There are a lot of factors that go into maintaining a happy and healthy family. If only there was one simple thing you could do for your family to help prevent obesity, instill confidence, and reduce the chance of your children turning to dangerous behaviors…
I’m happy to tell you that there is: the family meal. As a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and a busy working mom, I know it can be challenging to make time for family meals, but consider the benefits.
Having a meal together three or more times per week is a powerful protective tool in the family toolbox. In fact, research shows that family meals can reduce the chance of your child becoming overweight, choosing unhealthy foods or suffering from an eating disorder.
It’s as easy as taking a look at the family calendar to identify three-to-five occasions in a week to sit down together. That’s where the magic happens. You’ll soon notice increased conversations, healthier food behaviors and family connectedness.
Offer a variety of foods aiming to meet USDA (United States Department of Agriculture) MyPlate recommendations. Your children will learn from watching the adults eat and enjoy a balanced meal. Check out recipes from the Southeast United Dairy Industry Association (SUDIA), Inc. and the USDA for inspiration for your next family dinner!
Lucie Maguire Kramer, MS, RD, LD
Lucie is a Registered Dietitian and has served as a nutritionist for the Boeing Center for Children’s Wellness (BCCW) since August 2012. After graduating from Clemson University in 2011 with a Master of Science degree in Nutrition, Lucie completed her dietetic internship at the Medical University of South Carolina. Lucie’s main role is to implement, modify and expand the BCCW School Health Initiative.