NDSU Extension - Sargent County


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Eat - Connect - Savor

Eat – Connect -SavorThere’s one thing we can do that has been found to produce all these benefits:

-  decrease the incidence of risky behaviors such as smoking, drug abuse and alcohol use

-  lower the consumption of “pop” (soft drinks)

-  increase the amount of healthy, nutritious foods that are consumed

-  increase the likelihood of achieving a healthy weight

-  decrease the likelihood of depression

-  help children practice language skills so they do well in school

Can you guess what that one thing is?

If you guessed “shared family mealtime,” you guessed right!  Eating breakfast, lunch, dinner or healthful snacks provides a wonderful opportunity to eat, connect, and savor the food we eat and the relationships we have with each other.

Accomplishing family mealtime may be challenging at your house, but it is well worth the effort.  Here are a few suggestions to help you be successful at “eat, connect, and savor”:


-  Plan to eat at least three meals together as a family each week.  They can be any meal at any time.
-  Give everyone in the family a paper plate to help design a menu for one of the meals and let everyone have a part in preparing and cleaning up after the meal.


-  Minimize distractions by turning off all screens and sitting together at the table or around a picnic blanket.  If it’s too quiet, play some quiet music.

-  Model the behaviors you want your children to learn such as enjoying healthy foods, using manners, and sharing in the pleasant conversation.


-  Use open ended phrases or questions, or other conversation starters to give everyone an opportunity to participate

-  Take turns setting the table in attractive ways by using placemats, colorful napkins, and meaningful centerpieces or candles.

Recipes, money savers, cooking and food prep tips, and make-ahead meal ideas are available online to help you be successful at family meals.  Monthly challenges and prizes are also available.  Check out the website (https://www.ag.ndsu.edu/familytable) and Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/ndfamilytable/).

Photo Source: https://pixabay.com/en/family-eating-at-the-table-dining-619142/  (downloaded 5/16/17)


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