From our Dietician, Mary Jo

Dietician’s Update from MARY JO MASON, RDN, CDCES

September is ‘Family Meals’ month. Family means different things to different people. Your family may include others in your home, work, play or have 2 legs or more! Studies show people who eat meals with others consume more fruits and vegetables and tend to have better nutrition in general. They also have more connection with each other which decreases stress and that aids digestion. (See conversation starters below). Better digestion = better health. So, it all comes full circle!

Of course, having busy schedules and being pulled in many directions can make it difficult to have elaborate sit-down meals every day. That’s okay. Try this recipe for a meal that comes together in a hurry without tossing out good-for-you nutrition.

Sheet Pan Maple Dijon Pork Chops

Perfect for a cool fall evening. Use other veggies as desired (beets, broccoli, carrots, cauliflower…).

2 tablespoons olive oil

4 1-inch pork loin chops, bone-in

2 cups Brussels sprouts, washed and cut in half

2 sweet potatoes, peeled, washed and cut into 1-inch cubes

1 onion, chopped

1 teaspoon garlic powder

2 teaspoons salt

1 teaspoon ground black pepper

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

3 tablespoons maple syrup

1 tablespoon dried rosemary

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees

2. Line a sheet pan with heavy-duty aluminum foil, and lightly grease with olive oil

3. Place pork chops on pan

4. Place veggies in zip lock bag. Drizzle with remaining oil and toss to coat. Spread on pan

5. Spread Dijon mustard evenly on pork chops, then drizzle maple syrup over chops and veggies

6. Mix salt, pepper garlic powder and rosemary together and then sprinkle over chops and veggies

7. Bake for 30 minutes, stirring vegetables occasionally, or until pork chops reach internal temperature of 160 degrees

Try these ideas for mealtime conversation starters:

Take turns bringing a new word to the table and guessing the meaning.

If you had a superpower, what would it be?

Tell me about a time when you were: scared, happy, proud, confident, smart, speechless…

What is your favorite book, show, song, artist, saying and why?