Valérie Fernandez

By Valérie Fernandez

September 2, 2015


Eating Better Together!

Article revised on 16 June 2017

Studies have shown that eating meals as a family is good for your health and that of your children.

Sitting down together for a family meal cooked at home is apparently linked to better food choices (more fruits and veggies, more whole grains…) and better calorie control. You can pass these good habits on to your kids while reinforcing family ties and a feeling of belonging. Mealtime is an ideal time for families to get in touch with each other.

Enjoyable family meal tips

  1. Make a plan
    Plan your meals for the week ahead of time and buy the foods you need in advance.
  2. Keep it simple
    Why complicate things? A meal can be both simple and nutritious.
  3. Delegate
    Get everyone involved in meal prep! It will lighten your load and give you more quality family time.
  4. Be flexible
    Why insist on having dinner always at the same time? Plan mealtime instead for when most of the family can be there.
  5. Get rid of distractions
    Turn off the TV and put away toys and other gadgets. Take advantage of this time to enjoy eating and talking together.
  6. Be a good role model
    Act as you would like your kids to act at the table. If you want them to eat vegetables, everyone should have some.
  7. Set rules
    Determine what constitutes good table manners: Offer food to others before serving yourself, chew with your mouth closed, ask to be excused before leaving the table, etc.
  8. Listen – Make sure everyone, regardless of age, has a chance to talk.
  9. Communicate
    Ask everyone to share information about their day. Ask questions. If the conversation lags, play a game (I Spy, rhyme time, make up a story…).
  10. Enjoy!
    The important thing is to enjoy this time when you can all be together as a family. Make the most of this opportunity.

No screens at the table!

It doesn’t matter how old you are: screens are a source of distraction. How can you pay attention to your body’s hunger and fullness cues when your mind is elsewhere? TV, iPad, computer, smart phone… Whether the screen is big or small, it’s best to switch it off before sitting down to eat. That way, you don’t end up downing too many calories and you fully savour every morsel!


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