Family Meals

By: Jacqueline Gomes, MBA, RDN  

School is in session and schedules are more hectic than ever! Do you find family meals are a thing of the past? Family meals are an important part of growth and development for children and families.

  • Studies show that families eating meals together “every day” or “almost every day” generally consumed higher amounts of important nutrients such as calcium, fiber, iron, vitamins B6 and B12, C and E, and consumed less overall fat, compared to families who “never” or “only sometimes” eat meals together.
  • Family meals don’t have to be complicated, think soups, sandwiches and sheet pan dinners. It’s easy to pack a variety of veggies into soup & sheet pan dinners to create a powerfully nutritious meal.
  • Sandwiches take minutes to prepare and typically are kid favorite – they’re transportable too so if you need to hit the field, you can easily wrap a sandwich to-go!

No matter how simple or complex the meal, the important thing is to enjoy each other’s company and listen to each member of your family.


Sheet Pan Lemon Chicken  

Sheet Pan Lemon Chicken

Prep: 15 minutes

Roast: 30 minutes

Makes: 4 to 5 Servings



  • 2.5 to 3 pounds skinless chicken thighs, fat trimmed
  • 6 cloves garlic
  • 1 cup parsley
  • 2 lemons, cut in half
  • 1 to 1.5 pounds broccoli florets
  • 1.5 pounds white or red baby potatoes
  • Olive oil
  • Salt & Pepper



  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
  2. In a mini food processor place garlic, parsley, pinch of salt and drizzle of olive oil. Process until finely minced. Alternatively, finely chop if you do not have a food processor.
  3. Line a large baking sheet with aluminum foil and spray with cooking spray. Place chicken on baking sheet, season with salt & pepper and cover with garlic and parsley mixture. Drizzle with olive oil.
  4. Place potatoes and broccoli florets in between chicken. Season with salt & pepper, drizzle with olive oil. Place lemons cut side up on sheet.
  5. Roast for about 30 minutes, turn chicken half way through and toss vegetables occasionally. When done, turn lemons over and squeeze juice over chicken.


Nutrition Information: 568 Calories; 40g carbohydrate; 24g fat; 53g protein; 1,020mg sodium; 8.5g fiber

Recipe by: Jacqueline Gomes, RDN