(Family Features) Spending moments together with loved ones carries obvious benefits like time to catch up and opportunities to bond, but sharing meals actually provides definitive value for families. With restricted social interactions and confinement at home due to COVID-19, many families are facing meal challenges that have shifted from juggling busy schedules to seeking new ways to mix up the traditional menu or using digital solutions to reconnect at a virtual table.
A study published in the "Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior" funded by the FMI Foundation shows that more frequent family meals are associated with better dietary and family functioning outcomes. The results build on years of previous research studies to punctuate the creation of the Family Meals Movement, which encourages Americans to pledge to share one more family breakfast, lunch or dinner at home per week.
Consider these notable findings from the study:
- Family meals improve fruit and vegetable consumption. Studies show a positive relationship between family meal frequency and fruit and vegetable intake when examined separately, but also when fruit and vegetable intake are combined.
- Family meals improve family dynamics. Nearly all the studies included in the systematic review and meta-analysis demonstrated a positive relationship between family meal frequency and measures of family functioning. Family functioning is defined as family connectedness, communication, expressiveness and problem-solving.
"There are thousands of individual studies that examine the impact of family meals on nutrition and family behavior, but this meta-analysis looks at the relationship between family meal frequency and family functioning outcomes," said David Fikes, executive director of the FMI Foundation. "We can confirm that family meals are a valuable contributor of improved nutrition and family dynamics."
Find tips, recipes and ways to increase your family meal frequency despite COVID-19 circumstances at familymealsmovement.org.
German Fruit Tart
Recipe courtesy of Deanna Segrave-Daly on behalf of the FMI Foundation
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/4 cup whole-wheat pastry flour
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 tablespoon half-and-half or cream
- 1/8 teaspoon almond extract or 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, thinly sliced
- sliced strawberries
- sliced kiwi
- sliced banana
- 2 teaspoons turbinado or powdered sugar (optional)
- Preheat oven to 350 F.
- To make crust, beat together flours, sugar, egg, half-and-half and almond extract. Add butter slices and mix together until sticky ball of dough forms. Refrigerate 30-60 minutes.
- On heavily floured surface, knead dough a few times and roll out to fit greased 10-inch tart pan.
- Carefully spread dough into tart pan and bake 15-20 minutes, or until tart starts to turn golden brown. Remove from oven and cool.
- Dust crust with cornstarch to help fruit stick to crust. Arrange strawberries, kiwi, banana and blueberries on top of crust; sprinkle with sugar, if desired.
Hawaiian Chicken Pizza
Recipe courtesy of Toby Amidor on behalf of the FMI Foundation
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 20 minutes
- Nonstick cooking spray
- 1 1/2 cups shredded rotisserie chicken
- 3/4 cup barbecue sauce
- 1ready-made pizza crust or whole wheat pizza crust (10 ounces)
- 1 cup canned or jarred tomato sauce
- 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese or part-skim mozzarella cheese
- 1 cup finely chopped fresh pineapple or canned pineapple tidbits packed in 100% juice
- Preheat oven to 375 F. Coat pizza pan or baking sheet with nonstick cooking spray.
- In medium bowl, combine rotisserie chicken and barbecue sauce.
- Place pizza crust on pan and evenly spread tomato sauce over crust. Sprinkle evenly with cheese. Top evenly with rotisserie chicken mixture and pineapple.
- Bake until crust is crisp and browned around edges, about 10 minutes. Let pizza cool 10 minutes before cutting into eight slices.
Peanut Butter Banana Protein Baked Oatmeal
Recipe courtesy of Lauren Harris-Pincus on behalf of the FMI Foundation
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 30 minutes
- 2 cups old-fashioned oats
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 3 packets stevia (sugar substitute) or preferred sweetener
- 1/2 cup powdered peanut butter
- 1 scoop (1/4 cup) vanilla plant-based protein powder
- 1 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
- 1/2 cup nonfat plain Greek yogurt
- 3 tablespoons liquid egg whites
- 1 ripe banana (4 ounces), mashed
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 ripe banana (4 ounces), sliced into 24 slices
- Preheat oven to 350 F.
- In large bowl, combine oats, baking powder, cinnamon, salt, stevia, powdered peanut butter and vanilla protein powder.
- In separate bowl, combine almond milk, yogurt, egg whites, mashed banana and vanilla extract.
- Add oat mixture to wet ingredients and gently stir until fully combined.
- Line 9-inch brownie pan with parchment paper. Pour mixture into pan and spread evenly.
- Top with banana slices in four rows of six slices each.
- Bake 27-35 minutes, or until golden brown and set.
- Let cool and cut into six rectangles. Wrap and refrigerate extras until ready to eat.
Source: FMI Foundation
(Family Features) Whether it’s a semi-full bottle of crisp white or a half-empty bottle of leftover red, there are creative ways to make the most of unused wine after all the holiday parties come to an end.
