Summer days are coming to an end and now it is time to get back into the work or school day routine.  With the turn of the calendar page, you may find your days filled with more meetings, school events, and after-school activities.  With all that you have to do, the thought of also trying to plan a healthy and balanced meal for your family can easily be put on the back burner—literally!  In this issue, you will find some simple tips to help ease your meal time madness.  When dinner time comes around, you won’t be picking up the phone for delivery or pulling up to the nearest drive-thru for a quick bite.  Instead, you will be serving your family a homemade nutritious meal!  
Tips to Decrease Mealtime Madness


Think picking up dinner to-go may not be that bad?

Chili’s Quesadilla Explosion Salad has 1400 calories and 89 grams of fat.
Boston Market’s 1/2 Rotisserie Chicken, Sweet Potato Casserole & Steamed Vegetables has 1160 calories and 52.5 grams of fat.

Here are some tips to decrease meal time madness:

Set a grocery date. Pick one day a week to organize your menu and grocery list. A weekend day is usually a good time to set as your routine grocery date because this ritual will ensure you have the right food on hand when the work week begins and your days become busier.

Plan your meals in advance. Planning three to four cooked meals each week can be less intimidating than trying to plan a new meal each night when you get home from work or other activities. Take into account what your social calendar looks like when planning. Also, plan a few nights for leftovers and if you must, one night for dining out or pick-up (of a healthy meal, of course).

Try a new recipe. Trying a new recipe does not have to be a cumbersome task. There are many cookbooks, such as those in the “Cooking Light” series, which feature quick and easy meals. Trying new and exciting recipe creations can also help break the mealtime rut and give you and your family a good reason to look forward to home-cooked dinners.

Check out what your grocery store has available. Many grocery stores are in tune with customers’ needs for quick, easy, and healthy meals. Now you can find pre-marinated chicken breast, pre-made shish kabobs, and pre-seasoned fish, making meal time easier, without sacrificing taste or nutrition.
Ginger Apple Stir Fry



  • 1 lb. boneless skinless chicken breast, cut into strips
  • 2 medium apples, cored and sliced
  • 2 tsp. sesame oil
  • 4 green onions, sliced
  • 1/3 lb. pea pods
  • 1 small sweet red pepper, cut into strips
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tbsp. ginger, minced
  • 10 shiitake and/or white mushrooms, sliced
  • 1/4 tsp. pepper
  • 1/3 cup applesauce, unsweetened
  • 1/3 cup chicken broth or water
  • 2 tbsp. apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tbsp. soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp. cornstarch


  1. Heat sesame oil in nonstick skillet or wok. Add garlic and ginger, and stir for approximately 30 seconds. Add chicken and cook. Remove chicken from skillet. Add vegetables, sprinkle with pepper, cook and stir until tender crisp. Combine applesauce, chicken broth, vinegar, soy sauce, and cornstarch. Add chicken to vegetables, add sauce mixture and cook until sauce is thickened and clear for about 5 - 10 minutes. Add apples during last five minutes of preparation. Serve over steamed brown rice.

  2. Prep and cook time: 40 minutes

  3. Recipe courtesy of US Apple Association

Makes 4 servings.

Nutrition Information: Calories: 340, Total fat: 16g, Saturated fat: 5g, Calories from fat: 140, Protein: 25g, Carbohydrates: 25g, Cholesterol: 70mg, Dietary Fiber: 5g, Sodium: 670mg
Quote of the Month...
“You don’t have to cook fancy or complicated masterpieces — just good food from fresh ingredients.” ~ Julia Child
Save Time in the Kitchen


Family cooking


With all the demands of the day to day routine, sometimes cooking is the last thing you want to do, but it can be made easier by following a few simple tips.

  • Assess what you have on hand, in the fridge, freezer, and pantry.
  • Stock up on the essentials such as:
    • Chicken, vegetable, or beef broth
    • Onions or frozen seasoning blend 
    • Whole grain pastas
    • Rice (brown or wild) 
    • Quinoa
    • Frozen vegetables, frozen fruit 
    • Your favorite seasonings
    • Nut butters 
    • Whole grain bread
    • Dried beans 
    • Frozen fish, chicken, and lean beef  
  • Plan meals in advance
  • Double up. When you are cooking make double the portion to have either leftovers for another night during the week or to freeze for a later meal.
  • Start a neighborhood cooking club. Invite two to four members and each family takes a turn of cooking a new meal each week. Neighborhood cooking club could save you time in the kitchen and give your family to experiment with new foods.

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Evidence based nutrition and exercise counseling that will help you meet your health, weight loss, and performance goals. Sustainable eating to fuel lifestyles for a lifetime!
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