Eat More Family Meals

December 31, 2014

 

Family Meals are Important for Good Health

  • Research  shows that children who eat with their family make better health choices

  • Regular family meals help kids have better nutrition and do better in school

  • It's a time to interact with family after a hectic work or school day

  • Make family meals a stress free time

  • Family meals can be an opportunitiy to involve everyone working together

 

What Your Family Can Do:

  • Make family meals a top priority

  • Ask the whole family to help plan, cook, and clean up the meal

  • Create weekly menus and stick it somewhere in your kitchen (also maybe make a fun suggestion box or list for kids to add their ideas)

  • Include a variety of food groups with each meal

  • Make your plate look like a rainbow of colors

  • If you know one day or week will be particularly hectic, make double recipes ahead of time and freeze the extra food to use on those busy nights

  • Come up with games to play at the table, or questions to ask each other to reinforce family interaction

 

Quick Tips:

  • Involve the whole family

  • Plan a weekly menu

  • Include favorites along with new foods

  • When eating out, remember these helpful tips

  • Choose broiled, baked, steamed, and roasted foods

  • Choose healthy sides like a salad, baked potato, steamed vegetables, or fruit

  • Share meals or take half of your food homee

  • Avoid sugary drinks such as soda or juice

  • Skip the mayo and full fat salad dressing, or choose light mayo and dressing (also ask for the dressing on the side to better control the portion)

  • Downsize instead of supersize at fast food restaurants

 

For more information

www.kidshealth.org/parent

www.mealsmatter.gov

www.family.go.com

www.mypyramid.gov

www.thisweekfordinner.com

www.organizedhome.com

 

Information provided adapted from American Academy of Pediatrics, www.webmd.com, www.kidshealth.org, and NCH Handouts.

 

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