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Family Meals

Family meals are a comforting ritual for both parents and kids. Children like the predictability of family meals and parents get a chance to catch up with their kids. Kids who take part in regular family meals are also:
  • more likely to eat fruits, vegetables, and grains
  • less likely to snack on unhealthy foods

In addition, family meals offer the chance to introduce kids to new foods and to act as a role model for healthy eating.

Teens may turn up their noses at the prospect of a family meal - not surprising because they're busy and want to be more independent. Yet studies find that teens still want their parents' advice and counsel, so use mealtime as a chance to reconnect.

Consider trying these strategies:
  • Allow your teen to invite a friend to dinner.
  • Involve your teen in meal planning and preparation.
  • Keep mealtime calm and congenial - no lectures or arguing.

What counts as a family meal?
Any time you and your family eat together - whether it's takeout food or a home-cooked meal with all the trimmings. Strive for nutritious food and a time when everyone can be there. This may mean eating dinner a little later to accommodate a child who's at sports practice. It can also mean setting aside time on the weekends, such as Sunday brunch, when it may be more convenient to gather as a group.
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