The World Wine Guys and Deutsch Family Wine & Spirits offer these ideas to help you put your leftover wine to good use this holiday season:
Make Red Wine Vinegar
Impress your guests by adding homemade red wine vinegar to your next dish. Add one part raw vinegar to two parts leftover red wine then store your mixture in a dark, cool place. Monitor periodically and keep testing until you get the desired vinegar smell, strain and refrigerate. Use as desired on salads and in homemade sauces and marinades.
Create Wine Ice Cubes
If you can't use your leftover white wine right away, pour the remaining liquid into ice trays and freeze. Next time you’re enjoying a glass, add some of the cubes to your wine to keep it cold. This trick can also work with a rosé or sparkling wine like Josh Cellars California Rosé or Enza Prosecco. Using the frozen wine cubes instead of ice can prevent what you pour from becoming too watered down.
Both red and white wines can be used in a variety of different dishes from appetizers to desserts. Keep in mind that open bottles should be used within 2-3 days, so look to use your leftovers sooner rather than later. Try adding wine to a seasonal side dish like these White Wine Glazed Carrots. It can also be used as a savory addition to main courses such as this classic Red Wine Tomato Sauce.
For more information on wines for the holidays, visit WineFix.com.
White Wine Glazed Carrots
Recipe courtesy of Deutsch Family and the World Wine Guys, authors of "Red Wine "
- 6 medium carrots, halved lengthwise and cut into 2-inch pieces
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 1/2 cups water
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 2 tablespoons Barone Fini Pinot Grigio
- salt, to taste
- pepper, to taste
- In large skillet, combine carrots and olive oil; add water. Cook over medium-high heat until carrots are tender. Add honey and white wine; cook and stir 2 minutes until carrots are glazed.
- Add salt and pepper, to taste.
Red Wine Tomato Sauce
Recipe courtesy of Deutsch Family and the World Wine Guys, authors of "Red Wine"
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 1 medium onion, finely chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 can whole, peeled tomatoes
- 1/8 cup Villa Pozzi Nero D’Avola
- 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
- 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon dried sea salt
- 1/2 teaspoon oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon thyme
- 1/2 teaspoon basil
- In medium-size pot, heat olive oil. Add onion and saute 4 minutes then add minced garlic and saute 1 minute.
- Add tomatoes, wine, vinegar, red pepper, sea salt, oregano, thyme and basil; reduce heat and simmer about 40 minutes.
Source: Deutsch Family Wine & Spirits
- 4 medium red, green or yellow bell peppers
- 1 14 1/2-ounce can diced tomatoes, drained
- 1 8-ounce can tomato sauce
- 3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley, divided
- 1 pound ground beef
- 1/2 cup finely chopped onion
- 1/2 cup cooked white or brown rice, cooled
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 2 teaspoons minced garlic
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
- Chopped fresh parsley (optional)
- Heat oven to 400°F. Cut tops off bell peppers; remove seeds and membranes. Place peppers upright in 8-inch square baking dish, cutting thin slice off bottoms of peppers to stabilize, if necessary.
- Combine tomatoes, tomato sauce and 1 tablespoon parsley in large bowl. Remove and reserve 1 cup tomato mixture. Combine ground beef, onion, rice, remaining 2 tablespoons parsley, Worcestershire sauce, garlic, salt and black pepper with remaining tomato mixture in bowl, mixing lightly but thoroughly.
- Spoon beef mixture evenly into peppers. Top with reserved tomato mixture. Cover baking dish with aluminum foil.
- Bake at 400°F for 30 minutes. Uncover baking dish; continue baking 35 to 40 minutes to medium (160°F) doneness, until beef is not pink in center and juices show no pink color. Garnish with parsley, if desired.
Preparation and Cooking Time
Calories: 328 | Total Fat: 15g
Cholesterol: 77mg | Protein: 25g
Carbohydrates: 25g | Sodium: 824mg
Notes, Tips & Suggestions:
Cook's Tip: Due to the natural nitrate content of certain ingredients such as onions, celery and bell peppers, ground beef may remain pink even when a 160°F internal temperature has been reached. Always verify the internal temperature with a meat thermometer or instant-read thermometer to be certain it reaches 160°F.
(Family Features) You don’t have to be a master chef to create great meals that your family will love. Simple yet flavorful and warming dishes are the perfect solution for busy cooks with hungry families to feed.
Using high-quality ingredients helps guarantee you’re serving meals you can be proud of, even when you’re short on time. For delicious dinners, look for ingredients such as Hunt’s® tomatoes and KRAFT® Parmesan cheese. Hunt’s diced, stewed and whole tomatoes are peeled using only steam and their sauce is 100 percent natural with no preservatives.
Ranging from a Latin-inspired Chorizo Bolognese to easy Italian lasagna in a skillet, these recipes combine carefully chosen ingredients, so you can serve meals rich with flavor and quality.
