Posts Tagged ‘Family recipes’

Family enjoying a meal together

Family Mealtime

December 3rd is Family and Consumer Sciences Day.   The theme for the 2019 “Dine In” for Healthy Families is, “Neighbors as Family”. This December, I encourage you to host a “Dine In” meal with your neighbors of choice. This might be neighbors in an apartment, college dorm or friends from across town. Your “neighbors” might be people you see regularly from work, the gym or other community settings. Your meal can be breakfast, lunch or dinner. Interested? Look at the meal prep tips and recipes listed below.

Why should you say “YES” to Family Mealtime?

A “family meal” is when the people you live with or consider “neighbors” come together to eat and talk. Why should you add this to your routine?

  • Eating together can be an opportunity to have conversations with family and friends.
  • Regular family meals create a routine that may help children feel more secure.
  • Eating together can provide the opportunity to teach and learn basic food preparation skills.
  • Make it a positive place for conversation – place your devices (phone, tablets, etc.) away from the table. Focus on positive interactions with those at your table. Not sure what to talk about? Iowa State Extension shares Mealtime Conversation Starters to help you get started.

Would you like some ideas to help you get started on the Meal Prep side of things?
Here are a few tips for prep day:

  • On your meal prep day, focus first on foods that take the longest to cook: proteins like chicken and fish; whole grains like brown rice, quinoa; dried beans and legumes; and, roasted vegetables.
  • Also consider preparing staple foods that everyone in the family enjoys and which you can easily add to a weekday meal or grab for a snack: washed greens for a salad, hard-boiled eggs, a bowl of chopped fruit, cooked beans.
  • If you prefer not to precook proteins, consider marinating poultry, fish, or even tofu (in the refrigerator) on your prep day so that you can quickly pop them into the oven or stir-fry later in the week.
  • Multi-task! While foods are baking or bubbling on the stove-top, chop vegetables and fresh fruit, or wash and dry salad greens for later in the week.
  • As you find favorite ‘prep-able’ meals, watch for sales and coupons to stock up on frequently used shelf-stable ingredients like pasta, rice, and other whole grains, lentils, beans (canned or dried), jarred sauces, healthy oils, and spices.
    Need more Inspiration? Check out these easy-to-make recipes. 

Our Favorite Chicken Noodle Soup

Chicken Tortilla Soup

Chicken Tortilla Soup

Six Can Chicken Tortilla Soup

 Skillet Lasagna

 Veggie Crockpot Lasagna

 Southwest Shredded Chicken

 Egg Roll in a Bowl

Remember to enjoy time with family and friends. Enjoy conversations over mealtimes. Have fun making the meal. Remember to relax, talk and enjoy the time spent with your “family” – whether it is your family, friends, co-workers or neighbors.


“Dine In” With Us! Family & Consumer Sciences Day. https://www.aafcs.org/fcsday/home

Mealtime Conversation Cards. Iowa State University Extension and Outreach. https://store.extension.iastate.edu/product/Mealtime-Conversation-Cards

Writer: Michelle Treber, Extension Educator, Family and Consumer Sciences, Ohio State University Extension, Pickaway County, treber.1@osu.edu

Reviewers: Patrice Powers-Barker, Extension Educator, Family and Consumer Sciences, Ohio State University Extension, Lucas County, powers-barker.1@osu.edu

Tammy Jones, Extension Educator, Family and Consumer Sciences, Ohio State University Extension, Pike County, jones.5640@osu.edu

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Do you love foods that are traditionally served for breakfast like pancakes, waffles, or omelets? Studies of America’s favorite foods often include: bagels, waffles, bacon, pancakes, and sausage gravy with biscuits towards the top of survey results. Many of these foods we may not actually eat that often though, because we think they are only for breakfast – and we only have time to fix a big breakfast on the weekend. Or maybe, the version of these foods we are used to, is higher in fat and calories than we know we should have? If you are in one of these groups, why not think about a made-over breakfast for dinner?

Breakfast for dinner may be an easy way to celebrate both National Fruit and Vegetable Month and National Family Meals Month as we wrap up September. The importance of those family meals can’t be overlooked. A few of those benefits include: better academics for youth, higher self-esteem, lower risk of depression, and lower risk of substance abuse. Family eating pancakes and fruit

Here is the start of a list of breakfast foods that would make great family dinners:

