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Carolyn Bivens: Let’s eat together

October is National Eat Better, Eat Together Month and when families eat together, meals are likely to be more nutritious. Also, kids who eat regularly with their families are less likely to snack on unhealthy foods and are more likely to eat fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.
When was the last time you sat down and ate a meal with your family? If you cannot remember, October is a great time to start having a meal with your family as often as you can. Check out the following tips to make family meals happen at your house.
To plan more family meals, look over the calendar and choose a time when everyone can be there. Figure out which obstacles are getting in the way of family meals and see if there are ways to work around them.
Even if it is only once a week, making it a habit to have family meals once a week is a great start and you can work your way up to two to three times a week.
And, remember that a meal at home does not have to be complicated or take a long time.
Here’s a delicious easy to prepare recipe your family will really enjoy. It takes only 15 minutes prep time giving you more “quality time” to spend with your family. It’s one of the recipes adapted from the Eat Healthy, Be Active series of classes we offer free to you. Enjoy! Call the Escambia County Extension Office at 251.867.7760 for more information on the series.

SLOW COOKER TURKEY CHILI
1 1/4 pounds lean ground turkey
1 large onion, chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
1 1/2 cups frozen corn kernels
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1 (28-oz) can crushed tomatoes
1 (15-oz) can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 (8-oz) can tomato sauce
1 (1.25 oz)package chili seasoning mix
1/2 teaspoon salt
Toppings: shredded Colby and Monterey Jack cheese blend, finely chopped red onion
Cook first three ingredients in a large skillet over medium-high heat, stirring until turkey crumbles and is no longer pink: drain. Spoon mixture into a 5 1/2 quart slow cooker; stir in corn and next seven imgredients until well blended.
Cook at high for four to five hours or low for six to eight hours. Serve with desired toppings.