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Local dietician shares tips on family meal planning

Local News

SPRINGFIELD, Mo.– Cooking at home, it’s the “old normal,” coming back as many of us practice social distancing.

Dietician, Natalie Allen, says both parents and kids value sharing a meal.

“We just tend to be so busy sometimes we’re just not as focused on family meals,” said Allen.

Allen says the meals can still be healthy without leaving your family strapped for cash.

“A lot of foods that are healthy are less expensive,” said Allen.

Allen suggests stocking up on items that can be repurposed.

“For example, I purchased a package of black beans and cooked them over rice,” said Allen. “The next night, I put the black beans in some hamburger and made tacos.”

She says to reintroduce yourself to vegetables you usually walk right by.

“A lot of root vegetables keep pretty well,” said Allen. “Pop a sweet potato in the oven, it takes a couple of hours to bake it, depending on how large the potato is but we’ve got time.”

She says to create a plan before your grocery store runs.

“You need a plan during this time of quarantine and when it’s not,” said Allen.

Pick three or four meals you plan to make throughout the week.

Allen encourages you to make family meals fun by including your child in the food preparation.

Allen says breakfast quesadillas are an easy breakfast option.

She says to add scrambled eggs and shredded cheese to a tortilla.

Allen also makes pasta and incorporates chopped veggies into the dish.

Stir-fry is also a hit with Allen’s family.

She says to sauté snap peas and noodles with some soy sauce.

Allen says to keep it simple and feel free to add or take-away items to best suit your family. 

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