A Balanced Dinner is Possible

Amy Boshnack

I try to make every meal balanced. So when the main course is chicken nuggets for my kids (because they refuse to eat chicken any other way) and roasted chicken for my husband and I, I always make sure we have veggies and fruit to go along with it.

Believe it or not, I actually fashion meals after the old-school TV dinners my mother used to give me when I was a kid. Say what you want about my mom plopping me in front of the television for dinner (I might add, at the time, it made me quite happy) but I got a little bit of everything in those meals; there was the salisbury steak, the corn, and the mashed potatoes.

Now that I'm the mom I try to give my kids a bit more variety -- plus get my family's vote on what they want -- and I still love those compartment plates! So with every meal figuring out the sides becomes a group decision. I often go for what's quick and easy, offering up broccoli and carrots, because time always seems to be limited! I like to steam my veggies with a little salt and then ask the kids how they want me to spice it up. Sometimes I will add cheese or different sauces on top -- or sometimes I will throw a bunch of vegetables into a casserole dish and bake. Since the kids had a part in creating the meal - they generally are very happy to eat-up!

At the end of the meal, for a little sweetness, I cut up strawberries, apples, grapes, or whatever is in season (you really can't beat a good Clementine!)

Please share some of your veggie side-dishes with me... I'm always looking for something new!

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