August 16, 2017

Make Family Dinner Happen. Turkey to the Rescue!

Post by Today's Turkey

Sally Kuzemchak, MS, RD
Real Mom Nutrition
NTF Advisory Board Member

Every day, I connect with moms across the country over social media and through my blog, and there’s one struggle that they share: Dinner.

Dinner is supposed to be the time when families come together and engage around the table after a busy day, but the reality is a lot less picture perfect: Time is short, parents are frazzled, kids are picky, and at least one person is bordering on hangry.

In short, parents need help. They want to avoid the drive-thru and put together a nourishing meal for their family most nights of the week. But they need solutions and ideas grounded in reality and that work for their lives and their budgets–especially as the school year begins and activities really heat up.

Here are four ways you can help your clients and customers make healthy dinners happen (and, of course, incorporate convenient and affordable turkey into the mix!):

Realistic meal planning: There are the hyper-organized moms who plan out entire months’ worth of meals on a color-coded calendar. And then there are the rest of us. I suggest parents map out a week’s worth of dinners before their weekly shopping trip so they have everything they need–no return trips needed! I also recommend they start with what they already have. A freezer inventory printable helps keep track of any poultry they have stashed away. Plan at least one night for eating out (or grabbing take-out) and one night for leftovers.

Freezer meals: Whenever I post a recipe, someone invariably asks, “Does this freeze well?” Parents want to be able to stock meals away for an especially hectic night, whether they set aside a Sunday to fill their freezer with a few meals or double a dinner recipe on a weeknight and freeze the other portion. For instance, after these Mediterranean Baked Turkey Meatballs have baked and cooled, they can be placed in a freezer bag and quickly defrosted on a weeknight. And a container of Thai Turkey Soup tucked away in the freezer can come to the rescue on a busy evening. If you’re developing or sharing a recipe, consider including tips for freezing it too.

Healthy shortcuts: A lot of families are trying to cut back on packaged foods but still need shortcuts to streamline dinner prep. Offer suggestions for better-for-you convenience foods and store-bought shortcuts that you like and use yourself, like pre-chopped veggies, bagged salads, jarred sauces, frozen turkey meatballs, pre-cooked brown rice that you steam right in the bag, and ready-to-grill turkey burgers. Some retailers are even offering rotisserie turkey breasts, which make a fast and flavorful meal.

Outside-the-box slow cooker recipes: Parents love the idea of using their slow cookers but are bored to tears with the usual stew and soup recipes. Fresh ideas like slow-cooker lasagna, turkey meatloaf, or turkey taco meat motivate moms and dads pull out this time-saving appliance more. Who doesn’t love to come through the door at 6pm to the smell of dinner already done?