We’ve all been there: It’s 6:00 p.m. on a Tuesday night, your kids, your husband, and your tummy are starving, and all you can do is hopelessly peer into the fridge, willing something to jump out and prepare itself. Here at Family Food, we aim to emphasize the importance of family meals and healthy, homemade cooking. But nobody’s perfect and life happens, so don’t feel bad if you can’t create a made-from-scratch meal every night of the week. Instead, keep a few (or all!) of these quick, easy, and delicious meals on-hand, and enjoy the benefits of a nutritious family dinner that will have your whole clan eating in mere minutes.

1. Frozen ravioli with store-bought sauce and a salad – Filling your freezer and pantry with ready-made ingredients can save you from having to make yet another trip to the grocery store. Stock up on your favorite jarred sauce (we love Newmann’s Own Tomato Basil!), you can find a delicious sauce online at sites like https://www.mrswages.com/product/mrs-wages-chili-base/#description, and a variety of whole grain pastas, and you’ll never be more than 20 minutes away from a meal. Pair your pasta and sauce with a salad made from ingredients you usually keep in the fridge such as romaine, cucumber, grape tomatoes, and jarred olives.

2. Rotisserie chicken, boxed mashed potatoes, and frozen veggies – Save the guilt for that second slice of cheesecake, and stop feeling it over your reliance on frozen vegetables. They might just be more nutritious than fresh, are often less expensive, and can be microwaved in minutes. Boxed mashed potatoes have come a long way in recent years, and we have to admit, we think they taste delicious. As far as the chicken, for around 8 bucks you can buy a whole bird that will feed the family dinner and probably provide leftovers that can be incorporated into later meals.

3. Veggie burgers with sweet potato fries – A meat-free meal can be ready in a snap as long as you keep some veggie burgers in the freezer. There are many varieties available now, so it may take some experimenting to find the brand and variety that your family likes best. Don’t forget to read labels to compare nutrition stats, especially when it comes to fat and sodium content. Build your burgers on whole wheat buns with lettuce, tomato, avocado, and your favorite condiments, and bake up some Alexia sweet potato waffle fries for a quick side. With this meal around, the drive-thru window doesn’t stand a chance!

4. Grilled chicken Caesar salad with French bread – It doesn’t get much more convenient than slicing up some store-bought grilled chicken breasts and tossing with hearts of romaine and light Caesar dressing. If you’ve got some extra time, bake up some whole wheat rolls or French bread and the house will smell like Panera. A perfect light and crowd-pleasing meal for the warmer months.

Got a question? The Academy of Nutrition & Dietetics has the answer! Be sure to visit their website atwww.eatright.org or www.eatright.org/kids for healthy eating and exercise tips at any age. Looking for a more individualized eating plan? Get in touch with us by phone, e-mail, Facebook, or Twitter. We’ve got a whole team of expert RDs that can’t wait to meet with you! The best part is that SIX FREE VISITS could be yours if your insurance plan qualifies.

Source: http://www.eatright.org/kids/article.aspx?id=6442464601