  • Baked or slow cooker oatmeal with berries, apples, nuts, dried fruit, and cinnamon.
  • English muffin or wrap sandwich – whole grain muffin or tortilla with either nut spread with fruit, sliced veggies and cheese, or light cheese and over-easy egg.
  • French toast with sliced fruit – make sure you use a whole grain bread.
  • Egg and veggie burritos – use a whole grain tortilla, add scrambled eggs, light cheese, a few black beans, and chopped veggies (tomatoes, onion, peppers, mushrooms, zucchini, or eggplant).
  • Omelet – use those chopped veggies, light cheese, herbs, and left over ham/turkey/chicken.
  • Frittata – A frittata has the ingredients mixed in, rather than folded in the center like an omelet. They can be baked in a pie pan or casserole dish, cooked in a skillet on top of the stove, or made in an electric skillet. The combinations are limitless. Eggs can be combined with any type of chopped vegetable, cheese, herbs, or even a little leftover meat. To make individual frittatas, pour into well-greased muffin tins with each person adding their own choice of vegetables or favorite cheese or herb. Get creative with these – think pizza made with eggs; Italian herbs; mozzarella cheese; diced tomatoes, peppers, mushrooms, or onions; and a couple mini pepperoni. Or Southwest with eggs; shredded chicken; diced tomatoes, peppers, and green chilies; hot pepper cheese; and spices like cumin and chili powder. The bonus with mini muffin frittatas is you can bake them ahead and reheat for a quick breakfast or pack in a lunch.They can also be frozen and used when you need a quick dinner.        Frittata
  • Whole grain pancakes with fresh fruit or even shredded zucchini. Cooking Matters has a great Orange Oatmeal Pancake that includes orange juice, whole wheat flour, and oats – you don’t even need syrup.
  • Avocado whole grain toast – with pears, lean chicken, and greens can be quick favorite too.

By making a few minor changes to our traditional breakfast favorites like using the whole grain version, or a low fat milk or cheese, you can cut unnecessary calories and increase fiber, vitamins and minerals. Our goal is to try and choose foods from all five food groups throughout the day. Dinner is a great time to help move you in the right direction and choose a variety of foods from MyPlate (low-fat dairy or dairy substitute, fruit, vegetable, low fat meat or protein, and whole grains.)

We can’t wait to hear your favorite breakfast for dinner food. Please share your ideas in the comments section. Recipes are linked to several of the foods by following the hyperlink on the name.

Written by: Lisa Barlage, Extension Educator, Family and Consumer Sciences, Ohio State University Extension, Ross County.

Reviewer: Susan Zies, Extension Educator, Family and Consumer Sciences, Ohio State University Extension, Wood County.


Produce for Better Health Foundation, https://fruitsandveggies.org/.

What’s Cooking? USDA Mixing Bowl, https://whatscooking.fns.usda.gov/

Cooking Matters, https://cookingmatters.org/

The Family Dinner Project, https://thefamilydinnerproject.org/about-us/benefits-of-family-dinners/

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Lazy Daisy Cake RecipeI have things about my family that I wonder about . . . . How did my grandparents meet? What was life like for them years ago? What were their family traditions? According to the Search Institute, family assets are the everyday things that families do to be strong, even in challenging times.

Take time this year to learn about your family traditions. What are your family recipes? When I was a young adult my grandma wrote out her recipes for me in a recipe book and gave it to me one Christmas holiday. Those recipes in her handwriting are precious to me. I recently found a similar recipe book and vow to copy or write the recipes for the second book. Why? I would like for both of my daughters to have a recipe book with their great grandma’s recipes. I hope to continue the tradition of the Lazy Daisy Cake that my grandma often made. Informing the younger generations about our family traditions helps them know about their family history and traditions and can strengthen their sense of family support.


My Grandma Treber loved to quilt and when I was a teen she taught me to hand stitch. I picked my purple (my favorite color) and white and we started piecing the quilt. She cut out the pieces of the quilt and I made a few squares. She taught me the importance of tiny stitches and how you have to be precise if you want the quilt squares to fit correctly. We both worked on the quilt but she did the majority since she had more time to work on it than I did. One day when I stopped by for a visit, the quilt top was finished. She’d been working on it while she watched her stories (afternoon TV shows). That quilt and the time I spent with my grandma hold precious memories for me.

The Search Institute identifies Family Assets that help families be strong. When families have more of these research-based assets, the teens and adults in the family do better in life.

Establishing Routines
• Family meals – Family members eat meals together most days in a typical week.
• Shared activities – Family members regularly spend time doing everyday activities together.
• Meaningful traditions – Holidays, rituals, and celebrations are part of family life.
• Dependability – Family members know what to expect from one another day-to-day.

Each of these qualities is important and strengthens your family. For additional information about Family Assets, visit the Search Institute website. Everyone can play a role in developing and strengthening these assets. All members of the family including children, teens and the adults contribute to these family assets.

Recipe Book

Perhaps this is the year that you will talk to your parent or grandparent about their family stories. Collect those recipes and make them into a family recipe book. You might enjoy interviewing a family member and recording their responses. Use your phone, flip camera or other recording device to capture those family memories. You will be rewarded by spending time with a family member and offering them a family book or recording to treasure. There are many options for you – online recipe cards, recipe boxes, and recipe or cook books. Have copies made for family members – what a wonderful Mother’s Day gift you can create.

Writer:  Michelle Treber, Family and Consumer Sciences Educator, Ohio State University Extension, Pickaway County, treber.1@osu.edu

Reviewer:  Dana Brown, Family and Consumer Sciences Educator, Ohio State University Extension, Morrow County, brown.4642@osu.edu

Sources:  The Family Assets Framework retrieved from http://www.search-institute.org/familyassets/framework

Hosier, A., Jenkins-Howard, B. & Mineer, S., Creating and Maintaining Family Traditions, University of Kentucky, Cooperative Extension Service, College of Agriculture, retrieved March 2013 from http://johnson.ca.uky.edu/sites/johnson.ca.uky.edu/files/FCS/Creating_and_maintaing_family_traditions_pub.pdf



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