10 Smart Health Resolutions that can improve your health, and quality of life.
#9: Bring back the family dinner.
➡ Be a role model. It may not seem like sometimes, but parents are the biggest influence of eating behavior in a child’s life.
➡ Prepare one healthy meal for the family, and resist letting children dictate what they will eat or not eat. They may not want what is served all the time, but just keep being a role model yourself and chances are children will come around and eventually try the food.
➡ Include the kids when planning recipes, shopping and preparing meals. When children participate in making decisions on what foods to buy or help in the preparation of meals, they are more likely to want to taste them too. Even if it is a small job, let them participate and see how much more enthusiastic they will be when it comes time to eat.
➡ Make one pan meals and freeze half for when time is limited or energy is low. Don't make preparing meals more complicated that it has to be for you. One pan meals like soups, chili, spaghetti sauce, and casseroles can be healthy and delicious. Save time by making double recipes and freezing. When short on time, you will be glad you can pull a meal from the freezer and just heat it up.
➡ Keep it simple and use whole food ingredients. Avoiding processed foods also helps you avoid hidden ingredients such as additives, artificial colors, high frutose corn syrup, transfats, and high sodium. Controlling ingredients in the foods you eat is one of the most effective means of controlling your health.
CASA Columbia’s 2011 family dinners finds that compared to teens who have frequent family dinners (five to seven per week), those who have infrequent family dinners (fewer than three per week) are almost four times likelier to use tobacco; more than twice as likely to use alcohol; two-and-a-half times likelier to use marijuana; and almost four times likelier to say they expect to try drugs in the future.
Read the full article below on how family dinners protect children from drug, alcohol, and tobacco use.