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Lifestyle

Share a meal: September is National Family Meals Month

Research shows that eating more meals together at home can increase self-esteem, encourages healthier eating habits, improves grades and reduces risky behavior in children of all ages.
Research shows that eating more meals together at home can increase self-esteem, encourages healthier eating habits, improves grades and reduces risky behavior in children of all ages.

September is National Family Meals Month and dietitians are encouraging you to eat one more meal a week at home together as a family. Created by the Food Marketing Institute and its Foundation, this nationwide event hopes to educate all families on the importance of family meals and how greatly they benefit our youth.

Research has shown that eating more meals together at home can increase self-esteem, encourages healthier eating habits, improves grades and reduces the risky behavior among children of all ages. Another positive that comes from families eating more meals together is that structured meals can reduce the risk of children suffering from an eating disorder or being overweight when three or more meals are eaten at home per week.

With the new school year beginning, you can use this time to get back on track with schedules and family meals. Start with one meal at home per week and work to add more each week. Remember to include foods from all the food groups at meals using the MyPlate way. Keeping fruits and vegetables on hand whether they are fresh, frozen or canned can make meals simple by adding those as quick side dishes. Picking up a rotisserie chicken also makes meal prep easy, simply remove the skin and shred for chicken tacos or slice for chicken sandwiches. Don’t forget the slow cooker isn’t just for wintertime; using your slow cooker during the week means supper is ready when everyone gets home.

Join in the celebration of National Family Meals Month because families who eat together stay healthy together.

Shredded Chicken and

Pinto Bean Burritos

Serves: 6

1 tbsp canola oil

1 medium onion, halved and sliced

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 tbsp ground cumin

1 tsp chili powder

1 (15 oz.) can diced tomatoes with green chiles

1 tbsp lime juice

4 c. shredded rotisserie chicken

1 (15 oz.) can pinto beans, rinsed

6 (10 inch) whole wheat tortillas or wraps, warmed

3/4 c. grated Monterey or pepper Jack cheese

2 c. shredded green cabbage

Directions:

1. Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and cook, stirring, until softened, about two minutes.

2. Stir in garlic, cumin and chili powder and cook for about 30 seconds.

3. Add tomatoes and lime juice; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook until the onions are very soft, 16 to 20 minutes.

4. Stir in chicken and beans. Continue cooking until the mixture is heated through, three to five minutes more.

5. Divide the chicken-bean mixture among warmed tortillas (or wraps). Top each with cheese and cabbage, roll into burritos and serve.

6. Tip to warm tortillas: Wrap in foil and bake at 300 degrees until steaming. Or, wrap in barely damp paper towels and microwave on HIGH for 30 to 45 seconds.

7. Make-ahead tip: Prepare the filling (steps 1 to 4), cover and refrigerate for up to two days.

For more information and additional healthy meal ideas, visit at www.hy-vee.com/familymeals.

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