08 Sep 5 Easy Weeknight Beef Meals for Busy Families
This post is in collaboration with Beef. It’s What’s for Dinner., managed by NCBA, a contractor to the Beef Checkoff. All opinions are my own.
As a working single Mom of two teen girls (and a son in college!) it’s no easy feat to get good-for-you meals on the table quickly. Luckily, I have some tricks up my sleeve to get easy, tasty, and healthy dinners on the table during the busy work week. Below are my tips for getting those meals served on time, plus 5 of my family’s favorite beef meals that I rely on regularly during the busy back-to-school season.
Why I Choose Beef for My Family
As a registered dietitian and Mom, my goal is to get satisfying, well-balanced dinners on the table. This includes half the plate filled with colorful fruits and vegetables, one-quarter of the plate filled with starches, and one-quarter of the plate filled with protein. When it comes to choosing protein, I opt for beef because it provides my family with the sustained strength we need to get through our busy school and work days. Beef also provides 10 essential nutrients including high-quality protein, iron, and zinc that support healthy brain development and function. In addition, eating protein-rich foods, like beef, along with regular physical activity, can help preserve muscle and physical function to help individuals live strong, independent lives each day.
With schools re-opening this fall and many school activities being in person, immunity is certainly top of mind. Beef provides numerous nutrients that can help support your immune system including zinc, selenium, vitamin B6, and iron:
- Zinc: On average, a 3-ounce cooked serving of beef provides 39% of the recommended daily value of zinc, making beef an excellent source. Zinc is involved in wound healing and because the body doesn’t store zinc, it’s important to get zinc daily and beef is one of the best food sources.
- Selenium: The mineral selenium plays a critical role in protecting the body from chronic inflammation and infection. A 3-ounce cooked serving of beef provides 38% the daily recommended amount of selenium, making beef an excellent source.
- Vitamin B6: Vitamin B6 is involved in the immune function in numerous ways. One key way is by helping create infection-fighting white blood cells, which is one of the body’s main types of immune cells. A 3-ounce cooked serving of beef provides 19% the daily recommended amount of vitamin B6, making beef a good source.
- Iron: helps create infection-fighting white blood cells. If you are deficient in iron, it can impair how well your immune system works. A 3-ounce cooked serving of beef provides 14% the recommended daily amount of iron, making beef a good source. The heme iron found in beef is also more easily absorbed by the body.
Make It Lean
When choosing beef, select lean cuts whenever possible. Due to increased trimming practices over the past few decades, there are now more cuts of lean beef than ever! Approximately 2/3 of the cuts available at retail are considered lean, based on the USDA standard definition. Although the many cuts of beef can get confusing (even to a dietitian and cookbook author!), I use the BeefItsWhatsforDinner.com. website to help me make the best choices for me and my family. The website indicates each lean cut and the various names it may be sold under—so no matter where you are located throughout the U.S. you can find a lean cut at a market near you.
5 Easy Weeknight Beef Meals