Post Content

Anne Pic

 

Posted by Anne Hemmer, RD, LDN, MS

Anne is the Coordinator of the MA Children at Play Program at the Massachusetts Department of Public Health.

 

 Shutterstock_45747388

 

When you have kids, pulling together a family meal can get stressful. Yet starting good eating habits while kids are still young can lead to a lifetime of healthy eating. That’s why its important to set the stage early for kids to enjoy mealtimes and have a good relationship with food. As a parent, you have the ability to make meals less stressful for you and more fun for the whole family!

Allow enough time: There’s nothing fun about a rushed meal. Set aside at least 20 minutes for the family meal. That will give you and your family plenty of time to relax, try different foods, and talk about things that matter to you.

Let the kids help: Asking your kids to get involved not only will help you, but it helps them become more interested in their food and the meal. Let kids make some choice about foods to be served, or allow them to help you shop for food and help with some simple preparation. Having kids help set the table is another easy way to get them involved. Take it a step further by helping them make a placemat with their own decorations and art work!

Turn off the TV and computer: Watching TV during a meal makes it harder to talk as a family. Turning it off allows you to have pleasant discussions about the days events. Distractions like TV, phones or computer games also make it harder to pay attention to what and how much you’re eating. If you like to have some background noise, turn on quiet music during the meal.

Sit Down: Something I know all too well is that Mom is almost always the last one to get her food and sit down. Time things as best as you can so that you sit at the table with everyone else – it makes for a better experience for everyone.

Be a Role Model: Most important to remember is that you’re teaching your children habits that will most likely stay with them for the rest of their lives. Be a role model by eating some healthy food choices at the meal, putting your phone away, and being fully present at the meal.

So sit down, relax, and enjoy family meal time. You'll not only be spending quality time with your family, you'll also be shaping their long-lasting relationship with food.

Written By:

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Recent Posts

Pappas Rehabilitation Hospital Staff Go the Extra Mile for Patients posted on Jun 23

Pappas Rehabilitation Hospital Staff Go the Extra Mile for Patients

Nick Grigoriou is a 25-year-old man with Duchenne muscular dystrophy, a genetic disorder that causes progressive muscular degeneration and weakness.  A patient at DPH’s Pappas Rehabilitation Hospital for Children in Canton since 2012, Nick is preparing to be discharged home later this month.  Due to   …Continue Reading Pappas Rehabilitation Hospital Staff Go the Extra Mile for Patients

Elevating the Essential Workforce posted on Apr 11

Elevating the Essential Workforce

Written by Emily Sparer-Fine, Director of the Occupational Health and Surveillance Program Essential workers encompass a wide variety of occupations, many of which are familiar to us: health care workers, police, fire and other emergency personnel, transit workers and grocery workers, while other workers equally   …Continue Reading Elevating the Essential Workforce

Uplifting Mental Health and Wellness posted on Apr 10

Uplifting Mental Health and Wellness

Written by Nicole Schmitt of the Bureau of Substance Addiction Services To address the needs of individuals at high risk for overdose and other medical complications associated with substance use, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH) Bureau of Substance Addiction Services awarded contracts to   …Continue Reading Uplifting Mental Health and Wellness