As a busy parent, it can be difficult to make nutrition a priority. While you may be able to find time to see a Dietitian to make your own meal plan, it oftentimes doesn’t fit well with your family and their needs. Research shows that children model their parents’ eating habits—good or bad—starting at a very young age. Knowing how to make a healthy family meal plan to fit their taste preferences, growing needs, and time together at the table all balance can be tough.
The importance of eating dinner together as a family has been researched countless times. It has been proven to show fewer behavior problems in children, stronger vocabulary and academic success, healthier body weights and lowered risk factors for weight-related diseases, and a wider taste palate. Unplug during dinner and communicate with your family—the less distractions, the easier to focus on your meals and each other. Meal planning as a family not only creates less stress and more time to spend enjoying each others company, but decreases stress and rush during busy week days.
How can these be apart of your weekly routine?
Plan ahead—using a calendar with your family’s schedules can help find nights you can sit together and eat—and those that you’ll need to pack something to go for a sports practice or meeting.
In a rush? On the nights you are in a rush, have meals in the freezer you can put in the slow cooker that morning or bagged meals for kids in a run.
Prep once a week- Using small baggies or containers, at the beginning of the week, take fresh fruits and vegetables with hummus, ranch, or favorite dipping sauces and prepackage serving sizes for quick grabs.
Buy individually-packed nuts, cheese sticks, yogurts, or dried fruit for the same benefit!
Ordering out? If needing to order out, find a restaurant that can accommodate your lifestyle with lean meats and plenty of vegetables—avoid fast food and quick pizza places. This will help increase your daily produce intake.
Our Wellness staff can do counseling for not only an individual, but the entire family, making their likes and dislikes, nutrient needs, and nutrition knowledge work for each specific family. Using years of combined knowledge, our staff can provide education, suggestions, meal plans, and tips to make your family not only find ways to eat healthy, but enjoy it.