National Family Meals Month

Courtesy Photo

By United Supermarkets Dietitian Team

September is here, school is in full swing, and everyone is missing the family time summer had to offer. Spending time with family is important for many reasons. One of the easiest ways to spend more time with family is by having family meal nights.

Research shows that family meal nights can improve mental health, physical health, and increase fruit and vegetable intake. It also shows that having family meals at least three times per week can reduce the likelihood of children participating in harmful behaviors like smoking or drinking alcohol. Children are also likely to have better test scores and are likely to do better in school when they share multiple meals with their family. Preparing meals at home can also help families save money by shopping sale items and using seasonal fruits and vegetables.

Aside from the mental benefits of having family meals, preparing the meal as a family is a great way to teach children valuable kitchen skills. Having children help prepare the meal can help children with motor skills, math skills, and children are more likely to eat food they prepared. When teens help prepare meals, fruit and vegetable intake is increased while fat intake decreased.

There are many different ways to increase the number of family meals had throughout the week. Start by planning meals as a family to get everyone excited about family meal nights. Make the most out of family meals by making them phone free and being present with family. Be sure to include meals that allow everyone to help prepare like build-your-own tacos or try making homemade pizza. Try this shrimp fajita recipe for a fun and quick meal everyone will enjoy.

1 Pan Shrimp Fajitas

What You Need

  • 1 1/2 lb Shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 3 Tbsp. Olive Oil
  • 1/4 c. Lime Juice
  • 1/2 Tbsp. Honey
  • 1 Tbsp. Cumin
  • 1 Tbsp. Chili Powder
  • 1 Tbsp. Paprika
  • 1/4 tsp. Salt
  • 1/2 tsp. Pepper
  • 1 pkg. Fresh Cut Fajita Mix
  • Tortillas
  • Optional Toppings: lettuce, cheese, cilantro, pico de gallo

How It’s Made

1. Preheat oven to 425.

2. In a bowl combine the fajita mix with lime juice, honey, cumin, chili powder, paprika, salt, and pepper.

3. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and place the peppers on and cook for 25 minutes.

4. While your peppers are cooking, place the shrimp in the same marinade and let sit.

5. Pull the peppers out of the oven, scoot them to one side and pour on your shrimp and space them out in a single flat layer.

6. Place pan back in the oven for 4-5 minutes until the shrimp are pink.

7. Take the pan out of the oven, let it cool, and build your fajitas as desired.