(WXYZ) - Family Day (Sept. 23): The Importance of Family Meals
The importance of family meals cannot be overstated. The kitchen connects families so make mealtime a priority in your home. Children who eat with their families are:
· Less likely to smoke, drink or use drugs
· Perform better in school
· Build healthier social skills
· Have higher energy levels
· Are more emotionally content and have a strong sense of belonging and security
· Have better communication skills and confide in their parents more
· Choose healthier snack foods and consume fewer fried foods, soda and saturated fat
· Are less likely to be obese
Sesame Chicken and Vegetable Stir-Fry
4 cups cooked brown rice (Simplify by using microwavable prepared rice by Minute Rice or Uncle Bens)
1 pkg. McCormick Recipe Inspirations Stir-Fry Sesame Chicken & Vegetables which contains the following spices:
1 1/2 tsp. McCormick garlic, minced
3/4 tsp. McCormick ground ginger
1/4 tsp. McCormick red pepper, crushed
2 tsp. McCormick sesame seeds
1 can (14.5 ounces) reduced sodium chicken broth
2 Tbsp. Meijer cornstarch
2 Tbsp. Meijer reduced sodium soy sauce
1 Tbsp. Meijer brown sugar
2 Tbsp. Meijer extra virgin olive oil
1 1/4 to 1 1/2 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into 2" cubes
1 cup broccoli florets; 1 cup red bell pepper, cut into strips; 1 cup snow peas or sugar snap peas ( OR – thawed Meijer frozen stir-fry vegetables--12 to 16 oz. bag--can be substituted for fresh vegetables)
1 cup sliced onion
1. Heat oil in a large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken and stir fry until cooked (about 5-8 minutes). Remove from skillet.
2. Mix broth, cornstarch, soy sauce, sugar, garlic, ginger and crushed red pepper in a small bowl; stir until smooth.
3. Add vegetables to skillet and stir fry 3-4 minutes, until tender-crisp. Return chicken to skillet. Stir soy sauce mixture and add to skillet, stirring constantly. Bring to a boil on medium heat—boil 1 minute or until sauce is slightly thickened.
4. Sprinkle with sesame seed and serve over cooked rice.
Recipe source: McCormick.com/recipes
Use these tips to get your family involved in regular family meals:
1. Establish daily routines. Aim to have at least one family meal each day: breakfast, lunch or a snack shared at home
2. Eat at home. Don't blow your budget eating out on a regular basis, no matter how busy you may be. Home cooked meals are more nutritious, in appropriate portions, and cost much less than expensive restaurant meals.
3. Plan. Weekly meal planning puts you in control of portion sizes and nutritional balance, and allows the entire family to be part of the process.
4. Keep meals simple. No need for extravagant meals. Visit www.meijermealbox.com/healthy-living for a weekly menu and shopping list developed by Meijer Healthy Living nutritional experts (who are also busy moms who know what works!).
5. Keep your pantry stocked. A well-stocked pantry makes meal prep easy on busy nights. Keep healthy whole grains on hand such as whole grain pasta, brown rice, and quinoa. And easy to use canned items like tuna, chicken, low sodium vegetables, fruit packed in 100% juice, dried fruit, peanut butter, nuts, seeds, and recipe essentials such as low sodium broth and seasonings.
6. And don't forget the fridge. Fill yours with fresh fruits, vegetables, lean meats and seafood, and Meijer's low-fat dairy products.