Eating Together With Family

Getting families to sit down and eat together can be a challenge. However, studies show that eating together has many benefits. With these quick and affordable recipes, your family can eat together even if you are short on time and money.

Kids eating dinner

Compiled by Libby's, here are five really good reasons why sharing a meal with your family is good for the stomach and the soul.

 

1. You could get an A+: Research shows that children who eat dinner with their families five or more times a week are more likely to have higher grades in school – regardless of gender, family structure or economic status.

 

2. It's easier to say no to drugs: According to the Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, frequent family meals have been linked to a lower risk of smoking, drinking and using marijuana. When you spend more time with your kids at the dinner table, it's easier to spot changes in behavior and develop a better relationship with them.

 

3. Good conversation builds confidence: Researchers at Emory University found that pre-teens whose parents tell family stories at dinner have higher self-esteem and get along better with their peers during their teen.

 

4. Eating at the table means eating better: A University of Minnesota study found that kids in families who watched TV while eating meals together had a poorer diet than children whose families ate together around a table. Boys who watched TV while eating ate fewer vegetables and grains and drank more soft drinks while girls who watched TV ended up eating fewer dark vegetables and more fried food.

 

5. It's good for girls: Studies show that teenage girls who ate five or more meals per week with their families were less likely to resort to extreme dieting measures such as self-induced vomiting, diet pills or laxatives. This was true regardless of socioeconomic status, body mass index or family connectedness.

 

To help get families back to the table, Libby's has partnered with "Total Mom" expert Hannah Keeley to create $10 meals that moms can prepare in 10 minutes or less. Here are a few sample recipes that your family may enjoy.

 

Kicked-up mac 'n cheese

Ingredients

  • 1 package (14.5 oz.) macaroni and cheese dinner
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup butter, divided
  • 1 can (15.25 oz.) Libby's sweet peas, drained
  • 1 can (15 oz.) Libby's whole kernel sweet corn, drained
  • 1 jar (4 oz.) diced pimentos, drained
  • 1 1/2 cups panko bread crumbs

Directions

1. Prepare macaroni and cheese with milk and 1/4 cup butter, following package directions.
2. Gently stir in peas, corn and pimentos. Place in a 3-quart casserole dish.
3. Melt remaining 1/4 cup butter, mix with breadcrumbs and sprinkle evenly over casserole.
4. Place under broiler about 2 minutes or until top is lightly browned.

 

Serves 4

 

Mexican tortilla soup


Mexican tortilla soup

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 can (15.25 oz.) Libby's whole kernel sweet corn, drained
  • 1 can (14.5 oz.) diced tomatoes
  • 1 can (14 oz.) chicken broth
  • 1 package (6 oz.) cooked chicken breast strips, diced
  • 4 corn tortillas
  • chopped cilantro and lime wedges, optional

Directions

1. In a large saucepan, heat oil and chili powder over medium heat just until it sizzling.
2. Add corn, tomatoes, chicken broth, chicken and 1 cup water; simmer 5 minutes.
3. While soup is cooking, heat tortillas in toaster oven or over a flame.
4. Cut into strips or tear into small pieces and place in soup bowls; ladle soup over tortillas.
5. If desired, sprinkle with cilantro and serve lime wedges for squeezing into soup.

 

Serves 4

 

Tip: For a spicier soup, increase amount of chili powder to taste.

 

Frittata with peas & carrots

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 can (15 oz.) Libby's sweet peas, drained1 can (15 oz.) Libby's sliced white potatoes, drained
  • 6 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon dried Italian herb blend
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Directions

1. Preheat broiler. In a 10-inch nonstick skillet, heat oil over medium heat.
2. Add peas and potatoes; cook, stirring gently, until heated.
3. In a bowl, whisk eggs, herb blend, salt and pepper. Pour over potatoes and peas and reduce heat to medium-low.
4. With a rubber spatula, lift up the cooked part of the frittata and tilt the skillet to allow the uncooked eggs to run underneath. Continue cooking, occasionally lifting the frittata and tilting the skillet as described above until the top is almost set, approximately 5 minutes.
5. Sprinkle with the cheese. Broil about 6 inches from the heat source about 1 minute or until the frittata is puffed and the top is set.

 

Serves 4

 

Taco salad


Taco salad

Ingredients

  • 1 can (15 oz.) Libby's whole kernel sweet corn, drained
  • 1 can ((15 oz.) black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 large tomato, chopped
  • 1/3 cup bottled ranch dressing
  • 4 cups tortilla chips
  • 1 small head iceberg lettuce, cored and shredded (about 6 cups)
  • 1 cup shredded Mexican blend cheese

Directions

1. In a large bowl, combine corn, black beans, tomato and ranch dressing.
2. Line a large bowl or platter with tortilla chips; layer lettuce, vegetable mixture and cheese, in that order, on top of chips.

 

Serves 4

 

Colorful chopped salad

Ingredients

  • 1 can (15.25 oz.) Libby's whole kernel sweet corn, drained
  • 1 can (15 oz.) garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 can (14.5 oz.) Libby's cut green beans, drained and chopped
  • 1 large red bell pepper, cored and chopped
  • 1 small head iceberg lettuce, cored and chopped (about 6 cups)
  • 1/3 cup bottled Italian dressing

Directions

1. In large bowl, combine all ingredients.
2. Toss gently until well mixed.

 

Serves 4

 

Tip: Add chopped leftover ham, turkey or chicken.

 

All recipes and photos courtesy of Libby's and GetBacktoTheTable.com, where you can find more information about family mealtime and practical recipe ideas.

 

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Comments

Comments on "Quick and affordable family recipes"

ampy ongkiatco January 19, 2012 | 4:06 AM

i like your recipe, nice and its good for our health..

Aimee January 08, 2009 | 8:02 PM

These are great recipes, love the Mexican Tortilla Soup!

Kena Lewis October 05, 2008 | 2:08 PM

Thank these recipes are great.

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