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Planning a meal together is a great opportunity to strengthen family bonds, keep track of each other, educate children and get them more involved in the decision making and preparation process.

Assigning simple tasks based on age, aptitude or task preference is a great way to increase the family participation and learn what to eat, what not to eat and why. When you think about it, deciding on the family meal, all the preparation that goes into it and the clean up after can lead to better mental and physical health for your entire family.

Watermelon is a tasty snack especially for younger eaters.

Have the kids:

  • Operate the timer and learn how food cooks or bakes
  • Smash crackers into bread crumbs
  • Set the table
  • Measure and stir ingredients
  • Peel vegetables
  • If baking, separate eggs or frost a cake
  • For the older kids, mix batter or operate the blender or food processor
  • Clean up after a meal is over

There have been studies at the University of Minnesota as well as at Harvard, that showed how families eating meals together, make better nutritional choices, consume higher amounts of healthy nutrients and decrease the risk of unhealthy weight gain. In addition, a poll taken of high school seniors showed better grades. Another survey with teens who ate meals regularly with the family showed that they tend to be happier with their present life as well as their prospects for the future!

Eating Greens is a special treat. It makes long ears and great big feet.
-Thumper