What’s the true short-cut in this Sheet Pan Pork recipe? The sheet pan!
Post and recipe by MNT Dietitian, Mary Wissmann.
One meal, one plan gets dinner on the table quickly, efficiently and with less stress. My kids love roasted vegetables – because they’re sweeter – and they also love smacking the pork with a meat mallet. The variety of veggies makes for a great family meal. Between the roasted apples, parsnips, onions and Brussels sprouts, there is something for everyone to love!
Outside of sheet pans, need a few more ideas to make mealtime less stressful?
4 Short-Cuts to More Stress-Free Family Meals
Give everyone a job.
Almost every child can have a role in the mealtime. Someone can set out plates and silverware, someone can set napkins (a great job for young children), and everyone can wash their hands and sit down at the dinner table. Giving children a sense of responsibility about the meal leads to greater mealtime acceptance, and it helps parents get meals on the table.
Serve food family-style.
Letting kids serve themselves is one of the best ways to encourage children to try different foods. Some children might not be great at scooping or using tongs, so a little help might be warranted. But, ultimately letting them decide if and how much of a food goes on their plate will go a long way towards acceptance (plus a much less dramatic family mealtime).
Let kids eat as much as they want (or don’t want).
It is perfectly reasonable to ask kids to try a bite before they decide they don’t like it. Forcing kids to try a bite before they can leave the table is counterproductive. Kids who are resistant to trying new foods are more likely to reject them when they feel forced. Kids also have an impeccable sense of hunger and fullness. It’s normal for their hunger to fluctuate dramatically, so trust your kids to know when they are full. Allowing kids to serve themselves also leads to less food waste.
Take the focus off food and onto family.
When parents accept that it’s not their job to “make” their kids eat, it can open up so many opportunities for quality family time during meals. Ask kids their favorite part of the day. Is there anything they wished they did differently? What are they looking forward to about tomorrow?
Be patient with your kids (and yourself!) and family mealtime will become a high point of everyone’s day.
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