Around Our Family Table

Around Our Family Table

By: Ashley Kibutha, Supermarket Registered Dietitian & Mother of Two

At our house life is crazy as is the case in many of your households. We now have 2 kiddos, a 3-year-old and a 3-month-old, plus I work a full-time job and my husband works a full time and a part time job! We love to stay active in the community and be social with lots of friends and family.

As a dietitian, I strive to serve healthy meals for dinner (at least most of the time). Of course, there will be a random night here or there where we have pizza and wings but that is not the norm – everything in moderation and proper balance! So how do I do this? First of all, every Sunday I create a menu for the week and go grocery shopping for just those items. I look in our cupboards to see what we have available to serve as components to a meal so nothing will go out dated.

For example, I see spaghetti noodles in the pantry – great! That means spaghetti is the entre for one night and that’s a rather simple meal to make, so I will put that on for Monday in case it’s a hard transition to work from the weekend. Then I always think about the rest of the components of the meal using MyPlate… do I have all the food groups? Fruit, veggie, whole grain, protein and diary… So, for spaghetti I will have:

  • whole grain pasta
  • lean beef for the protein
  • Dietitian’s Choice tomato sauce (such as our Four Brother’s brand)

Then I will add extra veggies like:

  • frozen spinach
  • sautéed onions (already diced from the Chop Shoppe at my Coborn’s store)
  • minced garlic (in the jar, pre-done of course)
  • squeezable cilantro so I don’t have to cut it (always makes such a mess!)
  • precut mushrooms in the package
  • diced tomatoes in the can (no salt added)

Then we always have a side salad using pre-chopped lettuce from the bag – how easy is that!? I always like to add:

  • nuts
  • craisins (50% less sugar)
  • Bolthouse Farms dressing

For dessert, I will have a fresh berry blend over a Dietitian’s Choice Greek yogurt to get in the rest of the MyPlate components. There you have it! Simple and easy, I try to cut corners and save time by getting prechopped and canned items.

Another huge piece of family meals is that you need to make cooking time part of family time. I love multitasking this way because I am spending time with the kids and my husband as well as making a nutritious dinner. I always feel a sense of accomplishment plus I feel like a good mom and wife. I know I am also helping to meet my goals of returning to that pre-pregnancy weight. 

You are probably thinking where are these kids that sound so peaceful and perfect?! Don’t worry, it can be chaotic at our house too! A baby and a toddler – need I say more? We involve our toddler in many of the meal prep activities. He gets his step stool and watches us chop up items or prep the food. He has a cute little plastic toy knife, cutting board and veggies and likes to be a part of the meal prep by mimicking us and “chopping” up his toy veggies! Then we let him do age appropriate tasks to help us, i.e adding the vegetables in the pan, mixing, and pouring in the noodles. [See the backside of our Picky Eaters Handout for how kids can get involved in the kitchen.]

If he’s having a bad day or a melt down then we put on music and let him dance and play in the kitchen with his toys, or color or do play playdoh at the table so he is still a part of this and we can have family time. My husband or I are with the baby, depending on who is cooking. I am still breastfeeding so I breastfeed in the living room while my husband cooks and observes our toddler, keeping him engaged. We have a small house so we are able to hold a conversation while he is cooking in the kitchen and I feed the baby in the living room.

Yes, it may take longer to cook if our toddler is helping but remember you are prepping a healthy meal and having family time all at the same time! Yes, your toddler is probably starving after daycare and so are you, so you can have an appetizer of veggies with hummus or a piece of fruit. When dinner is ready we all sit down and enjoy our family dinner including the baby. We set him in a bouncer near us so he is a part of it all too! If it’s an exceptionally good day we even get to sneak in a glass of wine while the dinner is cooking while playing a memory game with our toddler!

So, think of cooking as time together with the whole family – rather than a mundane chore. Keep it exciting with new meal ideas and recipes! We have lots of great Dietitian’s Choice recipes right here on CelebrateMORE… so make sure to check those out to help make your family meals nutritious as well as time well spent with the whole family. 

