- Choose one day a week to always cook and eat together as a family. Getting your kids involved in cooking is a great way to encourage adventurous and eager eaters. Give your special meal day a memorable such as “Tasty Tuesday” or “Family Dinner Thursday.”
- Involve kids in the process of meal planning and shopping at your neighborhood Brookshire Brothers.
- Set goals that work with your schedule. Based on your schedule, aim to eat particular meals or snacks together for certain meals and days of the week.
- Keep the family table distraction-free without technology or reading materials to keep the focus on conversation.
- Use conversation starter tools or games to help make conversation more exciting and fun.
- Plan a special baking project once a month to do with your kids, and enjoy a treat!
- Start an after dinner routine of taking a walk or a bike ride after a family dinner to really enrich and make the most of family time.
- If you’re children are older, assign certain meals or dishes completely to them, and take the backseat to help them as their sous chef rather than always being in charge of every meal.
- If evening schedules are busy, try to make breakfast, lunch, or snack time a family meal opportunity whenever possible.
- Even if a meal isn’t home-cooked, it can still be enjoyed together. Try the Brookshire Brothers Deli or some of the frozen or fresh-prepared options in your neighborhood store for easy family dinners.
Italian Flatbread Pizzas with Pesto and Sun-Dried Tomatoes
- 4 Stonefire Naan Flatbreads of desired size, or another type of pita or flatbread
- 1/2 cup pre-made basil pesto
- 4 tablespoons sun-dried tomatoes, drained if packed in oil
- 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Fresh mozzarella cheese pearls
- Cherry tomatoes, halved or quartered
- Fresh parsley or basil, roughly chopped or torn
- Balsamic vinegar, thicker varieties work best
- Extra-virgin olive oil
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
- Position oven rack in middle of the oven.
- To assemble flatbreads, spread basil pesto on each bread, sprinkle sun-dried tomatoes and mozzarella on top.
- Season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Add any optional ingredients of fresh mozzarella or cherry tomatoes as desired.
- Bake flatbreads for 9-11 minutes, until cheese is melted and they are heated through and slightly brown on the edges.
- After removing from oven, sprinkle optional fresh herbs over flatbreads, and drizzle with balsamic vinegar and olive oil.
- Serve with a simple garden salad.
Brookshire Brothers Commits to Helping Families Eat at Home Together More Often During National Family Meals Month
The proven health and societal benefits of family meals inspire a month-long event aimed at helping families get back to the table
- Kids and teens who share meals with their family three or more times per week are significantly less likely to be overweight, more likely to eat healthy foods and less likely to have eating disorders.
- With each additional family meal shared each week, adolescents are less likely to show symptoms of depression, less likely to use/abuse drugs and less likely to engage in delinquent acts.
- People who eat most the most home-cooked meals eat healthier and consume about 130 fewer calories daily, on average, compared to people who cook less or not at all.
Gather 'Round The Table
Week 1: Bring the family together for PIZZA NIGHT
Meal In Minutes
Week 2: Mom's Night Off
Let's Taco 'Bout Family
Slow Cooker Shortcuts
Week 4: Slow Down For Dinner
SHARE A MEAL TOGETHER
MODIFY THE FOOD TALK
LET EVERYONE HELP
Need to unwind after a full day of summer fun? A movie night is a classic option that won’t break the bank and requires only a few crucial ingredients: the movie, the people, and—of course—the popcorn. We’ve pulled together a few ideas and recipes to make your evening really pop!
Some might say you can’t do better than regular popcorn, but have you considered what happens when you put TWO great things together? Case in point: Nacho Popcorn. It’s the best thing since the donut taco, and it only takes fifteen minutes to prepare. To go along with your salty and spicy popcorn, we recommend watching The LEGO Batman Movie or The Fate of the Furious.
The pairing of caramel and popcorn is as time-honored as Belle and the Beast. Furthermore, this sweet and salty happily-ever-after only gets better when it’s prepared in the oven. Most people agree that oven cooking creates a better texture and taste, plus the clean up is easy if you line your pan in foil. Allow yourself to have a little fun with this recipe and enjoy our recommended tale as old as time, Beauty and the Beast.
The wonderful thing about movies is that they can give you a glimpse of the world without ever leaving your couch potato position. Consider complementing your adventure with a spice that has its own exotic history—cinnamon. In other words, this snack bursts with flavor, and at only 150 calories per serving! Check out the recipe above while you’re movie surfing. We suggest Smurfs: The Lost Village and Kong: Skull Island.
Find a store near you to get started on creating your own popcorn recipes!
Independence Day is right around the corner and we couldn’t be more excited! The 4th of July is a time to gather your friends and family, spend time outdoors, and enjoy the sunshine. For a great way to celebrate America’s Independence, follow these fun steps –
1. Plan Ahead
The questions usually start arising about a week before... “What are your plans for July 4th?” Beat everyone to the question by inviting friends and family to a backyard barbecue! You may not have time for paper invitations, but send a group text, create a Facebook group or send e-vites so everyone can mark it on their calendar.
2. Create the Menu
Don’t stress about preparing each dish. Guests want to help out by bringing dishes. So, when you get RSVPs from friends and family, ask them if they could bring a side dish or dessert. We’ve got a great selection of recipes here. Once everyone contributes a dish or two, you’ll have a 4th of July spread that’s worthy of celebrating!
3. Take Grilling Tips
Our Market Experts are Expert Grillers! Ask them for their best grilling tips when you’re picking out your favorite cuts of meat. Search our wide variety of Market items in our Meat Department.
4. Think Outside the Box
Meat and veggies are NOT the only items that are grill-worthy. Try your hand at grilling some of your favorite fruits, too. Our Catering Coordinator, Kate Rudasill, suggests splurging for a grill basket or grill wok to place your favorite fruit and vegetable slices in. Find other tips from her on our Cooking with Kate blog!
5. Enjoy the Fireworks
Now that all the cooking, socializing, and eating has commenced, you can sit back and relax while watching the firework show!
Have a safe, fun, and tasty 4th of July!
Eating outside is a great way to connect with nature and enjoy a meal alone or with loved ones. There are many reasons people want to or need to eat outside: a visit to the playground, a Saturday afternoon at the ball park, an afternoon hike, or a peaceful respite outside in the middle of a long day at work. The easiest part is getting outside, but sometimes it can be tricky coming up with delicious, healthy, and portable meal ideas for eating outdoors. That’s where my advice and your local Brookshire Brothers comes in.
Pull out a picnic blanket, get comfortable, and have let’s come up with some portable meals that will work for everyone.
- If you have a little time to do some prep, chop up some fresh fruit and bag it up, or better yet, throw whole apples and easy-to-peel oranges in your picnic bag. If fresh fruit is too much trouble, remember there are more dried fruit options than just raisins – try cranberries, blueberries, cherries, dates, prunes, and apricots.
- Sandwiches are always a go-to picnic option. If I’m short on time, I throw an entire loaf of whole wheat bread, a jar of peanut butter, and a jar of jelly in my bag with some plastic utensils and napkins. That way everyone can make their own sandwich when it’s time to eat. If making sandwiches is too much trouble, try turkey and cheese roll-ups. My favorite method is to bring different flavors of cheese sticks and a package of sandwich meat. Wrap pieces of sandwich meat around the cheese stick for an easy to eat protein and healthy fat packed main course. Add a tortilla and veggies for a fancier version.
- Try an even easier protein source - beef jerky! It makes a great snack or protein option when you don’t have a way to keep foods cold.
- For veggies, try baby carrots, pre-washed and cut broccoli or cauliflower florets, and cherry tomatoes as easy pack-and-go options.
- Throw a container of your favorite kind of nuts or seeds into the mix for a filling addition of healthy fats and plenty of vitamins and minerals to boot.
- Cheesy popcorn is another easy to pack snack that is a healthy fiber-rich substitute for chips. It travels well and tastes delicious.
- Have a little more time for meal prep? Make ahead a pasta salad, chicken salad sandwiches, or my favorite - salmon and apple sandwiches. Mix up packaged salmon with mayonnaise as a binder, and toss in diced apple as desired. This goes great with crackers or makes a delicious sandwich.
- And for beverages, remember to fill water bottles before you leave or pack some bottled water. Squeeze a little lemon in if you’d like to get fancy with it.
And last but not least, consider sitting on the ground on a picnic blanket. That way you get a little extra movement and mobility in with your picnic lunch by getting up and down off the ground. Now you’re ready for healthy and portable outdoor summer meals!
