Jena DeMoss: Making family meals SOUPer duper
Published 5:45 pm Tuesday, September 19, 2023
So what if dinner’s not a four-course meal, served at 6 p.m. sharp, or even on all seven nights a week? The act of sitting around the dinner table with your kids can provide BIG benefits. Studies show that families who eat together have kids who perform better in school and have a lower risk of developing future eating disorders, substance abuses, obesity and depression. Family dinners have also been found to relieve stress and save money.
September is National Family Meals Month, which encourages families to share one more meal together at home each week. How often do family meals occur in your household? If it’s less than 2-3 times per week, consider setting one new goal this fall like eating one more family meal together. Not sure where to start? Consider these four tips to get the entire family involved:
Start small: Select 1 to 2 nights a week without additional activities that you can sit down as a family to enjoy a meal.
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All together now! When cooking together as a family, read the recipe before getting started. Discuss how long it will take to prepare, and set out all of the necessary ingredients and safe kitchen tools on a counter that everyone is able to reach.
Give everyone a role: Get the kids involved and divvy up meal prep tasks based on your children’s ages and abilities. Measuring and mixing ingredients are math and science teaching moments, while small muscle skills develop from cooking tasks. Recipes and nutrition labels offer reading comprehension opportunities, and as children get older they can take on more complex tasks, like chopping veggies or developing various garnish combos to encourage their culinary creativity and independence. Teens and adults can kick off table talk each night with one of these simple conversation starters:
• Foodie feelings: If you could only eat three foods for the rest of your life, what would they be and why?
• Dream on: What is something you want to learn to do and why?
• Get the giggles: Would you rather swim in a pool of chocolate pudding or strawberry ice cream?
• School small talk: If you could teach any school subject, real or pretend, what would it be?
• Establish family table rules: No electronics at the table to distract from conversation. Distractions can also encourage overeating, leading to potentially unhealthful long-term results.
•Bottom line: By taking the time to share meals with our loved ones, we can nourish our bodies and our relationships, and create memories that will last a lifetime. Remember: If you don’t want picky kids, try not to be picky yourselves. That includes eating your serving of veggies, too! Eating together tastes better. Pledge to eat with your family more this fall. Start with this family-favorite recipe below that is SOUPer duper!
All you need
• 1 tbsp avocado oil
• 1 small yellow onion, diced
• 2 garlic cloves, minced
• 1 qt vegetable stock (gluten free)
• 1 (15-oz) jar Siete Red or Green Enchilada Sauce
• Salt and pepper, to taste
• 1 tbsp dry oregano
• 1 cup coconut oil (for frying)
• 1 Siete Grain Free Cassava Flour Tortillas
• 1 cup shredded chicken (optional)
• 1 avocado, diced
Cilantro, for garnish
• Lime wedge, for garnish
All you do
1. Heat a medium-size pot on medium and add avocado oil, onion and garlic until translucent.
2. Add vegetable stock and jar of Siete Red or Green Enchilada Sauce.
3. Season with salt, pepper and oregano.
4. Let broth simmer for 15-20 minutes.
5. Heat a shallow pan with coconut oil.
6. Cut Siete Grain Free Cassava Flour Tortillas into small squares and fry in small batches until golden and crispy.
7. Drain crispy tortillas on a pan lined with paper towels.
Serve broth with shredded chicken, diced avocado and crispy tortillas. Garnish with cilantro and lime wedge.
Recipe source: https://sietefoods.com/blogs/recipes/tortilla-soup
Ready to get started with family meals this fall? Hy-Vee’s team of dietitians is here to help you eat more meals as a family this fall with our Family Meals Challenge. During this FREE 4-week challenge brought to you by our generous sponsors – Fairlife and the Iowa Beef Industry Council – you will simply track if you met the goal of eating 3 or more meals as a family each week! Family looks different to everyone. Your family can include your relatives, friends and neighbors. Our team of Hy-Vee dietitians is here to support you with weekly tips and recipe inspiration to help make family meals easier. The point of this challenge is to make eating meals together a routine for your family. Complete the challenge anytime between August 28 and November 5, 2023, for a chance to win amazing prizes! Register today to complete the challenge!