Useful Information for Better Health from the Western Maryland Health System

Monday, October 13, 2014

October is Eat Better, Eat Together month

Has it been awhile since you have sat down and shared a meal as a family? With today’s fast paced lifestyle and on-the-run meals, finding time to sit down to a family meal can seem challenging. There just doesn’t seem to be enough time to shop, cook, get everyone together, and clean it all up before bedtime!  Here are some tips to make family meals a staple in your home:
Plan your mealtimes to best suit everyone’s schedule.  If breakfast is the best meal, go for it!  It doesn’t have to be dinner.  To start, try getting together at least once a week.  Once that’s rolling, try for more. 
Pre-plan meals for the week and do the shopping all at once, so you have everything you need on hand.
Prepare meals as much as you can in advance.  Precut tomorrow night’s veggies after dinner or assign one of the kids the task after school.  Divide and conquer! Everyone can contribute, even the youngest.  From grocery shopping to cutting the vegetables to setting the table.  Working together teaches responsibly and teamwork.
Making family meals a priority shows children not only that nutritious meals are important but taking the time to prepare and enjoy it with your family teaches them healthy lifelong habits.  After a hectic day at work or school, take a deep breath, relax, and enjoy it with your family.
Stir-fries are my go-to favorite.  The meat and veggies can be prepped in advance and it literally takes minutes to cook.  So, when those planning days evade you, you can make a stir fry with whatever is on hand: with or without meat; canned, frozen or fresh veggies; beans; eggs. Served with rice, noodles or potatoes the combinations are endless.

Here’s a tasty one for you to try.

Beef with Broccoli
1 (1-pound) flank steak
1 tablespoon brown sugar
3 tablespoons lower-sodium soy sauce
2 tablespoons sherry
1 tablespoon oyster sauce
2 teaspoons cornstarch
2 teaspoons sambal oelek (chile paste with garlic)
1 tablespoon peanut oil
3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon minced peeled fresh ginger
1 1/2 cups vertically sliced onion
1 (12-ounce) package broccoli florets
3 cups hot cooked brown rice

1. Freeze steak 30 minutes. Cut steak across grain into 1/4-inch-thick strips.
2. 2. Combine brown sugar and next 5 ingredients (through chile paste) in a small bowl, stirring with a whisk.
3. 3. Place a wok or large frying pan over high heat until very hot. Drizzle oil around sides of wok to coat sides and bottom. When oil is very hot, but not smoking, add garlic; stir-fry 30 seconds or until golden. Remove garlic using slotted spoon; drain on paper towels. Add ginger, onion, and broccoli to pan; stir-fry 2 minutes. Add steak; stir-fry 2 minutes or just until no longer pink.
4. 4. Stir in soy sauce mixture. Cook 1 minute or until sauce thickens, stirring constantly. Serve over rice. Top with garlic slices.

Source:  Cooking Light
Nutritional Information:  Calories: 291, Fat: 7.6g, Saturated fat: 2.2g, Monounsaturated fat: 2.9g, Polyunsaturated fat: 1.4g, Protein: 21.5g, Carbohydrate: 32.6g, Fiber: 4g, Cholesterol: 25mg, Iron: 2.3mg, Sodium: 378mg, Calcium: 69mg

- Stacy Dunn, Dietetic Technician Intern