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Children who eat more often with their families eat a healthier diet, including more grains, fruits, vegetables and other nutritious foods. Grain foods, such as pasta, bread and rice, provide energy, vitamins and minerals. USDA’s MyPlate recommends that we make at least half our grains whole. The recommendations for grain foods are in “ounce equivalents.” Enjoy 3 or more ounce equivalents of whole-grain foods every day.
Do you consider yourself to be physically active? You probably are more active than you think. According to the MyPlate recommendations at www.ChooseMyPlate.gov, being physically active is “movement of the body that uses energy.” Calories are units of energy. You use up calories when you are active. The more time and intensity you put into an activity, the more calories you burn.
Corn residue is a useful feedstuff for beef cattle. Producers should consider incorporating these fee resources into their grazing and feeding programs to reduce the cost of production.
Family meals promote family togetherness. Family meals provide a time to share what is going on in each other’s lives and enjoy a nutritious meal. Families who eat together are more likely to have more balanced meals. Preparing the meal is an important part of mealtime. Have children help in every aspect of the preparation, from choosing the menu to setting the table to making the meal. Including children in the preparation can lead to lifelong knowledge and memories.
Enjoying more family meals takes a little planning, but it’s worth the effort. Children who eat with their families do better in school, are less likely to take part in risky behavior (such as smoking and drinking alcohol) and are less likely to have symptoms of depression. Children who eat more family meals have an overall healthier diet, compared with children who eat fewer family meals. They eat more fruits, vegetables, grains and calcium-rich foods, and they drink fewer soft drinks. Enjoy more family meals by taking some time to plan your menus and your shopping trips. Involve your family in menu planning, shopping, preparation and cleanup. Children can learn valuable life skills, such as cooking and communication skills, when helping in the kitchen. They learn to appreciate a variety of foods as they help plan and shop for meals.