A Healthy Family-Dinner Reboot for the New Year

A Family Dinner Reboot For The New Year

Now that it’s officially 2019, it’s time to put those New Year’s resolutions into action! One important one to add to your list: Home-cooked family dinners. Sponsored by Smuckers.

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Whether you’re trying to shed extra holiday pounds or just want to get everyone at the dinner table enjoying a home-cooked meal, we've got tons of delicious and easy meal ideas to get you started. Better yet? The family-friendly options below are designed to please even the most finicky of eaters.

Start Simple

The first step in any meal makeover: don’t get too drastic, especially when you have other palates (i.e. kids) to please. The key is to make dishes that don’t taste "healthy" — or what many may associate with healthy: bland and boring.

The Secret Substitute: Spaghetti Squash

Who doesn’t love noodles? Of course, regular white-flour noodles (and even whole wheat noodles) are full of starch, calories, and not a lot of protein. Instead, go for a new type of noodle: a vegetable! Yes, we’re talking about spaghetti squash. When roasted in the oven, spaghetti squash’s flavor and texture resemble thin noodles. It’s also loaded with antioxidants and fiber, according to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

Roasted Spaghetti Squash

Spaghetti Squash

Spaghetti Squash Meets Pad Thai

Get fancier and a little more adventurous with a recipe like pad Thai “noodles.” Oh, that yummy peanut sauce! With these flavors, they’ll never miss the usual rice noodles underneath, and get added protein and fiber from peanut butter to boot.

Spaghetti Squash Peanut Pad Thai

Pad Thai Spaghetti Squash Noodles 4

Spaghetti Squash Meets Meatballs

Who doesn’t love spaghetti and meatballs? For busy nights, try this version using turkey instead of red meat. If you're keeping an eye on saturated fat, be sure to read the package and choose turkey that is labelled "ground turkey breast," which is the leanest option.

Spaghetti Squash and Turkey Meatballs

Spaghetti Squash and Turkey Meatballs

Go for the (Whole) Grain

Quinoa may seem daring, but it’s amazingly healthy and delicious when prepared well. If quinoa isn’t already in your regular meal rotation, it should be: Quinoa is gluten-free and high in protein, fiber, and vitamins according to healthline.com. No wonder it’s called a superfood! This versatile grain salad is filled with protein-rich cheese, beans, and quinoa; top with grilled chicken for a meal-sized salad, or stick to the recipe for a hearty vegetarian side dish.

Mexican Black Bean and Quinoa Salad

Mexican Black Bean and Quinoa Salad 3

Chicken Rules

You can never go wrong with chicken for a quick and easy meal — and sweet chicken is always a winner. Preserves and jams can add great flavor to a stir-fry: Just chop up the chicken with some veggies and throw it in a pan. They also make an outstanding glaze, be it on slow-cooked meatballs or oven baked chicken, like these gluten-free apricot chicken thighs with tamari and ginger.

Baked Apricot Glazed Chicken

Gluten-Free Baked Apricot-Ginger Chicken 1

Go Slow

Making meals in a slow cooker is the ultimate in simplicity: Turn the appliance on in the morning, and dinner’s ready at night. Even better? Everyone's favorite slow-cooker meal — chili! All you need is some tomato sauce, beans, bell peppers, onions, and some shredded cheese on top, and you have a delicious, healthy meal, with or without meat.

Slow Cooker Chili