Eat Better, Eat Together
October is Eat Better, Eat Together month, or as I like to call it, I-Have-To-Get-The-Halloween-Decorations-Up-When-Is-Thanksgiving-Break-There-Are-Only-How-Many-Days-Until-Christmas?!? Month.
Let’s face it: October is a crazy busy month with the kids back to school and Halloween kicks off the trifecta of overeating holidays, which is why Eat Better, Eat Together is the perfect calm from the chaos of work, after school activities and too much sugar.
The benefits of eating together as a family are manifold. You get to catch up on each other’s day and let your children know that you are really focused on them and their needs and not your smart phone. It’s a chance for you to remind your kids about table manners and practice the art of conversation, which includes taking turns and listening to each other. Anyone who has gone through tough financial times knows that sometimes it’s an effort to feed everyone, so take a moment to be grateful for the food on the table. Also, be grateful that you’re not a caveman; they had to hunt saber tooth tigers for dinner and use a rock for a plate. Or something like that.
According to multiple reports from National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University kids who ate with their families 5 times per week were more likely to have better relationships with their parents, less likely to smoke tobacco, try alcohol or drugs than kids who only ate 1-2 times per week with their family. Other studies suggest that eating together as a family helps reduce obesity because, among other things, you make your kids eat their green beans!
In my own house, we usually eat together 3-4 times per week due to hectic schedules, so we’ve got some work to do this month. Things I’ve done in the past that have worked for us included bulk cooking chicken on Sunday so we could reheat it during the next few nights. I tend to buy a family size bag of green beans that is pre-washed so all you have to do it cut an opening and microwave it for about three minutes for on-demand vegetables and I’ll also make up a batch of brown rice for the carbs. This lasts me until about Wednesday, when I’ll cook another batch of something.
Both kids help me cook, not only because it is teaching them a valuable life skill but also because, honestly, it reduces the amount of stuff I have to do! When my kids “hypothetically” whine and complain about cooking I also refer them to Exhibit A: be grateful we are not hunting tigers.
A favorite thing we like to make together is a healthy dessert, thus proving that it is possible to have something sweet, delicious and nutritious.
Low-Cal Baked Apples
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 40 minutes
Total time: 55 minutes
Serving size: 1 filled apple
- 4 large baking apples, such as Granny Smith or Jonagolds
- 1/4 cup Splenda
- 1 TBSP cinnamon
- 24 walnuts (6 per apple)
- 1 TBSP butter spray (like I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter)
- 3/4 cup boiling water
- 1/2 cup vanilla Greek yogurt (optional)
- Preheat your oven to 375 degrees F
- Cut out apple cores leaving the bottom 1/2 inch and put in baking dish
- Mix Splenda, cinnamon, diced walnuts and butter spray in a bowl. Put the mixture into each apple.
- Pour the boiling water at the bottom of the baking dish.
- Bake for 40 minutes
- Serve with 1 TBSP vanilla Greek yogurt on top
Enjoy the recipe and enjoy this time with your family!