Use Family Mealtime to Build a Healthier Lifestyle

B.L.T. in a Bowl

  • Two (10 ¾ ounce) cans 30% less-sodium tomato soup
  • 2 cans water
  • 6 to 8 ounces frozen cheese tortellini
  • One (6 ounce) bag prewashed baby spinach (about 4 packed cups)
  • 4 teaspoons real bacon bits
  • 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese, optional

Pour the tomato soup and water into a large saucepan and stir to combine. Cover and bring to a boil. Add the tortellini and cook, uncovered, according to package directions, stirring frequently. Stir in the spinach and cook until wilted, about 2 minutes. Serve and top with bacon bits and Parmesan cheese as desired.

Calories: 260
Fat (g): 4
Saturated Fat (g): 1.5
Sodium (mg): 780
Carbohydrate (g): 47
Fiber (g): 3
Protein (g): 7

Hectic lifestyles of both parents and children make sitting down to a healthy dinner difficult for everyone. Children juggle homework and after school activities while parents deal with work and family-related responsibilities. In a world where time is of extreme value, families are left with little time to shop for food, prepare healthy meals and sit down together as a family to eat. Family mealtime promotes healthy nutrition habits for children and adults. Research shows that youth tend to eat more fruits, vegetables and low-fat dairy when they eat with their parents.

Dining out has become increasingly common in the hustle and bustle of busy families. Restaurant foods/entrees come in large portion sizes and they are often very high in fat, calories and sodium. Choose healthier options when eating out – grilled meat, side salads, fruit cups and milk are all great choices. Eating at home and preparing your own meals is a much healthier option to dining out. Combine fresh fruits and vegetables with convenience foods that are low in sodium and fat to provide a well balanced meal for everyone .

Here are some family mealtime tips:

  • Set a regular family mealtime. Pick a time when everyone can be together.
  • Enjoy more table time, less cooking time. Make quick, simple meals that contain lean meat & fish, plenty of fruit, vegetables and low-fat dairy. Whole grains are a good idea also.
  • Turn off the TV. Turn on the answering machine. Focus mealtime on family talk.
  • Keep table talk positive. Everyone gets to talk and to listen. Sitting around a table, not side-by-side at the counter helps.
  • Keep table time realistic – not so long that the pleasure of being together as a family starts to dwindle.

With Fall approaching, moms and dads who prepare family meals may be searching for hearty, stick-to-your-ribs kind of meals that are nutritious and easy to make. Try this B.L.T. in a Bowl recipe that takes the basic ingredients of a bacon, lettuce and tomato sandwich and transforms them into a hearty bowl of soup. Tomato soup is a source of lycopene, an antioxidant that may ward off certain cancers. This tasty soup, made with tomato soup as the base along with spinach, tortellini, and bacon bits, is proof that convenience foods can work to your nutritional advantage!

2/15/2022 3:43:45 PM
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