meals Movement Toolkit info.
1. FMI Foundation < https://www.fmi.org/family-meals-movement>
2. Forthun, Larry. Family Nutrition : The Truth about Family Meals. University of Florida IFAS Extensions.
3. Hammons AJ, Fiese BH. Is frequency of shared family meals related to the nutritional health of children and adolescents?. Pediatrics. 2011;127(6):e1565-e1574. doi:10.1542/peds.2010-1440
4. Lee-Kwan SH, Moore LV, Blanck HM, Harris DM, Galuska D. Disparities in State-Specific Adult Fruit and Vegetable Consumption — United States, 2015. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep 2017;66:1241–1247