Nutrition for Busy Families: 5 Healthy Dinner Tips

Quick family-friendly meals can be healthy too.

Does getting dinner on the table feel like a race to beat the clock? Do you often sacrifice eating healthy for eating fast? Well, quick family-friendly meals can be healthy too when you follow a few simple strategies.

1. Don’t be a short order cook, instead make meals customizable. For example, make a basic green salad, some whole wheat pasta or lean beef tacos and let family members choose their own toppings. That way kids will want to eat, as opposed to pushing the plate away because a dish contains something they don’t like.

2. Pay attention to your cooking method. Don’t fry, instead opt for quick and healthy techniques including stir frying, grilling or broiling.

3. Cook once; eat twice. Grilling chicken breasts, broiling fish fillets or browning lean ground beef? Cook a double batch, refrigerate the extra and have a head start on tomorrow night’s dinner.

4. Think outside the box. While eggs may be better known as breakfast fare, they can make for a quick and nutritious dinner. Make a pan of scrambled eggs or prepare an omelet, and toss in some spinach leaves, avocado or salsa while you’re at it.

5. Put a healthy twist on quick and easy family favorites. Focus on familiar dishes your family already loves like chicken tenders, burgers or pizza. Then look for ingredient substitutions or other ways to make them healthier. Bake chicken tenders instead of frying. Sneak some veggies under the cheese on pizza. Serve burgers on whole-grain buns.

To learn more about healthy eating, talk with a doctor or registered dietitian. Need a physician? Use our online Find a Physician service or call our Physician Referral Line at 1-855-665-TMCP(8627).

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