This month is all about making small changes that lead to a healthier lifestyle, one forkful at a time. Eating as a family is a great place to start. Recent studies have found that regular family meals provide a variety of health benefits, including improved nutrient intake and a decreased risk of obesity, but finding time to prepare them can seem daunting. Several organizations have developed resources to help families eat well together. Celebrate National Nutrition Month by trying one!
Download sample menus and free recipe booklets from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s list of family meal ideas.
Make mealtimes fun with free nutrition games developed by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. They are easy to print and include games and puzzles for adults and kids.
Spice up dinner with a new dish. As a volunteer field editor for Taste of Home magazine, I received a copy of their new One Hundred Family Meals cookbook to review. The book is filled with tips on making meals special, conversation starters and planning ideas. Lightened dishes are labelled (“Eat Smart”) as are those that are quick to make (“Fast Fix”). There’s even a place to jot down favorite meals. Recently, I have been working my way through the No-Fuss Salads chapters. With delicious options like Garden Tomato and Michigan Cherry Salads, there is sure to be a favorite for everyone at the table, and many more great ideas are available for free on their website.