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Eat Better, Eat Together

By Paige Halsted, Dietetic intern

October is “Eat Better, Eat Together Month.” When is the last time you cooked a meal at home? If cooking at home does not happen a lot for you, consider setting a goal. Having family meals is a great tradition that can make a big difference in your family’s health.

Eating healthfully and spending time together as a family are two important parts of living a healthy and happy lifestyle. Taking time to sit down at the end of the day as a family will allow you to socialize, exchange stories and share ideas. According to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, children who eat with their family often are more confident, have a better vocabulary and score better on tests.

Eating together helps your family build strong relationships and teaches children about social skills and manners. Family meals eaten at home benefit the health and wellness of children, fight obesity and create a positive impact on your family.

Family meals help you get your children involved in cooking and meal preparation. Many kids love helping out in the kitchen and trying new foods. If a child has a hand in helping prepare a food they have never had, they are more likely to try it. Meals made at home also tend to be less expensive and higher in nutrients.

You can make mealtime a time for learning by being a role model for your children and eating a variety of healthful foods. If you try new things and eat healthfully, then your children will follow your lead and do the same.

Planning meals ahead of time can help you save time and make sitting down for a family meal more realistic in your busy schedule.  Be sure to make a shopping list before you head to the grocery store, ask your family members for meal and snack ideas, and add healthful meal staples to your shopping list to create quick, easy meals on busy nights.

Cook together, eat together, talk together and make mealtime a family time!

 

 

Reference: Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (www.eatright.org/resource/food/nutrition/eating-as-a-family/family-dinners-in-a-flash)

 

*Paige is enrolled in the dietetic internship program at Concordia College and spent several weeks interning with the NDSU Extension Service.

Filed under: fca newsletter

Sponsored in part by the Sanford Health Foundation.

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