Create Family Mealtime // Theme Nights

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Dinner time has changed a bit at our house over the last month.  What used to be a more calm part of they day, has turned into what feels like a ride on the crazy train!  My daughter started first grade and it has totally sent us down the tracks at a dangerous speed.  Picking up from school, tackling homework, shuttling to soccer, piano, singing, and trying to get dinner started in between has been a new adventure.

If this sounds a bit like dinner time at your house, try adding some fun into the mix to offset all the stress.  Simple ideas for fun can keep you headed on the right path towards successful family mealtimes, leaving your family with positive memories to carry through life.

Perhaps my favorite, and most simple idea, is having theme dinners.  I have to cook anyway so why not add in a few elements of fun?  Having scheduled theme nights gives your family something to look forward to.  Get everyone on board, taking turns picking recipes for each theme.  Here are a few ideas to get you started:

  • Meaty Monday – Try centering your meal around meatballs or meatloaf.  Mix it up each week with a new recipe.
    • Veggie Meatloaf
    • Swedish Meatballs
    • Porcupine Meatballs
  • Tortilla Tuesday – Let your family help you get creative with different ways to use tortillas.  You might be surprised with what you can come up with.
    • Huevos Rancheros Tacos
    • Philly Style Wraps
    • Sweet Potato Sandwich Wrap
  • Waffle Wednesday – Whether it is traditional, Belgian, or made with sweet potatoes, it is hard to go wrong with a waffle.  Try using one of the waffles mix recipes below or visit my Pinterest Create a Waffle board to see the recipes I’m going to try out.  (Check back next month for a post all about waffles!)
    • Cinnamon Oatmeal Waffles
    • Maple, Flaxseed, and Walnut Waffles
    • Buckwheat Waffles
  • Three Bean Thursday – Beans are a super food and add great nutrition to your diet.  Try different recipes using black, pinto, kidney, navy, great northern, garbanzo, or lima beans.  Whichever recipe you choose, make sure to add in three different types of beans.
    • Taco Salad
    • Fiesta Casserole
    • Three Bean Chili
  • Friday is Eggcellent – Add some healthy protein to the menu on Friday with eggs.  Go the traditional route with scrambled eggs and omelets, or be brave and try a new egg recipe.
    • Veggie Fritatta
    • Egg Fried Groats
    • Baked Ham and Egg
  • Sandwich Saturday – With all the yard work, chores, sports games, and other actives going on, Saturday is a great day to keep meals simple.  Sandwiches can make for a great dinner and can be made so many different ways.
    • Best Breakfast Sandwiches Ever
    • Chicken Salad Sandwich
    • Strawberry Avocado Wrap
  • Souper Sunday – At my house, Sundays are for relaxing.  Nothing sounds more relaxing to me than snuggling up on the couch and watching a movie or reading a book with a belly full of warm soup.
    • Chicken and Wild Rice Soup
    • Mexican Chicken and Black Bean Soup
    • Chicken Noodle

Find all the recipes listed above, and even more ideas for family theme nights, by clicking here.  Enjoy!

Candi Merritt

Certified Nutrition Education Assistant

 

 

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