Peace and wellness,
Ashley, RD, LD 

Blueberry, Avocado & Banana Smoothie Bowl

Blueberry, Avocado & Banana Smoothie Bowl

Serves: 1-2
Ingredients
  • 1 Cup Blueberry Low-Fat Lifeway Kefir
  • 1 Cup Frozen Blueberries
  • 2 Tbsp. Avocado
  • 1 Banana, frozen
  • Additional Toppings
  • Granola
  • Blueberries
  • Banana Slices
  • Fresh Mint
Instructions
  1. Blend all ingredients in blender or food processor until smooth.
  2. Pour into 1-2 Bowls. Top with desired toppings. 
Notes
Try adding 1 Tbsp Ground Flaxseed or 1 Tbsp Chia Seeds for added nutrition!

 

 

Easter Side Dishes

www.cobornsblog.com - Family, Friends & Food with Jayne

Jayne

Wow Spring is here and so is Easter!

I know most of us are planning our Easter dinner already which most likely means the traditional ham as well as all the favorite side dishes that our family and friends love. Once in a while, it’s nice to mix things up and try some new recipes too! Continue reading

How To Slice A Bone-In Ham

Kevin C.So many families have the traditional ham every Easter as the centerpiece on their dinner table. The Easter ham is something almost everyone looks forward to on Easter Sunday. Maybe you’re a pro at carving the ham by now, or maybe it’s your first time. Either way, you’ll be able to find some useful tips in this quick how-to video on how to slice a bone-in ham!

Happy Easter!

Kevin Connor,
Merchandising Specialist Team Manager for Meat and Seafood

 

 

 


White Chicken Chili

White Chicken Chili

Ingredients
  • 32 oz low sodium chicken broth
  • 16 oz boneless, chicken breasts
  • 15 oz can cannellini beans
  • 15 oz can no salt added black beans
  • 16 Oz. salsa verde
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 2-3 Tbsp corn starch
Instructions
  1. Combine all ingredients in slow cooker.
  2. Cook on high for 4 hours, or low for 6 hours, until chicken is cooked through. Shred chicken with a fork and return to slow cooker. Mix well.
  3. Serve with desired toppings.
Topping Ideas:
  • cilantro
  • shredded cheese
  • green onion
  • crumbled tortilla chips
  • avocado
  • bread

Chicken Fajita Salad With Lime-Cilantro Vinaigrette

www.cobornsblog.com - Family, Friends & Food with Jayne

Jayne

Happy New Year and best wishes in 2018!!

I hope all of you enjoyed a wonderful holiday season together with family and friends! As the New Year starts so do the diets and getting back on track with eating healthy foods. I really like this time of year because Continue reading

Jayne’s Top 10 Holiday Appetizers

www.cobornsblog.com - Family, Friends & Food with Jayne

Jayne

Happy Holidays! As you know, I absolutely LOVE this time of the year. There are so many wonderful traditions, tons of beautiful decorations and of course, great food to try! Here’s my Top 10 Holiday Appetizer Recipes for you to enjoy with your family and friends during this Holiday Season.

You can find videos for all these recipes and more on our youtube channel. Don’t forget to subscribe so you can stay up to date on all my upcoming videos! Enjoy! Continue reading

Mexican Street Corn and Certified Hereford Beef Tri-tip on the Grill

www.cobornsblog.com - Family, Friends & Food with Jayne

Jayne

Next week is July 4th and it is my very favorite holiday. I love the weather and all the fun that comes along with this time of year. Getting together with family and friends is got to be the best. Continue reading

Prime Rib

Kevin C.In the past, the only time a person ate Prime Rib was at a very special occasion, or you went out to a fine restaurant. Now, you don’t have to wait for that special occasion, we have Prime Rib ready for you everyday. In fact, we have even made it easy for you, we fully cook our Prime Rib to make your time in the kitchen minimal and easy to give you more time relax and unwind after a busy day or week. Our Fully Cooked Prime Rib will deliver a top-quality eating experience every time. Continue reading

Baked Salmon with Cilantro

www.cobornsblog.com - Family, Friends & Food with Jayne

Jayne

We are right in the middle of Lent and aren’t we always looking for some great fish or seafood recipe that we can serve our family or guests for dinner on a Friday evening? I started digging through my books and books of recipes that I have collected over the years and I found one that my mom used to make for us when we had family dinners. This is a recipe you could use even for cod, but I chose salmon just because of it being my favorite and my family’s also. Continue reading

Easter Meal Made Easy

www.cobornsblog.com - Family, Friends & Food with Jayne

Jayne

We are less than a week away from Easter and I thought it would be a great idea to give you some easy tips on how to prepare your Easter Meal if you are spending it at home with family and friends. Continue reading