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Family meals can be difficult, especially during the holidays. Here are some tips
to help you "dine in" in December.
Nashville, Ark. – With holiday parties, band concerts, parades, and all the activities
associated with this time of the year, it seems almost impossible to sit down together
as a family and enjoy a meal together. Family Consumer Sciences across the nation
are inviting families to join the movement and commit to “Dining In” at least one
night the first week of December.
Families can participate in “Dining In Day” by planning a simple, healthy
meal to cook and eat at home. Your meal doesn’t need to be anything fancy – just a
wholesome meal prepared at home. Something the whole family will enjoy sharing together.
Soup, tacos, a simple casserole, or a meat with two side vegetables is easy to prepare
Research suggests that both parents and children benefit from sharing
a meal together. It may be dinner or breakfast. It doesn’t really matter as long as
all family members are able to participate. A shared meal, without distractions, allows
the family time to bond. They can share stories, talk about their day and listen to
each other. It is also a great opportunity for parents to be a good role model for
Both younger and older children who share family meals three or more times
per week are more likely to be in a normal weight range and have healthier eating
habits than those who share fewer than three family meals per week according to research.
Planning, shopping and eating together as a family fosters better nutrition,
improved family communication, and teaches life skills such as meal planning, budgeting,
and food preparation. It allows time for the family to be together and lets each other
know how important they are.
Here are some tips for making dining in easy and enjoyable:
You might share your favorite family meal recipes to a “Dining In” Pinterest board.
The important thing is to have fun and strengthen your family bonds.
For more information on meal planning, budgeting, and food preparation and safety,
contact the Howard County Extension Office at 870-845-7517 or visit our office located
on the second floor of the courthouse.
Need a recipe for “Dining In” day? Here is one that your family will enjoy. It only
costs $0.97 per serving, is low in calories, but high in nutrition. It is easy to
prepare and tastes great! Add a green salad, corn or other vegetable for a complete
1 medium onion, chopped
1 medium bell pepper, chopped
½ pound lean ground beef
½ cup salsa
1 package (8.5 ounces) corn muffin mix
1/3 cup light sour cream or plain Greek yogurt
1 can (4.25 ounces) diced green chilies
½ cup shredded cheddar cheese
Preheat oven to 350°F. Heat a skillet over medium heat. Spray with nonstick
cooking spray. Cook onion, bell pepper, and ground beef until beef is cooked through,
about 6 minutes. Stir in salsa. Stir in cheese.
Spray an 8-inch pie plate with nonstick cooking spray. Spread the meat
and vegetable mixture on the bottom of the plate.
Mix corn muffin mix, sour cream, green chilies, and egg until combines.
Spread on top of the meat and vegetable mixture.
Bake until corn muffin topping is golden brown and set, about 30 minutes.
Yield: 6 servings (Serving size 1 slice)
Nutrition Information per Serving: 270 calories, 9g fat, 600 mg sodium, 33g carbohydrate,
1g fiber, 14g protein
By Jean Ince County Extension Agent - Staff ChairThe Cooperative Extension ServiceU of A System Division of Agriculture
Media Contact: Jean Ince County Extension Agent - Staff ChairU of A Division of AgricultureCooperative Extension Service421 N. Main St, Nashville AR 71852 (870) 845-7517 firstname.lastname@example.org
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action institution. If you require a reasonable accommodation to participate or need
materials in another format, please contact your County Extension office (or other
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