Karen Ensle Ed.D., RDN, FAND, CFCS Family & Community Health Sciences Educator Rutgers Cooperative Extension of Union County
Strong family bonds and eating together are important for children and all family members. Did you know that kids in families who eat together are more confident and score better on tests at school? Cooking dinner every night takes weekly planning and good management skills to make sure you have needed ingredients on hand for recipes to prepare main meal items. Thinking and planning ahead is all part of good self-management which teaches kids the value of organizational skills. It can be tricky to schedule regular meals and include everyone in the family so you sit down together and eat meals together. The stronger your family feels about mealtimes being “together time,” the more likely you will build social bonds as well as improve the health of family members. Below are some tips for preparing nutritious meals that are healthy. So, before you head to the grocery store, consider the following criteria for choosing healthier food options:
- Include at least one selection from each of the five food groups: grains, vegetables, fruits, dairy, and protein foods, at all meals.
- Limit your intake of foods that are high in fat.
- Incorporate high-fiber foods such as whole-grain breads and cereals, vegetables, fruits, dry beans, nuts and seeds.