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  Cook smart

Family meals in minutes

When it comes to feeding the family, finding the right meal to make everyone happy can be tricky. Try these simple tips to cook up some fun, fresh and fast meals that your busy family will love.

  1. Get the family involved
    • Pick out recipes or a weekly menu before going to the store.
    • Pack lunches together for fun family activity and an easy introduction to balanced meals.
    • A kid’s lunch should be filled with foods from at least three food groups. Try a dairy, fruit and a few grains with lean protein.
    • Set an example – bring the same lunch as your kids.
  2. Save time and money
    • Cut up veggies ahead of time for ready-to-go snacks after school or work.
    • Choose proteins that are on sale and prepare them with multiple purposes in mind.
    • Set it and forget it. Crock pots are great for preparing meals in the morning for dinner when you get home.
  3. Don’t give up on picky eaters
    • Start with small changes. Picky eaters can’t be f ixed overnight.
    • Create meals together giving kids the chance to pick ingredients they love.
    • No foods are off-limits – remember sometimes/always foods: some are appropriate sometimes, others are always good to eat.
    • Give picky eaters some choices.
    • Don’t give up or give in, it may take several tries before they like it.
  4. Make favorite meals and snacks better-for-you
    • Easy substitutions can be made without losing flavor. Try hummus (recipe in bag) over bottled ranch dressing, kale chips (recipe in bag) over potato chips and pudding over traditional cookies.
    • Hide veggies in food by cutting into small pieces and using "like" colors.
    • Replace white pasta with whole wheat pasta for extra fiber and protein.