Trish Zecca, M.S.
Chef Carrie Welt, CCC
Most of us think we are too busy to cook. An American Time Use Study from 2007 showed that women spend less than 50 minutes a day on food preparation and higher income women less than 30. Think of what that might translate to today, when our lives are busier than ever. Even more troubling, a convincing body of evidence suggests a correlation between eating out and lower diet quality, not to mention that people consume more calories, fat and sodium when they eat out than when they cook and eat at home.
So what can we do? We can rediscover the joy of cooking and teach these all-important skills to our children! Remember cooking together as a family cannot only be fun but nutritious and educational as well. Kids get to measure using math skills, read and follow directions, and even demonstrate their individuality and creativity combining ingredients and seasonings. All that AND you are instilling in them a sense of pride and accomplishment that can carry over into so many areas of their lives.
Not sure where to begin? To answer that question I sat down with Campbell’s very own Chef Carrie to discuss some simple ways to introduce (or re-introduce) the healthy, home cooked family meal.
“Start simple,” suggests Chef Carrie, “not everything needs to be made from scratch.” Take a familiar food like Tomato soup and transform it into a quick and easy meal that the whole family can help prepare. Make the familiar exciting by making it your own. Add basil for a fresh, sweet, herbal flavor. Stir in a chipotle pepper for smoky heat. “If you like it as a soup, then you will love it as a sauce over meat, pasta or rice.” Drain the liquid from a small can of roasted red peppers, add a can of Campbell's® Condensed Tomato soup, toss in a handful of almonds and puree for a romesco sauce. “If your child isn’t old enough to chop ingredients, then they can help measure ingredients and work the buttons on the blender or food processor”.
Cooking doesn’t have to be complicated or time consuming and research suggests that kids are more likely to eat foods they helped to prepare. Our Santa Fe Chicken Sauté combines familiar foods like chicken, corn and Campbell's® Healthy Request® Condensed Tomato soup into a delicious, fast and easy meal that’s not only nutritious but sure to be a hit with the kids.
If you’re ready to be more adventurous or are trying to meet the taste expectation of older kids, try Lightened-Up Chicken Enchiladas. This on trend dish brings familiar restaurant food to your table at home. The recipe uses Campbell's® Healthy Request® Condensed Cream of Chicken soup and Pace® Picante sauce and provides plenty of opportunity for the whole family to get involved (grating, chopping, blending, stirring etc.) at a significant cost savings to eating out!
Cooking with your family has lots of benefits, but MOST of all it builds memories that can last a lifetime. The nutritional rewards are just icing on the cake…or sauce on the chicken in this case.
Trish & Carrie
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Trish Zecca, M.S.
Trish is Program Manager of Global Nutrition where she manages nutrition operations and communications. She is the lead nutritionist for Soup & Simple Meals and directs communications for campbellnutrition.com, health professional conferences and stakeholder engagement. She received her Bachelor and Master’s degrees in nutrition science from the Pennsylvania State University, and is an active member of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and the American Society for Nutrition. Trish has more than 20 years of experience in various areas of public health and the food industry. Her expertise includes USDA regulation, nutrition education, training, and communications.
Carrie Welt, CCC
Chef Carrie earned her A.O.S. degree from The Culinary Institute of America and her master of management degree in hospitality from the School of Hotel Administration at Cornell University. Carrie is a Certified Chef de Cuisine (CCC) by the American Culinary Federation. Carrie Welt joined Campbell as Senior Chef, managing Campbell’s Culinary and Baking Institute (CCBI) and works with the global network of chefs to build passion for food throughout Campbell Soup Company. Among her responsibilities are culinary education, planning internal and external events, business and innovation support, and building the CCBI global network of chefs.