4 ways to make dinnertime work - KATV - Breaking News, Weather and Razorback Sports

4 ways to make dinnertime work

Have younger kids mix ingredients, tear lettuce for salad and wash fruits and vegetables. © iStockphoto.com/Thomas Perkins Have younger kids mix ingredients, tear lettuce for salad and wash fruits and vegetables. © iStockphoto.com/Thomas Perkins
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  • Raspberry Lemonade, 7/23/14

    Raspberry Lemonade, 7/23/14

    Wednesday, July 23 2014 10:09 AM EDT2014-07-23 14:09:04 GMT
    Michael LanariKitchen Bath Concepts4 cups fresh lemon juice3 cups sugar1 bag frozen raspberriesIce cubes, for servingSqueeze the lemons and pour the juice into a pitcher. Mix together the sugar with 3 cups water and stir to dissolve to make a syrup. Add the syrup to the lemon juice and top it up with 8 cups water. Taste to make sure it's sweet enough for you, and then add the raspberries. Mix the lemonade together and let chill in the fridge. (Keep in mind that the raspberries are tart, so b...More >>
    Michael LanariKitchen Bath Concepts4 cups fresh lemon juice3 cups sugar1 bag frozen raspberriesIce cubes, for servingSqueeze the lemons and pour the juice into a pitcher. Mix together the sugar with 3 cups water and stir to dissolve to make a syrup. Add the syrup to the lemon juice and top it up with 8 cups water. Taste to make sure it's sweet enough for you, and then add the raspberries. Mix the lemonade together and let chill in the fridge. (Keep in mind that the raspberries are tart, so b...More >>
  • Blueberry Cheesecake Bars with Oreo Cookies, 7/22/14

    Blueberry Cheesecake Bars with Oreo Cookies, 7/22/14

    Tuesday, July 22 2014 11:12 AM EDT2014-07-22 15:12:24 GMT
    Alan BennettYield: 32 servingsIngredients:1 1/4 Quart Oreo Pieces-small, divided6 Tbl. butter, meltedCup Original Cream Cheese, softened2 Cup sugar4 Ea. eggs1 1/4 Cup fresh blueberries1/3 Cup semi-sweet or dark chocolate, meltedDescription:Cheesecake bars made with fresh blueberries and Oreo Cookie Pieces.Preparation Steps:Combine 1 lb. of the Oreo Pieces and butter; press evenly onto bottom of 1 parchment-lined half-sheet pan. Place cream cheese and sugar in large bowl of electric mixer fitt...More >>
    Alan BennettYield: 32 servingsIngredients:1 1/4 Quart Oreo Pieces-small, divided6 Tbl. butter, meltedCup Original Cream Cheese, softened2 Cup sugar4 Ea. eggs1 1/4 Cup fresh blueberries1/3 Cup semi-sweet or dark chocolate, meltedDescription:Cheesecake bars made with fresh blueberries and Oreo Cookie Pieces.Preparation Steps:Combine 1 lb. of the Oreo Pieces and butter; press evenly onto bottom of 1 parchment-lined half-sheet pan. Place cream cheese and sugar in large bowl of electric mixer fitt...More >>
  • Melinda's chocolate peanut butter "dump" cake

    Melinda's chocolate peanut butter "dump" cake

    Tuesday, July 22 2014 9:20 AM EDT2014-07-22 13:20:16 GMT
    From Melinda Mayo, My Chocolate Peanut Butter "Dump" Cake was a hit this morning on Daybreak. I love to cook, but I don't bake a lot, so I bought this new cookbook with easy recipes. Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake 1 Pkg (about 15 oz.) chocolate fudge cake mix 1 1/4 cups water... 3 eggs 1/3 cup vegetable oil 2/3 cup creamy peanut butter, *warmed divided 1 cup mini peanut butter cups *Microwave peanut butter on LOW (30%) about 2 mins until pourable 1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray 13 x 9...More >>
    From Melinda Mayo, My Chocolate Peanut Butter "Dump" Cake was a hit this morning on Daybreak. I love to cook, but I don't bake a lot, so I bought this new cookbook with easy recipes. Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake 1 Pkg (about 15 oz.) chocolate fudge cake mix 1 1/4 cups water... 3 eggs 1/3 cup vegetable oil 2/3 cup creamy peanut butter, *warmed divided 1 cup mini peanut butter cups *Microwave peanut butter on LOW (30%) about 2 mins until pourable 1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray 13 x 9...More >>


By
Elizabeth Hurchalla
 

When you arrive home after a long workday, your mind is on your family ... plus the stack of bills to pay, the pile of laundry to do and the list of phone calls to return. But dinner? It's tough to imagine how you're going to make this meal happen at all, let alone make it healthy, tasty and maybe even fun. But believe it or not, you can. Here's how:

1. Get the Kids in on the Action

"Parents often park their children in front of the TV, then rush around making supper. Why not get the kids to help?" says Miriam Weinstein, author of The Surprising Power of Family Meals: How Eating Together Makes Us Smarter, Stronger, Healthier, and Happier (Steerforth Press). "Making kids part of the effort gets them invested in what you're cooking together, so they're less likely to complain about it later."

Younger kids can:

• Get out the ingredients

• Pour them into pots or bowls (you measure, they pour)

• Wash fruits and veggies

• Tear lettuce for a salad

Older ones can:

• Chop fruits and vegetables

• Toss and dress the salad

• Make pasta or rice

• Measure and mix ingredients

2. Get Ready, Get Set …

To make fast, enjoyable meals each day that are still healthy, you have to prepare, and sometimes cook, in advance. For starters, buy extra of things you use often so you always have staples on hand. Choose dishes that don't require you to stand at the stove: stews, roasts, casseroles that can be assembled the night before. While they are cooking or reheating, you can take the time to sift through your mail, check your child's homework, or return phone calls or emails.

Things to do the night before:

• Make the sauce

• Chop the vegetables

• Sautee the onions

• Marinate the meat

• Wash the lettuce (store in a plastic container in the fridge)

3. Double up

Rather than making just one meal at a time, try doubling recipes when you cook. Freeze whatever you don't use for a later dinner that can be reheated easily.

4. Commit to the Ritual

Studies show that eating together as a family reduces the risk of obesity and encourages children to try new foods. It also helps kids learn good manners. But the biggest benefit to having family dinner is that it brings everyone together -- for perhaps the only time during the day. It provides a regular opportunity to connect: to ask your kids about their days, joke around or make family plans.

"Eating together is a gift you give yourself and your family," says Weinstein. "It doesn't matter if the food is perfect -- just that you enjoy it together. Then mealtime becomes a chance to feel good about your family instead of just one more chore."

Copyright (c) 2010 Studio One Networks. All rights reserved. 

Elizabeth Hurchalla is a freelance writer in Venice, Calif. She has written for Cosmopolitan, InStyle and many other publications.