A child who is fed well starting in pregnancy and into childhood has the foundation for a lifetime of good physical health. A child who eats with a family has the foundation for a lifetime of good emotional health.
The Keys To Happy Family Eating
The key ingredient to every successful family meal is a caregiver who eats with their children. In today’s busy world with kids in so many scheduled activities and with many parents working outside of the home, this can be next to impossible to do. However, it is critically important to try and do so at least three times a week. For a young toddler or child hesitant to try new foods, watching a trusted adult–or a more adventurous sibling–can make all the difference. A teen struggling with body image can learn so much about managing their diet by sharing a meal with an adult who stays healthy by eating a variety of foods. Most importantly, familes eating together can have an impact that goes well beyond nutrition. Family mealtimes can be a wonderful time for sharing and coming together emotionally at the end of the day. How can a busy family find the time to eat together?
- Make one night a week family dinner night. This does not have to involve cooking up a hot roasted chicken and all the sides. Order pizza, open up a can, or bring something in. The most important ingredient is the entire family together.
- Plan two additional nights where one caregiver is present.
- Take advantage of slow cookers and 15 minute meals that can be thrown together ahead of time or in minimal time. Read More