Back-to-school usually means the start of additional activities and busy schedules for families. Click to hear KMZU’s Kristie Cross speak with University of Missouri Extension Nutrition and Health Specialist Angie Lanigan:
As we head back to activities, it’s important to spend some time pre-planning for meals so that our families don’t eat dinner out of a bag each night. “It might take 30 minutes once a week to plan for the days ahead, but that time is well-worth it later,” said Lanigan, “When you’re busy and coming home from work and your kids are coming home from school, you don’t want to be left standing in front of the refrigerator wondering what’s for dinner. If you spend 30 minutes on Sunday and choose what meals you’re going to have then you will know that you’re having grilled chicken on Tuesday, so Monday you can place it in the refrigerator to thaw and it’s ready to go.”
She also recommends making time in the kitchen a family affair. “Try to get the kids involved in meal prep because they will be more likely to try them,” said Lanigan, “If you’re struggling with a picky eater, this can be an important tool to get them to try new vegetables or dishes. I know it’s not always easy to make the time to get them involved, but it’s worth it.”
Lanigan also recommends visiting the Extension’s website for affordable meal ideas.
Rushing to decide on a meal leads many people to choose a fast food drive-thru on the way home from work. There are other healthy meal options, even when you are in a hurry. You can find foods like canned tuna, cheese, salsa, pasta noodles, fresh produce, canned fruits, vegetables, and beans, and bread at many convenience or small grocery stores in your own neighborhood. There are many simple and quick recipes that can be made from these staples. Cheesy Tex-Mex Bean Dip uses one can of smashed beans, ½ cup of salsa and ¼ cup of shredded cheese mixed together. It’s a kid-friendly dish that can be served as a dip with chips or spread on a tortilla as a base for a delicious burrito. University of Missouri Extension’s Missouri Families
website has many quick, easy recipes with low-cost ingredients, http://missourifamilies.org/nutrition/recipes/index.htm
Some Jackson County small grocery and convenience stores are working to bring more healthy items to their shelves part of the Healthier Jackson County Healthy Cornerstore Initiative in partnership with Mid-America Regional Council, City of Kansas City, Missouri Health Department, Independence Health Department, Jackson County Health Department, and University of Missouri Extension. Staff will be distributing healthy recipes and samples at store events in early August. Join us August 5th from 3:30 – 5pm at Shayan EZ Shop, 8505 Woodland Ave, Kansas City, MO; August 6th from 2 – 3:30 pm at Indiana Market, 3646 Indiana Ave, Kansas City, MO; and August 13th from 9:30 – 11 am at IB Dollar, 4614 St. John Ave, Kansas City, MO.
For more information, contact Angie Lanigan, Nutrition and Health Specialist at 816-482-5850 or firstname.lastname@example.org
or visit your local Extension Center.