Key Insight

It has already been a full day, with parents working and kids at school or daycare, plus after-school activities. By 6 p.m., everyone has (usually) filed through the door, perhaps drained or buzzing with excitement about their day, or both. Regardless, they are hungry and ready to sit down for dinner.

These Familiar Family Dinners must meet the needs of a busy family, typically on a weeknight, and it requires little planning, no written recipe and can be prepared quickly from ingredients on hand. Such a meal relies on familiar flavors and go-to foods that everyone around the table will eat. Affordability and basic health and nutrition concerns also drive food choices for these dinners because children are usually at the table. Protein for this family dinner needs to be in the fridge or freezer and pair well with other food on hand so that it all tastes good but isn’t fancy.

What’s for Dinner?

Quick, kid-friendly, affordable meals are frequently one-pot meals such as casseroles, or always-popular tacos and burritos. Proteins are part of a dish rather than the center of the plate. And when the protein is at the center of the plate, it’s often in a form kids will eat — small in portion, loaded with a popular flavor or condiment, maybe tucked in a bun and next to an easy, tasty side.

Needs

  • Can be prepared quickly without much thought, using ingredients already on-hand
  • Family (including kids) will like it
  • Fits the family budget

Pork Cuts That Fit

Pork Chop

+ Easy to prepare
+ Affordable
– Not kept on-hand

Pork Sausage

+ Easy to prepare
+ Filling
+ Flavorful

Ham

+ Easy to prepare
+ Something families like

 

Ideas for Innovation

To win with this dinner occasion, pork products must work as ingredients, not just at the center of the plate. These dinners could feature pre-seasoned ground pork for taco night or spaghetti night, or sliced pork for stir-fry or fajitas. Smaller, faster-cooking cuts are also an opportunity — cuts that make it easy to get dinner on the plate in less than 30 minutes.


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