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National Home Parents Receive Training on Easier Meal Planning

What’s for Dinner?

How about sloppy joes?

VFW National Home parents throughout campus served the savory American favorite one night recently after 19 families tuned in for a virtual class on how to get a meal on the table.

The class offered by the programming department featured a live cooking demonstration while participants prepared the same meal in tandem in their own kitchens.

“We provided meal prep kits ahead of time to those who signed up for the class,” said Naomi McClurg, National Home Advanced Case Manager.

The meal kit provided enough ingredients for three meals: one to serve the evening of the class, one for the freezer, and a third for a component of another meal.

“Ground beef was on sale, so we purchased three pounds of ground beef per family, enough to make sloppy joes, crockpot chili, and meat for a third meal like tacos or spaghetti,” explained McClurg.

Getting a meal on the table at dinner time ranks as probably one of the greatest challenges of family life, especially if there isn’t a stay-at-home parent. McClurg referred to it as “the six o’clock crazies,” a term she borrowed from a meal prep website she discovered.

“Our families are busy and finances are tight so we knew a class to help them save time and money would be helpful,” she added.

Residents even shared helpful tips with each other during the interactive class. One parent works from a meal planning binder that she created. Another parent refers to a Harvard graphic on how to choose nutritious meals.

“I will plan my grocery shopping differently,” responded one resident who offered feedback on the class.

“I think more of these meal planning classes would be nice,” said another.

“I learned about finding easy recipes to make for the freezer that can just be pulled out and warmed,” said a third.

Another family moved right into action after taking the class, purchasing bulk chicken and hamburger to prepare for the freezer.

“We’re always trying to find ways to support our families to make it easier,” said McClurg, who said they plan to offer more classes like this going forward because it gives residents an opportunity to not only learn but also interact and share ideas with each other.

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