Family meals are so special and we often take this time together for granted. Eating dinner together at the table provides an opportunity for everyone to catch up and spend quality time in each other’s company. Cooking for the whole family can be challenging as everyone has different likes and dislikes. However there are ways to get everyone involved with family meals and truly make them memorable. Here are a few tips to keep you together this winter – cosy and comfortable, sharing in each other’s lives.
- Pizza Perfect!
Swap the typical pizza night which involves pizza delivery with a much healthier homemade version. Buy whole wheat pita breads to use as the base of the pizza and let each family member make their own mini pizza. Provide lots of healthy toppings for the family to choose from such as sliced mushrooms, lean ham, pineapple cubes, low fat cheese, olives, peppers, banana, etc.
- Mexican Fiesta!
Make it “Mexican” and enjoy a festive family meal that is interactive and involves the whole family. Prepare chicken or beef strips, tomato salsa (add red kidney beans to the salsa for extra fibre), guacamole, fat free cottage cheese dip and grated mozzarella cheese. Using baked tortillas each family member can add ingredients that they enjoy most to their tortilla. Add grated baby marrow to the tomato salsa to increase the vegetable intake. Chop up fresh herbs and mix them into the cottage cheese, you can also add fresh chilli if your family enjoys spicy food.
- Soup kitchen
Encourage each family member to find a soup recipe that they find appealing. Decide on 2-3 different soups – perhaps one with meat or chicken; one plain vegetable and then another one with lentils, chickpeas or beans. Warm seeded rolls in the oven and enjoy the soups together and why not vote for the favourite soup of the night, and offer the person who found it a fun prize.
The setting for family meals can be adjusted to ensure that they are cosy, winter warmer evenings where everyone feels relaxed and at ease together. Here are a few ideas to perfect your setting:
- Light a fire and set up cushions and blankets on the floor near it. Enjoy a picnic style dinner together by the fire.
- Dine outside and enjoy the bright winter stars but leave a blanket and filled hot water bottle on every chair to keep legs and shoulders warm.
- Enjoy the dinner with a board game evening or play a family game of cards – always fun for the kids and easy to set up at the table after everyone is finished their meal.
- Fun for kids – make a tent in the house or in the garden and eat your meal inside the tent with cushions and blankets to make it extra cosy
Wishing you a happy weekend staying warm with your loved ones.