Three Keys to Healthier Family Meal Time

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On the March 24 episode of The Running Lifestyle Show, Kari & I get real deep about the beauty of life and living life to the fullest. And in the mumbo jumbo of our existential talk (lol, maybe it wasn’t that deep), we talked about some pretty cool science.

Did you know that studies strongly suggest that children who eat meals with their families have lower BMI’s & are less frequently obese, as well as less likely to have disordered eating patterns?

How cool is that? You get to maximize the quality time that you have with your family while also bettering your children’s health! Its, quite frankly, the ultimate awesome-sauce. Talk about really milking life for the small stuff; appreciating every second of everyday, while impacting your children’s lives for the better! I love this!

Studies focused on three actions:

  1. Create the habit of finding time to eat with your family/children. Do this however works best for your family, but I’d suggest scheduling it! You have to eat anyway, so finding an extra thirty minutes to turn it into a family experience is totally feasible three times a week.
  2. Aim to spend around 20 minutes at the table during the meals, so the meal is an experience rather than just a forced action. Its important for the environment to be relaxed, with time to savor and enjoy the food and the company!
  3. Have positive conversation at the dinner table and avoid food related discussions, ie “We are doing this to stay thin/healthy.” Keep the conversation light in general, so your family looks forward to the experience rather than dreads it as a time when you guys rehash mistakes or sticky plans.

This simple routine can provide a bounty of positive experience! Besides all the beautiful memories you’ll make with your family, just think of how great it is to know you’re instilling a healthy relationship with food into your child’s developing mind!

REFERENCE

Hammons AJ, Fiese BH. Is Frequency of Shared Family Meals Related to the Nutritional Health of Children and Adolescents? Pediatrics. 2011;127(6):e1565-e1574. doi:10.1542/peds.2010-1440.

 

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