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​What does 2015 have in store for you?

I thought a good way to start thinking about next year was to recap last year and see if anything that might need to be done differently this year. In doing so I thought about the articles I wrote for this and various other magazines in 2014 and thought there was some stuff worth re mentioning.

Eat Fresh! Shop and eating as fresh as possible. Try to stay towards the outside when planning your meals. Everything that is good and good for you is there. Produce, meat, bakery and dairy. I know the occasional trip to the center for shelf staples is important once in awhile…stay clear of the good but bad for you isles.

Check your expirations dates! So many things we forget to check. Condiments in the fridge. The spices in the cupboard, don’t forget the baking powder and baking soda. Nothing worse then flat cookies. Medicine and cosmetics all expires to you know.

Cook and eat with your kids! Remember children are our most valuable resource and best hope for the future. Instill a passion for cooking and eating good food and your children will grow up to eat well be healthy and have healthy children. In our family my grandkids have to have a “no thank you” bite of everything at the dinner table. Take a bite and if you don’t care for it you can say no thank you before it goes on your plate. They have to try it every time we serve it. Hope fully at some point they will like it.

Sit down and Eat dinner at the dining table at home with the family. Here are some suggestions for having a stressful family mealtime.

  • Start with a regular Sunday dinner – and make it really special.
  • Make your table a welcoming place for extended family and friends – don't be surprised if you get "regulars."
  • Aim high – increase frequency of family dinners by three to four times per week -- and be satisfied by any changes you can make.
  • Bring your children along to the farmers market and grocery store so they can help pick out the food. Teach them what things are. How many vegetables can your child identify?
  • Ask your children to help prepare unfamiliar foods so they'll be more likely to try them at dinner.
  • Make your kitchen kid-friendly with stepstools or lower workstations and safe, easy-to-use tools so everyone can get involved.
  • Allow fewer distractions during your family meals. No tv, cell phone and video games!
  • Laugh through your cooking mistakes – they can become great stories for many dinners to come.