Families that eat together have healthier eating patterns, which are higher in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lower in sodium and saturated fat. Make mealtime a family time by including your children in family meals from start to finish. Shop together, cook together, eat together, and talk together to make meals healthier and more enjoyable for your family!
Take your kids grocery shopping and ask them to pick out which fruits and vegetables to buy. You can turn this into a game by asking each child to pick out a different colored fruit or vegetable. Different colors of produce contain different vitamins and minerals, and a mix of colors gives your family different nutrients that our bodies need to stay healthy. Don’t forget the canned and frozen fruits and veggies! These last longer and are usually more affordable than fresh produce. Just be sure to pick canned fruit packed in 100% fruit juice and veggies without added salt!
Kids like to try foods they help make, so encourage your kids to try new foods by getting them involved in the kitchen. Depending on their age, kids can help with things such as tearing lettuce or greens, washing fruits and vegetables, mashing soft vegetables and beans, and measuring dry or liquid ingredients. Teach your kids to make healthy, kid-friendly meals such as Chicken Broccoli Shells and Cheese or Southwest Sloppy Joes!
And when you need a quick and healthy snack in between meals, try this Banana Berry Parfait. You can use whatever fruit you have on hand!
Or how about these Mini Pizzas using different healthy ingredients:
Kids learn eating habits when they are young and are more likely to try new foods when they see their parents eating them. Eating meals as a family provides opportunities for role modeling. Help your child make healthier food choices by eating more fruits and vegetables and offering them new foods at mealtimes.
Enjoy each other while enjoying family meals. Focus on the meal and each other to help your family make stronger connections. Try to talk about fun and happy things to keep mealtime relaxed. For example, you can ask your child what made them feel happy or what made them laugh that day. It’s fun, encouraging and creates lifetime memories!