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Seeking fast and healthy meal ideas
Q: I'm a divorced dad who has visitation rights with my three children every Tuesday and every other weekend. I don't want to spend a lot of time preparing meals, but I want to ensure that they eat healthy. What are options for eating out or at home?
A: Since time with your children is limited during the week, I would use Tuesday nights for dining out. Instead of fast food or pizza restaurants, frequent family-style establishments. Obviously, it's easier to provide a nutritious meal when vegetables are on the menu! This also provides a special time for you and your kids when you don't feel compelled to rush through your meal.

As for your weekend meals, use conversation time during your Tuesday night out to plan meals for the weekends they spend with you. Try to choose something that can be modified to create more than one meal, like tacos and meatloaf using ground turkey. Take advantage of precut vegetables for stews, soups and snacking. I highly recommend slow cookers for all busy parents as a way to prepare a meal effortlessly and still have time for other activities. Keep a variety of fresh fruit available for between-meal nibbling. Again, involve your children in the planning. Most kids love to contribute, and it's a quality activity.

Susan M. Leisner RD, IBCLC, RLC Nutritionist & Lactation Consultant