Look for more great recipe ideas at Hunts.com.
Easy Chicken Parmesan
- 1 can (15 ounces) Hunt’s Tomato Sauce
- 1 can (14.5 ounces) Hunt’s Diced Tomatoes with Basil, Garlic and Oregano, undrained
- 6 tablespoons KRAFT® Grated Parmesan Cheese, divided
- 6 small boneless skinless chicken breasts (6 breasts = 1 1/2 pounds)
- 3/4 pound spaghetti, uncooked
- 1 1/2 cups KRAFT Shredded Mozzarella Cheese
- Heat oven to 375°F.
- Pour tomato sauce and undrained tomatoes into 13-inch-by-9-inch baking dish. Stir in 1/4 cup (4 tablespoons) Parmesan. Add chicken; turn to coat evenly both sides of each breast with sauce. Cover.
- Bake 30 minutes or until chicken is done (165°F). Meanwhile, cook spaghetti as directed on package, omitting salt.
- Top chicken with remaining cheeses; bake, uncovered, 5 minutes or until mozzarella is melted.
- Drain spaghetti. Serve topped with chicken and sauce.
Classic Spaghetti and Parmesan Meatballs
- 1 pound ground round beef (85 percent lean)
- 3/4 cup KRAFT® Grated Parmesan Cheese, divided
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh Italian (flat-leaf) parsley
- 1 egg, slightly beaten
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped garlic, divided
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 3/4 cup finely chopped yellow onion
- 1 can (14.5 ounces) Hunt’s® Diced Tomatoes, undrained
- 2 cups Hunt’s Tomato Sauce
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
- 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
- 12 ounces dry spaghetti, uncooked
- Preheat oven to 375°F.
- Combine beef, 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, parsley, egg, 1 teaspoon garlic and salt in medium bowl. Divide mixture into 12 portions; shape into meatballs and place on aluminum foil-lined shallow baking pan. Bake 15 minutes or until done (160°F).
- Heat oil in large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion; cook 4 minutes or until tender, stirring occasionally. Add remaining 2 teaspoons garlic, cook 1 minute more or until fragrant. Stir in undrained tomatoes, tomato sauce, remaining 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, basil and sugar. Bring to a boil.
- Add meatballs to sauce; gently stir to coat. Reduce heat and simmer 10 minutes or until sauce has thickened slightly, stirring occasionally.
- Meanwhile, cook spaghetti according to package directions. Drain spaghetti; top with sauce and meatballs. Top with extra KRAFT Grated Parmesan Cheese, if desired.
- 8 ounces dry fettuccine pasta, uncooked
- 1/2 pound ground chuck beef (80 percent lean)
- 6 ounces fresh pork chorizo (Mexican-style)
- 1/4 teaspoon adobo seasoning blend
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1/2 cup chopped yellow onion
- 1/4 cup sliced stuffed green olives
- 1 can (15 ounces) Hunt’s® Tomato Sauce KRAFT® Grated Parmesan Cheese (optional)
- Cook pasta according to package directions, omitting salt.
- Meanwhile, heat large skillet over medium-high heat. Add beef, chorizo, adobo seasoning and pepper to skillet; cook 3 minutes or until meat begins to brown, stirring once.
- Add onion and olives; cook 2–3 minutes more or until meat is crumbled and no longer pink. Drain.
- Stir in tomato sauce; reduce heat and simmer 5–7 minutes, stirring occasionally. Serve sauce over pasta.
- Sprinkle with KRAFT Grated Parmesan Cheese, if desired.
Classic Skillet Lasagna
- 8 ounces dry bowtie (farfalle) pasta, uncooked
- 1 cup part-skim ricotta cheese
- 1/3 cup KRAFT® Grated Parmesan Cheese
- 2 tablespoons water
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 12 ounces Italian pork sausage
- 1/3 cup chopped yellow onion
- 2 cans (14.5 ounces each) or 1 can (28 ounces) Hunt’s® Diced Tomatoes with Basil, Garlic and Oregano, undrained
- 1 can (6 ounces) Hunt’s Tomato Paste
- 1 1/2 cups shredded part- skim mozzarella cheese, divided.
- Cook pasta according to package directions, omitting salt.
- Meanwhile, combine ricotta cheese, Parmesan cheese, water and pepper in small bowl; set aside.
- Heat large skillet over medium-high heat. Add sausage and onion; cook 3–5 minutes or until sausage is crumbled and onion is tender, stirring occasionally. Drain.
- Add tomatoes (undrained), tomato paste, 3/4 cup mozzarella cheese and cooked pasta to skillet; stir to combine.
- Dollop spoonfuls of ricotta mixture on top of pasta mixture. Sprinkle with remaining mozzarella cheese.
- Reduce heat to low; cover and cook 2–3 minutes or until ricotta mixture is hot and mozzarella cheese melts.