By Taylor Sutton, MS, RD
United Supermarkets’ Lifestyle Desk
It’s National Family Meals Month so gather around the table and let’s talk about the benefits of food and togetherness. What began as a campaign to shine a light on the importance of family meals during one month in 2015 has grown exponentially over the last few.
The goal of this national campaign is simple, to have one more meal together at home per week. What’s less simple is the practicality of this idea. There are many things like work schedules, school schedules, extracurricular activities, and life happenings that can cause a roadblock. However, where there is a will, there is a way.
With the country’s current climate, eating at home more was encouraged and thrust upon everyone. We’ve seen guests attempt everything from baking their own bread to trying new flavor profiles outside of their comfort zones.
So in an effort to continue this trend we want to shed light on the benefits of continuing to eat more at home.
Let’s start by looking at how family meals foster emotional balance. Back in 2013, the Journal of Pediatrics and Child Health showed that frequent family meals increase self-esteem, a sense of well-being, positive social behaviors, and stronger family relationships.
With each additional family meal (greater than 3) shared each week, adolescents are less likely to show symptoms of violence, depression and suicide, less likely to use or abuse drugs or run away, and less likely to engage in risky behavior or delinquent acts (FMI.org).
With the act of eating more at home, the head chef is more in control of what goes into the dish. We love showcasing that small changes can make a big impact when you are looking to better the health of your family.
Opting to choose leaner cuts of meat, adding less sodium, adding more spices, adding more fruits and vegetables and choosing whole grains are an easy way to strike a balance of health and deliciousness.
Research shows that adults and children who eat at home more regularly are less likely to suffer from obesity. In world where your health is put at a higher priority this is an excellent way to start the conversation and fit it into your weekly routine.
The recipe below might intrigue you with being a simple chili but there are a few added vegetables in there that really amp up the flavor profile as well as the nutritional value!
Jumbo Chili Pot Pies
1/3 lb ground turkey
1 can low sodium black beans
1/2 head cauliflower
1/2 c. golden beets
1 green bell peppers
1, 14oz can no salt added tomatoes
1 tsp. Salt
3 Tbsp. Chili Powder
1 Tbsp. Cumin
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
2 premade pie crust, thawed
Garnish as desired: Greek yogurt, green onions, cilantro, cheddar cheese
1. Preheat oven to 400
2. Roughly chop beets and cauliflower and spray with olive oil and place on a pan to roast for 40 minutes
3. Put cauliflower and beets in blender and puree
4. Brown ground turkey in a large pot
5. Roughly chop mushrooms and peppers
6. Sautee for 10 minutes
7. Drain and rinse beans
8. Add beans to ground turkey
9. Add cauliflower and beet puree to pot
10. Add tomatoes to pot
11. Add all spices to pot and combine
12. Set oven to 375
13. Lightly roll out both dough pieces to be a little thinner than it originally comes
14. Place a 5-inch bowl on the crust and cut out a circle 2 inches (5 cm) larger than the bowl
15. Place the cut-out dough circle inside the jumbo muffin tin, making sure to fully press down so the dough is flush against the surface of the tin
16. Fill the tin 3/4 of the way full
17. Place another layer of crust on top and push the edges shut
18. Cut three holes in the top to let it vent and brush with an egg
19. Bake for 35 minutes until the tops are golden brown