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Family Meal Time Serves Dual Health Purpose

Family Meal Time Serves Dual Health Purpose

Family Meal Time Serves Dual Health Purpose

Be a Healthy Role Model!

Children are observant little critters.  One of the primary ways they learn is by seeing and imitating their parents’ behavior- especially when it comes to meal times.  Research shows when families eat together , everyone eats better, meaning that they consume more healthy foods and nutrients including fruits, vegetables, fiber, calcium rich foods and vitamins.  It can be a challenge to get everyone home and at the table at the same time, but when you do – maximize the opportunity to be a positive food role model for your kids with these tips: 

  • If there’s a kiddo or two hanging around the kitchen before dinner, get them involved!  Ask them how to cut the carrots for the salad – strips or coins.  These small choices get them involved and they’re more likely to try it!

  • Be open to trying new foods; don’t force children to try new things.  When they see you trying new foods, they will follow your lead.    

  • Set an example with snacks! – choose fruits instead of chips or candy and kids will follow suit. 

  • Avoid labeling foods as “good” or “bad” – labeling foods can create a desire for them. 

  • Enjoy your meals – it shows children that it’s okay to eat all foods in moderation.

  • Instill balance at mealtimes with MyPlate – fill half your plate with fruits and vegetables, a quarter each starch and protein.

  • Don’t rush through meals – take the opportunity to talk about the day. 

Bonus:  Another study, published in Diabetes, suggests that a father’s exercise habits may influence their young even before they are conceived!  Lead researcher, Kristin Stanford summarizes findings:   “when dad exercised, even on a high-fat diet, we saw improved metabolic health in adult offspring”.      

Published June 1st

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