Trying to eat dinner together as a family more often? Here are 15 Healthy Family Dinners everyone will love!
You may find this hard to believe, but my kids have been back in school almost an entire month. I know many children around the country will be loading backpacks for their first day of school next week, but down South we start up the school year EARLY.
While it feels a bit jarring to be buying pencils and paper in July, there is one part of jumping into a back-to-school routine that I really enjoy -- getting back into a dinner routine. Not that we don't eat family meals together throughout the summer, but there's something about the school routine that makes it all, well, so much more "routine." That regularity and dependability for me aids in planning, but for my boys I'm convinced it's so much more.
I know it's easy in the evenings to get busy and feel that catching up on homework while grabbing a bite from the pantry is the priority over sitting down for supper, but the research says otherwise. Eating family meals together has been shown to benefit children and teens by helping to fight obesity, substance abuse, strengthen family bonds and even improve grades. It also simply makes them feel more connected and engaged, something that I personally think we ALL need more. Consider this:
That said, the reality is conflicting schedules sometimes simply don't allow for dinner together. I get that. But that's no reason NOT to try. Even if families are only able to commit to carving out one night a week, that's better than none.
And even more encouraging is that family don't HAVE to be dinner. In fact, around my house breakfast is often one of the best times we sit down together for a meal. Call us a morning family (and you're right, we are) but breakfast is when the pressures of the day haven't settled in and it's simply a more relaxed time to talk. So be sure to look for other opportunities to opt in to a shared meal. And once you find WHEN to eat together, here are some great ideas for WHAT to eat together:
Oven-Fried Chicken Tenders via Food Done Light
Pesto Chicken Kabobs via Tasty Thin
Chicken Meatball Fajita Skillet via Domesticate Me
Chicken Spaghetti with Red Sauce via Yummy Addiction
Slow Cooked Beef Ragu via Culinary Flavors
Slow Cooker Honey Garlic Chicken Thighs via The Lean Green Bean
Cheesy Sausage Gnocchi via Jennifer Meyering
Tex-Mex Beef & Rice Skillet via Sunday Supper
Slow Cooker Meatloaf via Healthy Aperture
Bacon Cheddar Ranch Chicken via Healthy Aperture
Baked Beef Chimichangas via Lisa G Cooks
Crockpot Pork Carnitas Tacos via Joyful Healthy Eats
30 Minute Beef Teriyaki via Meaningful Eats
Dairy-Free Tuna Noodle Casserole via Put Your Cake Pants On
20-Minute Honey Garlic Shrimp via Prevention RD
Anything look good? Be sure to pin this post for later!
Want to help spread the word about the importance of eating family meals together?
Join the movement and share your existing family meal ideas/solutions and use the hashtag #FamilyMealsMonth across social media in September to help spread awareness.
Or comment/send me a quick note/connect with me on social media and tell me about how you're creating more memories with your family via meal times! ~Regan
September is #FamilyMealsMonth. Make yours healthy AND delish w/these 15 Healthy Family Meals on @healthyaperture! Tweet this