The Amazing Power of Sharing Meals
We are so busy, for many, meals together have been moved out of family schedules. What to make and when is a daily stressor for some, but it can be a time to enjoy and connect. There are a lot of good reasons to share meals, especially with children, but it really benefits most everyone to connect through and with food. Eating together, whether it is breakfast, lunch, dinner or a snack, has family-building benefits that make this investment a lifetime win for parents and children.
Meals don’t have to be perfectly nutritious, or gourmet, or even served on a plate – just being together and sharing food offers so many benefits. Research shows that children and teens that have frequent family meals tend to:
- • Eat more healthfully
- • Have a healthier weight
- • Have stronger social skills
- • Have positive peer relationships
- • Have lower levels of tension and stress
- • Get better grades
- • Are likelier to say they can confide in their parents
- • Are at half the risk of substance abuse compared to those who rarely eat with families
At Price Chopper and Market 32, part of our mission is to help you feed and care for your family. Our Family Meals page will help you with that ‘what to eat” question with easy meal and snack ideas for items on sale each week. Enjoy great recipes, cooking and food safety tips, and insights into how you can enjoy time with family and friends. Together, you can build food skills and knowledge, and find that sweet spot where the magic of a good meal makes everyone happy. Winner, winner, family dinner!
Family Meals Benefit
It’s a fact – families that eat together often have stronger family bonds and better communication skills. The research is really significant for teens – they experience less depression and improved nutrition and coping skills for that particularly challenging time of life when they eat meals and snacks with families. Set the stage for better connections by creating a “Phone Bowl” where devices must stay during meals – preferably in a separate room. Consider having ringers turned down so notifications don’t interrupt your meal time.
#BetterBalanceTip – Getting outside during the winter is a good idea – check local community resources to find parks and trails that are maintained during the winter. Dress warmly, charge your phone and buddy up for company and safety. #MoveMore
Pulled Chicken Tacos – Market 32 Chicken Breast, or Full Circle Organic Chicken, PICS Salsa and Beans, Chi Chi wraps or La Tortilla Factory Wraps, DelMonte Canned Corn and Pineapple
Hearty Turkey Chili – Plainville Ground Turkey, PICS tomato paste, crushed tomatoes, PICS beans, PICS 32 oz. reduced sodium chicken broth, Fresh Express Salad Blend
Market 32 Stuffed Fish Fillets, PICS frozen veggies,or Del Monte canned veggies, or Fresh PERO green Beans
Yogurt Fest – All Month Long!
PICS Icelandic, PICS Greek, and PICS Traditional Yogurt Varieties
Clif, Kind, Lara or Luna bars
Halos and navel oranges, Anjou and red pears, peaches, nectarines, cantaloupe and grapes
Market 32 Cheesecake – Plain and 12 Flavor Varieties
Shop Meal Makers Today
Pulled Chicken Tacos 3-Ways
Hearty Turkey Chili
Family Meals Blog
Easy Time Saving Meals!
Slow Cooker Apple Cider Pulled Pork Grilled Cheese
Slow Cooker Expert Tips
- Defrost meat or poultry before placing in a slow cooker
- Keep perishable foods refrigerated until preparation time to assure that bacteria, which multiply rapidly at room temperature, won’t get a “head start” during the first few hours of cooking
- Cook ground meats in a skillet before placing in a slow cooker
- Add vegetables first if using, as they cook more slowly in a slow cooker, followed by meat and desired amount of liquid i.e. broth, water or barbecue sauce
- Fill slow cooker no less than half full and no more than two-thirds full
- Cook on low setting if cooking all day or for less-tender cuts of meat
- – Cook on high the first hour and then turn down to low if time permits to bring foods to the recommended safety zone temperature of 140ºF (although it is safe to cook foods on low the entire time if preparation time is limited
- Avoid removing the cover to sneak a peek as each time it’s removed adds another 20 to 30 minutes to the total cooking time
- – Remove only to stir the food or check for doneness
- Thicken liquids if desired by removing the cover of the slow cooker the last 30 minutes to one hour and cook on high
- Throw away food in the event of a power outage and you aren’t home (even if it looks done)
- – If you are at home, finish cooking the ingredients immediately on a gas stove, grill or house with power
- Don’t reheat leftovers in the slow cooker
- – Reheat cooked food on the stove, in a microwave, or in a conventional oven until it reaches 165 °F, and once heated it can be placed in a preheated slow cooker to keep hot for serving—at least 140 °F as measured with a food thermometer
Check out food safety tips below.
Be food safe. Separate.
USE one cutting board for raw meat, poultry, and seafood and another for salads and ready-to-eat food.
KEEP raw meat, poultry, and seafood and their juices apart from other food items in your grocery cart.
STORE raw meat, poultry, and seafood in a container or on a plate so juices can’t drip on other foods.
Cross-contamination is how bacteria spreads. Keep raw meat, poultry, and seafood and their juices away from ready-to-eat food. The four easy lessons of Clean, Separate, Cook, and Chill can help prevent harmful bacteria from making your family sick. To find out more about food safey, visit befoodsafe.gov