March is National Nutrition Month. For many families, nutrition is a top priority at the dinner table. Parents worry about whether or not they’re serving enough vegetables (and whether the kids are eating enough of them!). What’s on the plate, and how much of it is consumed, often becomes the focus of dinnertime.
It’s easy to see why. Good nutrition makes a big difference in overall health, and family dinners certainly do a lot to boost positive outcomes: Research shows that people who regularly sit down to dinner with their families consume fewer fried foods and sugary drinks, have a reduced risk of obesity and better lifelong eating habits. Teens even have better body image and lower risk of eating disorders when they share meals with their families. But the benefits of family dinner can go far beyond the physical. This month, we encourage you to think about nutrition not just for your family’s bodies, but for their minds and spirits as well.
How can dinnertime make your whole family happier, healthier and smarter? Here are some ideas to make family dinner nutritious in every way:
How much you eat can be as important as what you eat! Check out blogger Bettina Siegel’s words of wisdom about asking kids “Are You Full?”
Setting yourself up for success makes cooking healthy dinners easier. Here, one father shares his list for a well-stocked pantry.
Making healthy food appealing is often a struggle for busy families. Try some of the recipes in our Befores and Afters section for kid-friendly takes on fruits and vegetables!