Family meal time serves dual health purpose

Be a healthy role model!

Children are observant little critters. One of the primary ways they learn is by seeing and imitating their parents’ behavior – especially when it comes to meal times. Research shows when families eat together , everyone eats better, meaning that they consume more healthy foods and nutrients including fruits, vegetables, fiber, calcium rich foods and vitamins.  It can be a challenge to get everyone home and at the table at the same time, but when you do – maximize the opportunity to be a positive food role model for your kids with these tips:

  • If there’s a kiddo or two hanging around the kitchen before dinner, get them involved!  Ask them how to cut the carrots for the salad – strips or coins.  These small choices get them involved and they’re more likely to try it!
  • Be open to trying new foods; don’t force children to try new things. When they see you trying new foods, they will follow your lead.
  • Set an example with snacks! – choose fruits instead of chips or candy and kids will follow suit.
  • Avoid labeling foods as “good” or “bad” – labeling foods can create a desire for them.
  • Enjoy your meals – it shows children that it’s okay to eat all foods in moderation.
  • Instill balance at mealtimes – fill half your plate with fruits and vegetables, a quarter each starch and protein.
  • Don’t rush through meals – take the opportunity to talk about the day.

Bonus:  Another study suggests that a father’s exercise habits may influence their young even before they are conceived!

Your Dole Team

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