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Tips for Family Day- A Day for Enjoying Family Dinner

Posted on Sep 26, 2011 by Maggie LaBarbera

take the family day pledgeToday is CASA Family Day!  A Day to Eat Dinner with Your ChildrenTM

We are sharing some of our favorite links to make it easier for busy families to celebrate and enjoy family day and have a fun dinner together!

Sometimes I am asked, what is the one most important habit I can change that will make a difference in my child’s health. That is not an easy one to answer, because I start to think about vegetables, healthy snacking, portion sizes, daily fitness.

But if I had to say one thing to parents that could be the most influential on their child’s health habits, I would say

“sitting down and eating meals together as a family every day”

I know, it sounds too simple. But sometimes, the most simple things turn out to be the most important. And let’s not confuse “simple in principal” with “simple to implement”. We have a very busy lifestyle and it seems like we are always running to get one more thing done. And sitting down as a family requires some planning but the benefits of family dinners are many.

Here's some of our favorite resources and materials from our website to get you started- we hope you join us and celebrate "Family Day"

✰ Learn about CASA Family Day Take the Pledge visit their page on Facebook

Overcoming Challenges to Family Meals Tips from our website!

✰ Tip: remember your family meal doesn't need to be elaborate, plan a simple well- balanced meal with the new MyPlate

More than a Meal Benefits of Eating Together, by Angela Lemonde RD on  ✰Blog for Family Dinner

Why Family Meals are Important by WebMD

Favorite Fruit and Vegetable Kids Cooking Activities by Healthy Kids Challenge

✰Join the Slow Food USA Movement Find  Recipes for the Price of Fast Food Recipes and Slideshow by Eating Well

✰The Kids Cook Monday is a great resource for families!

Keep up Family Day All Year Round

Recipes for Kids

Kids Cook ToolKit PDF

Meatless Monday encouraging people around the world to go meatless one day a week for their health and the health of the planet! Try one of their Dinner Recipes

Family Dinner Resources from our family nutrition education website

'Nourish Healthy Kids' - Family Dinner Tips, My Plate Printables and More in our September Edition

✰ Our website has family friendly recipes- use our recipe search to find a new recipe or share your favorite recipes.

✰ Fun new game- print our family dinner game kids will have fun and get creative with our conversation card game!

Choose one or two healthy conversation starter cards or print all 8 in  English or Spanish

✰Teach kids about healthy cooking with our fun cooking printables

There are so many reasons why family meals are so beneficial for kids:

  • time to talk as a family
  • learn about each other’s day
  • parents can role model for kids healthy eating habits
  • kids can learn table manners
  • parents can provide meals with healthy choices
  • parents can encourage kids to eat until they are full – forget the “clean the plate” (that’s old school)
  • parents can provide variety, foods from all the food groups
This is just off the top of my head, but I am sure you can add to the list. But still not convinced. How about this:
  • Columbia University study found that high schoolers who had dinner with their families got 40% more A’s and B’s that those kids that did not.
Do I need to find more studies to prove the power of family meals? Kids enjoy time with Mom and Dad. Family time is so precious and when you add in all these bonuses, well, it is hard not to make it a priority.

To provide even more positive influences on your child’s eating habits- have the kids participate in preparing the meal. There are a ton of studies that indicate the healthy habit benefits of this activity! But that is for another blog!

In the meantime, we hope you have a fun family dinner - here's some tips:

8 Tips for Family Meals PDF English or Spanish

Do you have easy healthy family recipes to share? If so, please leave a comment below or share your recipe on our website *To share recipes on our website you must sign up for a free membership so you can log in!





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