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Family Meals and Nutrition

by Kimberly Hays July 27th, 2017 | Nutrition
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mealIf one good thing has come from the poor economy, it is that families are starting to eat more meals at home instead or eating out so often. This gives everyone time to connect and find out what happened with everyone’s day, and leads to better nutrition. Studies have proven that children who eat together with their family make better food choices when it comes to snacking, and they will often choose fruits and vegetables more often over sugary snacks. They will also be more likely to refrain from alcohol and drugs, and do better in school. In addition, they will make healthier food choices as adults.

It may take planning to figure out how to best get your family at the dinner table, but once you figure out how to do it, it will become a regular, healthy, part of life.

As for planning, you will need to look at everyone’s schedule. Figure out the best time to sit down together for your evening meal. It is harder than it sounds for some with work, extracurricular activities, making time to buy the supplies for dinners, and preparing the meal. If it just cannot be worked out to together every evening, come to agreement on at least one specific night for a family meal. On your days off, you can shop and prepare a nutritious casserole or other dish and pop it in the freezer for dinner the following week. Also, crock pots are fantastic for making hearty soups, meats, and an array of other delicious meals, and you can set them when leaving in the morning. The meal is then ready when you get home in the evening. Add a salad and warm bread, and you have a healthy meal.

Involve everyone is preparing the meal, too. The little ones can help set the table, wash vegetables, help take the serving bowls to the table, or stir pots of food. The teenagers can help by making a salad or by fixing the drinks for the family. Everyone should help clear the table and clean up. After everyone is finished, sit down and have a healthy dessert, like fruit cups with yogurt or baked peaches with low fat ice cream. Many chefs have said that the reason that they went into the culinary arts is because of family meals growing up and the influence it had that equated love of food and family.

Although it may seem like a daunting task at first, once everyone realizes how much fun it is and you see the healthy choices they are enjoying, as well as all of the other positive impacts, it will be well worth the time invested.

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All health and medical information is provided for educational purposes and is not meant to replace the medical advice or treatment of your healthcare professional.