Fueling a healthy family is tough, even when you have sufficient time on your hands. Sometimes the most challenging part of making dinner is deciding what to have! We’ve put together some healthy weeknight dinner recipes and resources to help you tackle the busiest of days & ensure that your family has something nutritious on the table. Let’s eat well together, to be well together.
PRIORITIZE FAMILY MEALS –
No two families are identical; each has their own traditions, routines and values. However, no matter the size or the structure, there is not a family on the planet that hasn’t scrambled to figure out what to cook for dinner on a busy weeknight. It’s a dilemma you have likely faced time and time again; “Do I pick up fast food on the way home or try to cobble leftovers together into something new?”. For families that have multiple kids in extra curricular activities, this weeknight challenge can feel even more daunting.
We’re here to provide you with some inspiration for easy weeknight dinners to help you ensure that your family can sit down for dinner together, even when you’re short on time. September is National Family Meals Month™, so let’s fuel our families’ minds and bodies with nutritious, veggie-based dinners to celebrate.
CASSEROLES FOR THE WIN –
Your mom had the right idea when she was feeding you casseroles; they are an excellent vehicle to easily deliver hearty nutrition and are easy to prep in advance. In one dish, you can deliver the carbohydrates, protein, & veggies that your family needs. If you have picky eaters, casseroles are a great way to integrate vegetables into their diet, oftentimes without them even realizing it!
This Cheesy Baked Pasta recipe, by our friend Elif Alverson, has everything you could want in an easy weeknight meal. Pasta and mozzarella provide a great base to the dish, while our Tomatoes On-The-Vine & dried herbs make this dish savory and flavorful. If you want to up the protein, you could use a bean-based pasta, or include cubed chicken breast.
From start to finish, this dish takes an hour, but most of the time it is in the oven. You’ll have plenty of time to get the rundown of how your family’s day went or help with homework while you wait.
SHEET PAN ADVENTURES –
The king of easy weeknight dinners is the sheet pan—they are hands-down the perfect vehicle to minimize the number of dishes used, while maximizing flavor. Roasting is one of the best ways to transform vegetables & bring out their natural sugars.
The Sweet Bell Peppers in this Sheet Pan Salmon and Veggies dinner get deliciously complex & sweet when they are roasted. The honey soy lime glaze for this dish really takes it up a notch! If your family loves getting treated to Chinese takeout, this is the perfect healthy & less expensive alternative. The best part is this meal only takes 20 minutes to make!
With sheet pan dinners like this, you can customize it to suit your family’s tastes and nutritional needs. You can pack as many veggies into this meal as you like and when dinner is over, the dishes are kept to a minimum!
THINK OUTSIDE THE BOX –
Don’t feel limited in what you can cook for dinner — there are a variety of international dishes that are easy enough to tackle on a weeknight! Indian food is approachable and veggie-centric! It’s the perfect cuisine to liven up a Tuesday night dinner. This Indian Tomato Rice by our friend Vandana Garg is satisfying & bursting with flavor, thanks to its many bright spices and Sangria® Medley Tomatoes. This dish only takes 30 minutes to make and will be on the table in no time! If you want to increase the protein, consider including lentils or chickpeas.
This weeknight meal is packed with protein, Vitamin C and antioxidants; it’s perfect if you’re worried about your family bringing home viruses from work or school. If you’re low on school lunch ideas, try doubling this recipe and send it in a thermos. These leftovers aren’t anything to turn your nose up at.
LETS GET COOKIN’ –
There are few people busier than working parents—so take it easy on yourself! There will be some days where takeout is the only thing you have time for. If you need nutritional snack support throughout the day, give our Mini Munchies® Snack Sized Veggies a try! Our greenhouse grown vegetables are available year-round, so your family never has to go without! Make sure to add them to your grocery list each week so that you have them on hand.
Keeping your family fueled with healthy meals all week is no easy feat. If you feel overwhelmed, try getting the whole family in the kitchen. Older kids & teens can help with prep or clean up – plus, you can even ask them to hunt down recipes for you.
You can streamline things by writing comprehensive grocery lists to ensure that you are shopping for specific meals. It’s no fun trying to make dinners out of the random things you dropped in your grocery cart. If you need help tackling meal planning, check out some of these resources to help!
You’d be surprised what you can do in the kitchen when the whole family is involved, even with very limited time. So, lets celebrate National Family Meals Month™ together and try new things. Spending time together as a family is the perfect time to create new memories and strengthen bonds. Eat well together, to be well together and fuel your family’s mind & body.