Our Top 5 Food Resolutions
Here are the top five ways to make the most of your family meals in 2014! Happy New Year!
Food resolutions? No, we’re not talking about unsavoury food restrictions of the calorie-counting variety—we’re talking about family food resolutions, of course! Without further ado, here are the top five ways you can make your meals together enjoyable for the whole family in 2014. And what better kind of food resolution could there possibly be, really? Happy 2014!
1. Eat more delicious meals
This might sound indulgent but it’s truly not. One of the biggest obstacles for busy families when it comes to eating together is that it’s just too easy to get into a food rut. While there’s nothing wrong with getting take out or a frozen pizza from time to time, if you find yourself avoiding cooking more often than not, you may need the motivation of a truly delicious meal. The process of cooking—and inviting your family into the kitchen to help—is associated with countless benefits including better physical health, encouraging picky eaters to take an interest in new foods, and even better mental health. All you need is a little inspiration. We’re here to help! (Check out our great kid-friendly recipes to inspire you.) We also love Simple Bites, Sweet Potato Chronicles and Dash & Bella to name a few!
2. Keep it simple
We can’t emphasize this enough. You don’t need an elaborate dinner to enjoy a family meal. Get yourself a rough game plan for the week, keep your kitchen stocked with basic ingredients, and you’ll be all set to put together some quick and easy dishes on those busy weeknights. Pancakes for dinner? A basic stirfry? There are so many great, simple ideas to draw from! How does Yoyomama keep it simple? She tells us:
“Weeknights are always a bit of a frazzle when it comes to making dinner. There never seems to be quite enough time—let alone energy—for food prep. I try and keep things simple (and yummy) by focusing on recipes with a few ingredients and going for quality over quantity. It means you save on washing and chopping and prep but not on flavour!”
Here’s one of her fave recipes from locally-based Sew Creative for Salmon, Spinach and Avocado Salad—a perfect example of a simple, great meal. At this time of year, she also frequently turns to this selection of slow cooker recipes from Canadian Living and Weelicious.
3. No drama while dining
We’re starting a new rule for 2014: No drama while dining! This means no disputes about what is served, no big fights over eating, no focusing on the ‘picky eater.’ You get the picture: keep it positive and enjoyable! Conversation starters can be just the thing to spark some good family discussions. These Lets Talk conversation cards are a great place to start!
4. Be adventurous
There are so many ways to bring a little adventure into your kitchen! Start by asking each person in your family what new foods or specific dishes or types of cuisine they’ve always wanted to try. Then, make a commitment to make and try something new once a week or once a month, whatever works for you. Another way to be adventurous is to go on a Veggie Safari, as Karen Humphrey suggested in a past interview. We love this idea!
5. Include everyone
Ask everyone in the family what they want to eat this week, bring out some cookbooks, look online (a few recommendations above!), ask the kids what they eat at their friends’ houses that they love, and give everyone a small part in making the meal happen. Whatever you do, include everyone and you’ll all enjoy the meal that much more. Founder of Today I ate a Rainbow, Kia Robertson, shares her perspective:
"Having been a picky eater myself as a child, it can be very isolating to feel you aren't included in the conversation because people sort of 'give up' on you. It's always important to ask each person about their tastes and ideas and input no matter what you might expect of them. You just might be surprised one day!"
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We couldn’t agree more! When it comes to meals this year, we wish you all a lot of love, flavour and fun in the kitchen. Happy New Year!