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Quick Family Meals

(Family Features) or today's super-busy parents, feeding the family is one of their biggest challenges. Getting tasty, nutritious, and budget-friendly meals on the table in a hurry is a high priority.

More than half of the shoppers surveyed for The Grocery Shopping Trends 2010 report from FMI (Food Marketing Institute) prepare more meals at home than they did in 2009. The report shows that today's shoppers are saving money by eating at home, and that they also believe that the food they eat at home is healthier than the food they eat away from home.

So how can you make sure you feed your family on time and within your budget?

  • Experts recommend making a shopping list when heading to the market. If possible, plan the week's menus before writing the grocery list - it will help you save money and shopping time.

  • Think about color as you plan meals and snacks. The more colorful the food is, the better it is for you and your kids. Think red apples, purple grapes, golden bananas, dark green spinach, bright green broccoli and red potatoes. Then there are the energy-providing carbohydrate foods: whole-grain breads, pasta, breakfast cereals and rice. Body-building protein comes from eggs, cheeses and canned beans, plus meat and fish.

  • Look for products that will help you get nutritious meals on the table quickly. New, ready-in-45-seconds Compleats Kids Meals from Hormel Foods are the junior version of the popular line of Compleats Meals for adults. These single-serving Kids Meals meet healthy guidelines established by the USDA and contain no preservatives, artificial colors, trans fats or high-fructose corn syrup.

With healthy kids and a need for physical activity in mind, Hormel Foods created active, do-it-yourself games especially for youngsters 3 to 8. Two games, with sketches and directions, can be found on the back of each Kids Meals' label. There are a total of 14 games available online at Use some of the time you saved preparing dinner to try this fun game with your family:

Spider Web Weaver

For 1 or more players. Weave a web up and down around 3 or 4 chairs with string or yarn. Move through the web by stepping over and crawling under it. How fast can you go? Don't knock over the chairs.

Other lively games, designed to bring a child's heart rate up, include Elephant Volleyball, Crab Walk Soccer, and Turtle Pass.

Hormel Foods