Share the Table
Family mealtime is a great way to check in with your loved ones over good food, and create memories to last a lifetime. Here are some ways to ensure a healthy, enjoyable family meal:
- Eat real. Save money by avoiding takeout and drive-thrus. Instead, create a healthy, home-cooked menu that everyone can enjoy together. Give children a voice by including them in the meal planning process. Use mealtime as an opportunity to instill and practice healthy eating habits.
- Expand their palates. Studies have shown the children who share dinner with their families eat more fruits and veggies and less junk food. Visit a farmers market with your kids and pick out new, seasonal foods to try together. Introduce new foods at the dinner table.
- Involve the whole family. From shopping and cooking to table setting and cleanup, make sure everyone has a role in the process. Assigning responsibilities engages children and helps them feel more invested in the results. Discover more ideas for cooking together.
- Tune in. Dinner is a time to be present for each other. Turn off the TV, put away cell phones, and tune out any other distractions.
- Relax and connect. In our busy lives, we may have few moments to slow down and enjoy our familyís company. Make dinner your daily opportunity to catch up, share news and stories, and laugh together.
- Celebrate. Honor mealtime as a ritual that is shared with those you love. Whether itís a holiday, birthday, or weeknight dinner, every meal can be an occasion to create traditions around good food and community.
Dr. Burke and author Michael Pollan discuss the evolution and importance of the family meal in Nourish Perspectives.
Discover ways to connect with your kids one meal at a time at Laurie David’s The Family Dinner. Parent Earth offers great food and cooking videos for parents and kids. Foodily is an online recipe network that helps you find healthy recipes.