The Kids Cook Monday campaign released the "Family Dinner Date...

The Kids Cook Monday campaign released the "Family Dinner Date E-Cookbook," featuring 12 free, healthy recipes that encourage families to cook together. Credit: The Kids Cook Monday

Just one or two family meals per week may be all it takes to help kids prevent obesity in adulthood, according to a recent study published in “The Journal of Pediatrics.”

We know it's easy to skip home-cooked meals on busy weeknights, but many will agree, preparing, cooking and eating together is a great way to spend more time with your family while teaching and encouraging them to make healthier food choices. So why not start your week off right? Research shows that Monday is the day people are most open to introducing new healthy habits. So by committing to family dinners at least once a week, on Mondays, you're providing your family with tools they can use well into adulthood. 

That's the goal of The Kids Cook Monday, a national nonprofit campaign that aims to help parents incorporate family meals at least once a week by offering free online resources. The newest one, “The Family Dinner Date,” is an easy-to-navigate e-cookbook, featuring recipes that parents and kids can easily prepare together.

“Providing parents with simple, healthy recipes is an essential part of encouraging home cooking,” said Diana Rice, “The Kids Cook Monday's registered dietitian and recipe editor in a recent news release. “I also love how each of these recipes requires only about 30 minutes of active cooking time and calls for a short list of readily available ingredients.”

Each recipe features “kid/adult/together” instruction format to help parents determine which steps in the cooking process are safe for children to complete. The 12 healthy recipes also feature a “food for thought,” a fun fact about one of the meal's ingredients. Some of the quick recipes include 30 Minute Veggie Tortellini Soup, Cheesy Zucchini Black Bean Skillet and Veggie Quiche Patties.

Looking to participate in The Kids Cook Monday campaign? Download the e-cookbook here.