Making the Most of Family Meals…
Feeling guilty about not finding time to have dinner together as a family? Wondering if you’re ever going to be able get everyone to sit down at the same time? There are some significant benefits! In addition to the nutritional advantages, there are social and academic benefits. The dinner table can be a place where children can learn vocabulary-building words that help them read well, conversational skills, and problem-solving skills by listening to parents talk about work and world events.
Here are five family dinner tips to help you celebrate Family Day:
1. Start with whatever meals are possible for you now. If it’s breakfast together on the weekends, fine. Don’t worry about what you can’t do, plan for what you can.
2. Mealtime conversations can begin while you’re getting food ready, getting the table ready, and cleaning up. Involve the family in the whole process, and everyone will benefit not only from the conversation, but from the life skills that are learned as well.
3. Turn off the television and the radio. Unplug the phone or put on the answering machine. Don’t let interruptions disrupt this special time.
4. Try changing the location of the family meal once in awhile. How about an afternoon picnic, dinner on the patio or breakfast on the biggest bed? Laughter is the best mealtime music – keep the conversation light and avoid undue criticism.
5. Make the menu work for everyone- including family members in meal planning. Ask kids to help choose the meals you eat, include them in weekly meal & school lunch planning. They’ll enjoy the food that much more!
What’s in your child’s lunch box? Research from the University of Michigan Health System shows that more than one in three middle school students who regularly eat school lunches are obese or overweight! They’re also more likely to have high LDL “bad” cholesterol levels than kids who bring lunch from home. Each day, over 30 million children are provided with reduced-cost or free lunches as part of the National School Lunch Program. The NSLP requires that lunches meet nutritional guidelines established by the USDA, however, these lunches often contain processed foods full of sugar, carbohydrates and sodium (which there is no maximum amount mandated by the USDA). Instead of highly processed snacks, whole fat dairy, and sugary desserts, send your children with the best nutritional start in life by letting NutriFit Family Fare fill their lunch box! Lunch box items are now available on our Family Fare menu.