Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Family meals do more than put food on the table: Benefits of cooking, eating as a family

Date:
February 24, 2014
Source:
Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics
Summary:
Make mealtime a family time has tangible benefits. If you can get together for meals even a few times a week, family meals mean healthier eating – and more. For National Nutrition Month®, all families are encouraged to make a commitment to eating more meals together and “Enjoy the Taste of Eating Right.”

Make mealtime a family time. If you can get together for meals even a few times a week, family meals mean healthier eating -- and more. For National Nutrition Month®, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics encourages all families to make a commitment to eating more meals together and "Enjoy the Taste of Eating Right."

"Research shows that family meals promote healthier eating -- more fruits, vegetables and fiber; less fried food; and often fewer calories," says registered dietitian nutritionist and Academy spokesperson Angela Ginn. "This year's National Nutrition Month theme, 'Enjoy the Taste of Eating Right,' reminds families to return to the basics of healthful eating by returning to the family dining table."

"And family meals do much more than put healthy food on the table. Beyond preparing the meal itself, we sometimes forget that mealtimes offer time to talk, listen and build family relationships. And it's a chance for parents to be good role models for healthful eating," Ginn says.

Ginn offers ideas for adding more family meals to any family's routine:

Start slowly. "However many meals you eat as a family now, add one more to your weekly schedule. If school nights are too hectic for a family dinner, make it a leisurely weekend breakfast or lunch. After a few weeks, add another family meal to your schedule," Ginn says.

Plan tasty menus together. "Putting together a family meal does not have to be complicated or time-consuming. Let every member of the family choose a favorite item and build simple, delicious meals around them. Even small children can pick a main dish like tacos or pasta, a vegetable like a green salad or cooked carrots and sliced apples or fruit salad for dessert," Ginn says.

Set the right mood. "Food is just one important part of mealtime. Your table setting can improve the mealtime mood with very little expense: a candle, colored napkins and wipe-clean plastic tablemats for children," Ginn says.

Talk! "The conversations families have while eating together have a huge impact, as you share experiences and ideas, and pass along family values. Pick topics that are positive and allow everyone to talk. Even toddlers like to discuss topics like 'What is your favorite color?' or 'What made you laugh today?'" Ginn says.

Turn off the TV, phones and anything else that makes noise. "They create distractions that can throw off any family's mealtime routine," Ginn says. "Declare mealtime a TV- and phone-free zone, except for emergencies, of course. Instead, put on some background music, played at low volume, to add a relaxing atmosphere."

No matter your children's ages, parents and caretakers can find countless resources and a wide range of information about eating right -- all backed by the unequalled expertise of nutrition professionals like registered dietitian nutritionists -- at Kids Eat Right, a joint initiative of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and the Academy's Foundation. "Kids Eat Right helps families shop smart, cook healthy and eat right," Ginn says.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. "Family meals do more than put food on the table: Benefits of cooking, eating as a family." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 24 February 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/02/140224092015.htm>.
Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. (2014, February 24). Family meals do more than put food on the table: Benefits of cooking, eating as a family. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 16, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/02/140224092015.htm
Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. "Family meals do more than put food on the table: Benefits of cooking, eating as a family." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/02/140224092015.htm (accessed April 16, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Ebola Outbreak Now Linked To 121 Deaths

Ebola Outbreak Now Linked To 121 Deaths

Newsy (Apr. 15, 2014) — The ebola virus outbreak in West Africa is now linked to 121 deaths. Health officials fear the virus will continue to spread in urban areas. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Cognitive Function: Is It All Downhill From Age 24?

Cognitive Function: Is It All Downhill From Age 24?

Newsy (Apr. 15, 2014) — A new study out of Canada says cognitive motor performance begins deteriorating around age 24. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
How Mt. Everest Helped Scientists Research Diabetes

How Mt. Everest Helped Scientists Research Diabetes

Newsy (Apr. 15, 2014) — British researchers were able to use Mount Everest's low altitudes to study insulin resistance. They hope to find ways to treat diabetes. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Carpenter's Injury Leads To Hundreds Of 3-D-Printed Hands

Carpenter's Injury Leads To Hundreds Of 3-D-Printed Hands

Newsy (Apr. 14, 2014) — Richard van As lost all fingers on his right hand in a woodworking accident. Now, he's used the incident to create a prosthetic to help hundreds. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins