With school back in session, family schedules are ramping up. To help them get back in the swing of post-summer life, the Beef Checkoff is helping stretched families by providing batch cooking tips to ensure meal planning is stress-free but still nutritious. The promotional board is offering tips on batch-cooking shredded beef and steak and then pairing them with vegetables and whole grains to make a balanced meal. The leftovers can then be used for additional meals during the week, just in a different meal, like Beefy Sweet Potato Hash or Spaghetti Squash with Meat Sauce. Instead of leftovers, the Beef Checkoff is calling these “planned-overs.”
“Batch cooking with beef takes the guesswork out of weekday meals,” says Chef Laura Hagen, senior director of culinary innovations for the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, a contractor to the Beef Checkoff. “With beef batch cooking, families don’t need to stress about navigating their busy back-to-school schedules and spending hours in the kitchen. It’s a simple technique that ensures everyone in the family is eating both nutritious and delicious meals as they get back into the school year groove.”
Beef can be a beneficial dietary addition for even the youngest family members, even if they’re not yet school-aged. According to The American Academy of Pediatrics, introducing beef as an early solid food for infants can provide nutrition critical to physical and cognitive development while supporting a healthy immune system and encouraging infants to accept the taste of healthy foods as they grow older.
“It can be difficult to focus when hunger strikes, especially for adolescents transitioning from summer vacation to the classroom,” says Toby Amidor, R.D., a nutrition expert and cookbook author. “Setting up students for success starts with getting the necessary nutrients to stay focused, and batch cooking is a simple way to ensure they’re eating healthy throughout the school week. Beef is an excellent source of iron and protein which may keep students fuller longer, keeping their concentration in the classroom.”
Additional batch cooking recipes and nutrition information can be found at BeefItsWhatsForDinner.com; visit @beefitswhatsfordinner on Instagram to get more inspiration and see popular Instagram foodies sharing how beef fits into their busy, back-to-school schedules.
About the Beef Checkoff
The Beef Checkoff Program was established as part of the 1985 Farm Bill. The checkoff assesses $1 per head on the sale of live domestic and imported cattle, in addition to a comparable assessment on imported beef and beef products. States may retain up to 50 cents on the dollar and forward the other 50 cents per head to the Cattlemen’s Beef Promotion and Research Board, which administers the national checkoff program, subject to USDA approval.
The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) is a contractor to the Beef Checkoff Program. The Beef Checkoff Program is administered by the Cattlemen’s Beef Board, with oversight provided by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.