Family laughing around a good meal in kitchen

Family Meals – Fresh and Fast

Ellie Wilson, MS, RDN Senior Nutritionist

September is a time the majority of us hit the reset button, pull out the calendar and get back to school and work routines. No doubt, many of us find we are already overcommitted before we even get started! Catching up around the dinner table is a great way to reconnect after these busy days, but getting that organized can be one more thing on that already long list. Don’t worry, we have your back with #TimeBetterSpent solutions to kick off National #FamilyMealsMonth, an annual celebration of all of the benefits every occasion you can eat together with family and friends can bring.

Sunday – Get ahead and power up Monday breakfast with a delicious, easy overnight oats and berries recipe (see below). September is also #WholeGrainsMonth! Give everyone the protein and #wholegrains they need for brain power, and know some morning time eating together will get the week off to a great start!

Monday – Go Can Crazy with a quick family and budget friendly chili recipe. Crunch some #wholegrain chips or fresh baked corn bread from the bakery and get all the news of the day at dinner.

Tuesday – First night for sports, Scouts, homework – way too many things to think about cooking too! Rustle up a fresh Rotisserie Chicken, bagged Fresh Express salad,  and the leftover corn bread. Fresh and fast!

Wednesday – Mac and Cheese please (see below)! Comfort food that connects the dots – time and kid-friendly, make it with #wholegrain PICS whole wheat rotini so they get what they want, and you get what you want – healthy, happy kids!

Thursday – Dinner is in the bag! Seal and Cook fresh seafood meals made daily in stores include cut fresh vegetables, 4 different seafood choices, and are made with or without garlic butter. They can be steamed in the store, microwaved or baked at home. Seafood is brain food, smart families are enjoying more with this no muss, no fuss solution!

FridayRotisserie Turkey (Bonus AdvantEdge points!) or chicken and bagged Fresh Express salad close the week with a fresh family favorite.  

#TimeBetterSpent on #FamilyMeals pays off with a lifetime of benefits for your whole family. Learn more about #FamilyMealsMonth at https://www.pricechopper.com/time-better-spent/. You bring the kids, and we’ll bring you the meal solutions!

Overnight Oatmeal and Berries by Jodie Fitz

 2 1/2 cups PICS Greek plain or vanilla yogurt 

2 cups PICS old-fashioned rolled oats

¼ cup PICS honey

1 teaspoon Full Circle cinnamon

1 cup PICS frozen blueberries or strawberries

In a large bowl, stir the yogurt, oats, honey and cinnamon together.  Divide the mixture among 4 airtight containers*.  Add the frozen berries on top.  Seal the containers and let sit overnight in the refrigerator.  Grab and go in the morning for a quick and easy breakfast!

*Small canning jars work great!

Macaroni and Cheese

8 oz. PICS whole wheat rotini

4 T. PICS unsalted butter (1/2 stick)

4 T. PICS all-purpose flour

2 cups PICS milk

Salt and pepper to season

Pinch Full Circle organic nutmeg

2 cups PICS shredded macaroni and cheese blend

1 cup crushed PICS snack crackers

2 T. PICS melted butter

2 tsp. smoked paprika

Cook pasta until tender, drain and rinse.

Meanwhile, melt 4 T. butter in a sauce pan and add the flour to make a roux. Cook for about 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Add the milk and whisk until smooth. Reduce heat and simmer for approximately 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the shredded cheeses.

Toss the pasta and sauce together to coat well. Spoon into a lightly greased casserole dish or 4 individual ramekins.

Combine the crackers, 2 T. melted butter and paprika. Sprinkle over macaroni and cheese, and place in a preheated 375° oven and bake for 20 minutes until bubbly and golden brown. Serves 4.

Family Mealtimes Matter – All Year Long Ellie Wilson, MS, RDN Senior Nutritionist   fmm-logoToday marks the original CASA Family Day, promoted by the Center for Addiction and Substance Abuse (CASA) and Price Chopper since 2001, when their research showed the positive link between more family meals and less negative behavior in at risk teens. Since then, the research keeps showing that eating together is the glue that keeps kids healthy and families strong. The Family Mealtimes Matter and National Family Meals Month campaigns technically wrap up this week, but they will keep going, in your house and in ours! You will always find great meals and snack solutions in our stores. Did you know, Americans are getting more than 50% of their calories from snacking, making snack time another great time for busy families to eat together. Snacks can help parents add more plant-based items to the foods they serve their children, promoting good habits and good health. It doesn’t have to be fancy, or at a specified time, or even served on a plate! Please, join us at the table whenever you can find time with your family – Family Mealtimes Matter! #familymealtimesmatter #familymealsmonth Family Mealtimes Matter Saturday Event!   fmm-logoSeptember is National Family Meals Month ™, and we are celebrating in stores throughout upstate New York with our friends from Cornell Cooperative Extension and Eat Smart NY! Information, education and some great recipes will be shared – check out Pizza Hummus for a fun twist on a smart snack! We have fresh, delicious meal solutions all around the store that can help you spend more quality time with your family, and reap the many benefits of family meals. Children who eat more meals with their family have better grades, social skills, talk with their parents more and enjoy better health – that is a pretty powerful package for something we know you already love to do! Join in the fun on Saturday 9/16 at one of the following New York locations from 10 AM to 2 PM, or grab the handout at the Guest Services desk in your store all month long. #FamilyMealtimesMatter #NationalFamilyMealsMonth #eatsmartny #Timebetterspent http://www.eatsmartnewyork.org/ https://www.pricechopper.com/family-mealtimes-matter?q-family-meals-matter= September 2017 Family Mealtimes Matter Event Locations: