Growing up my mom always made dinner, most of the time from scratch too. I did not grow up eating take out or ordering pizza. In fact, going to the pizza place or ordering a pizza was a special treat. Sadly for some families pizza and take out are a weekly occurrence.
Growing up dinner always consisted of a meat (protein), starch (such as potato, rice or pasta) and vegetables. We also had dessert after dinner which was usually canned fruit with a dollop of whip cream, Jell-O or pudding, and it was served in a tiny glass dish.
When I cook for my family I cook the same way my mom did, except not always from scratch. Times are different and many families are always on the go-go-go so cooking from scratch is not always an option.
Recently Green Giant put out he 2014 Fresh Takes with Green Giant Frozen Survey** for consumers about dinner time and it resulted in some interesting findings.
When it comes to dinnertime, the majority of parents (78%) would rather spend less time in the kitchen and more time enjoying dinnertime with their kids. Other finding show that parents run into many challenges at dinnertime, including:
- Never having enough time to cook dinner leaves more than two-in-three (63%) parents falling back on the same tried-and-true, go-to meals, which most often include spaghetti (60%), sandwiches (39%) or chicken tenders (37%).
- When genuinely trying to incorporate veggies into meals, 70% identify challenges, including getting kids excited about eating them (42%), not having vegetables on hand (32%) or not knowing how to prepare them (20%).
- Learning to cook new and different meals comes with its own set of challenges. Nearly half (44%) of parents are worried their families won’t like new recipes, 27% don’t want to spend the time or money trying to hunt down unfamiliar ingredients and 21% say there are so many recipe resources available that they just don’t know where to start.
To be honest with you these results don’t surprise me. Maybe the percentages are a bit higher then I would expect, but the challenges that families face at meal time seem to be common.
I am grateful (oh so grateful) that my kids love vegetables. And not just a handful – they enjoy a large variety of vegetables including ones that most kids try to avoid like broccoli, Brussels sprouts and spinach. They snack on veggies (we go through A LOT of baby carrots each week) too. My daughter also prefers her vegetables raw (I always steam vegetables).
When I hear other parents talking about how their child won’t eat vegetables it makes me sad. Not only are they missing out on the nutrients that vegetables provide for our bodies, but they are also missing out on a lot of tasty foods.
Green Giants wants to help families get more vegetables into their diets. To help consumers they’ve created the Fresh Take on What to Make campaign.
“The ‘Fresh Takes’ survey highlights real dinnertime challenges facing parents today who are balancing a lot – work, kids’ school and after-school activities, house chores and pets’ needs, to name a few,” said John Stockman, Associate Marketing Director for Green Giant. “We want to help make dinnertime exciting again by showing families how to transform their go-to meals in simple ways that let the veggies shine and bring families together.”
Green Giant has teamed up with Celebrity Chef Gina Neely to show families just how easy it can be to eat more vegetables.
“As a mom, I know parents have the best of intentions and want to prepare exciting and nutritious dinners every night, but hectic schedules lead to falling back on those go-to meals – spaghetti, anyone?” says Gina Neely. “Easy steps, like preparing your grocery list and stocking up on simple ingredients like Green Giant Steamers, can make a big difference in the kitchen.”
This campaign aims to teach busy on the go families helpful tips and ideas to reinvent dinner time and to show consumers how simply and easy just adding something like Green Giant Steamers into your family’s favorite “go to” dishes can get vegetables into your diet.
I actually use Green Giant Steamers with my family. They offer 25 different (and delicious!) steam-in-the-bag varieties. Plus I love that I don’t have to break out my steamer, pots or pans to cook them. Simply pop the bag the microwave.
Some of the Green Giant Steamers are made with unique sauces, seasons and blends which add more “pizzazz” to your meal.
Green Giant Steamers offer families a convenient and simple way for families to enjoy their vegetables.
Gina came up with some delicious recipes using Green Giant Steamers that take about 20 minutes to make and use just five ingredients. Any family could easily whip these up, even on a busy weeknight.
- Gina’s Quick ‘n Easy Chicken Pot Pies
- Gina’s White Pizza with Sweet Corn & Bacon
- Gina’s Chicken Divine
- Gina’s Beef Vegetable Medley Stir Fry
- Gina’s Pork with Honey-Roasted Sweet Corn Salsa
If you would like more information, tips and delicious recipes please visit GreenGiant.com/EasyMeals. You’ll even find money savings coupons on the site.
You can also connect with Gina Neely and Green Giant and ask questions during a Twitter Chat on September 16 at 8pm ET and during a Google+ Hangout on September 23 at 8pm ET.
Do you have any questions for Gian Neely and/or Green Giant that you’d like me to ask for you? I should be at the Google Hangout and I’d be happy to ask questions for you and post the replies. Simply leave your questions in the comments section of this post.
**The 2014 Fresh Takes with Green Giant Frozen Survey presents the findings of an online survey conducted by ORC International from August 5-8, 2014 among a sample of 986 American parents of children under the age of 18, comprising 487 men and 499 women.
*I have partnered with Green Giant to bring you this information. Although compensated the opinions expressed are my own and not influenced in any way.