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Suggestions for Enjoying Family Meals

August 2018

Karen Ensle Ed.D., RDN, FAND, CFCS
Family & Community Health Sciences Educator
Rutgers Cooperative Extension of Union County

What's your vision of a healthy, regular family meal? Would it be having dinner on the table by six o'clock a during the week. Or, is it a dream of having the entire family around the dinner table at least once a week despite schedules that conflict?  How will your kids of all ages possibly enjoy a healthy meal without complaining or constantly wanting to be on their phone or tablet? 

Developing a schedule that works for everyone which includes food choices that all enjoy is a challenge!  Remember that taste buds and food likes and dislikes are different for each family member.  Some support eating healthy and some do not.  Family eating styles are different and so are individual likes and dislikes. Families need to make healthy eating a priority and attainable by all family members which takes time and energy. All families are different, and eating styles reflect those differences. 

Here are some suggestions for facilitating family meals in your household:

By taking small steps and committing to  these simple solutions, you have the opportunity to lead your family toward adopting healthier eating habits. Although hectic schedules may make it seem daunting, following these tips can encourage family bonding and may even inspire your kids to enjoy healthy meals.