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NOURISH

The magic of family mealtime

With hectic daily schedules, sitting down at a table for a family meal may seem like a thing of the past. However, many studies show that regularly eating family meals together has many benefits for children and parents alike.

Some of these benefits are:

  • Regular meals eaten together can increase your child's feelings of security and togetherness.
  • Eating together encourages healthy eating habits, increasing your child's exposure to a wide variety of foods and creating positive feelings toward food. Children with family meals also tend to eat more fruits and vegetables, eat fewer fried foods and soft drinks, are less likely to be overweight and take healthy eating habits with them into adulthood.
  • Meals are a chance for family to talk and connect. Research shows that dinner conversations can help boost your child's vocabulary and may even lead to better academic success.
  • Kids who regularly eat dinner with their parents experience less stress and have a better relationship with their mom and dad.

To help you make family mealtimes a part of your routine:

  • Treat mealtime as quality time to connect with your family. 
  • Mealtimes can include more than just dinner. A family breakfast, weekend brunch or Saturday lunch work just as well, as long as it's part of your family's routine.
  • Set consistent meal times. Follow a schedule of three meals a day with two or three snacks per day whenever possible.
  • Eat meals at a table where everyone has their own space.
  • Turn off all electronic devices and eliminate distractions.
  • Encourage your child to participate in meal preparation and clean up.
  • Have fun with food presentations and give kids a chance to explore and experiment with food choices.

WHAT YOU CAN DO

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