Angela Larson is a registered dietitian (RD) who works with Brookshire Brothers promoting real fresh, real delicious healthy foods and providing nutrition education to the community. She is also a clinical dietitian representing Woodland Heights Medical Center in Lufkin where she does community education on food and nutrition. Food is her passion, so Angela loves trying new recipes and exploring the more holistic side of nutrition. Angela loves to cook, garden, and spend time outdoors. Look for Angela's monthly articles in Charm East Texas.
Now that Thanksgiving has passed, it seems like our December calendar is filling up quickly! Between Christmas parties, school programs, Secret Santa drawings, parades, bake sales, and gift-buying, when do you have time to start a tradition? We’ve asked our employee partners to share their favorite Holiday Traditions, and we hope you’ll feel inspired to continue or start a new tradition of your own. Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!
“Our family participates in the annual Lufkin Community Food Drive every year. It’s something my girls, both now in college, look forward to every year. We help box the food, deliver it…the whole nine yards. I’m so glad we’re able to do it as a family each year.”
Sally Alvis, Senior Director of Marketing and Public Relations
“Sharing the holiday with family is tradition enough, but we do have a few things we look forward to each year. My wife and I pick out the ugliest Christmas ornaments we can find and hang it on the tree. We’ve gotten so many now and it’s so fun decorating the tree and retelling all the stories. We also attend a Christmas candlelight service at our church every year."
Doug Barnett, Marketing and Procurement
“We have a few traditions in our house – We always have a Lego Advent calendar and we take turns who builds the item for the day, attend the midnight Mass on Christmas morning, and have a nativity scene that we do not complete until Christmas morning when we place baby Jesus in the manger. We also cook sausage balls, empanadas (fried meat pies) and banana pudding along with getting a 6-pack of glass coke bottles because it is essential to our Christmas celebration!”
Corry Lankford, Graphic Designer/Store Signage Coordinator
“Our family traditions are long-standing and long-winded! Just to name a few, we take an annual Girls Christmas Shopping Trip, with my extended family, the first weekend of December. We try to knock out as many gifts as we can, while spending some much needed time together. With my husband and kids, we get into the Christmas spirit when we decorate our tree with themed ornaments from every year while listening to Christmas music. Finally, making Christmas candy is always a fun tradition with my mom and sisters.”
Angela Gandy, Digital Media Associate/Copywriter
“The Lowther family always watches National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation on Christmas Eve, helps Mom make fudge and pumpkin bread, gets commemorative Christmas ornaments for each year, and eats Mexican food on Christmas Day.”
Adam Lowther, Public Relations Associate
Chocolate. Caffeine. Alcohol. TV. The usual things people give up for Lent. It's that 40 day period when Christians share in Jesus' suffering by denying themselves some of their earthly pleasures. But maybe this Lent, which starts on the day after Mardi Gras, we could 'take on' something that would draw us closer to God and closer to each other.
So here are some ideas of what we can add to our lives as we draw near to Easter.
- Gather at the table. Family time, discussion time, reflection time. Make a vow to sit down and share a meal together.
- Get outdoors. What a great way to feel God's presence! Pack a picnic lunch or supper when the days get brighter and warmer and dine as a family 'al fresco'. Combine it with a walk and celebrate creation.
- Reach beyond yourself. Spend time with others. Get to know your neighbors. Take some flowers to a sick friend. Volunteer at a food pantry. Pay it forward in the grocery line. Show a random act of kindness. Chances are it will be the brightest spot in someone's day.
- Be grateful. Start a new habit of gratitude. Start each day by giving thanks to God for life itself. Thank your children for the things they do that make you smile. Give your co-workers a pat on the back and a thumbs up for putting up with you day in and day out. Make THANK YOU the two most frequently used words in your vocabulary.
- Clean out. Get rid of the stuff in your life. Sometimes the things that clutter our homes or apartments clutter our minds. Take anything you haven't worn, used or looked at in the past 18 months and give it away.
Remember what Jesus said in the book of Matthew – I was hungry and you fed me, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you took me in…I was naked and you clothed me.
This Lent, you have the power to do all of that. When you do you will draw closer to God and to yourself. Chances are these 40 days will not leave you feeling that you gave up anything. You will experience joy, peace and contentment with yourself and with others.