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Family meals are clearly not extinct Sample of 930 meal planners. The report asked: Do people cook?  38 percent say they love to cook  46 percent don’t.

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Presentation on theme: "Family meals are clearly not extinct Sample of 930 meal planners. The report asked: Do people cook?  38 percent say they love to cook  46 percent don’t."— Presentation transcript:

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2 Family meals are clearly not extinct

3 Sample of 930 meal planners. The report asked: Do people cook?  38 percent say they love to cook  46 percent don’t mind cooking  15 percent say cooking is a chore Are families eating together? The average American family eats dinner together 5 times a week

4  isn’t just a meal, it’s a ritual from which all who participate benefit  is important because it gives children reliable access to their parents  provides anchoring for everyone’s day

5  “Emphasizes the importance of the family nonverbally”  “Reminds the child that the family is there and that he or she is part of it” Source: Miriam Weinstein- The Washington Post. August 30, 2005.

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7 Young people whose families routinely eat meals together Spend more time on homework and reading for pleasure Source: Tepper, 1999; Social Awakening: Adolescent Behavior as Adulthood Approaches.

8 Had reduced risk-taking behaviors The frequency of family meals was inversely associated with tobacco, alcohol, and marijuana use, low grade- point average, depressive symptoms, and suicide involvement Source: Eisenberg, Olson, Neumark-Sztainer et al., 2004. Arch Pediatr Adoles. Med. 158:792-796.

9 Had improved dietary intake Consumed more fruits and vegetables, less fried foods, and fewer sodas Source: Neumark-Sztainer, Hannan, Story et al., 2003. J Am Diet Assoc. 103:317-322

10 Were less likely to be overweight Source: Rollins, Frames, BeLue, 2007; Pediatrics. 17:723-751.

11 Can impact the development of language and literacy skills Source: Kimm, Barton, Obarzaneck et al., 2001; Pediatrics. 107:E34. Provide structure and a sense of unity and connectedness that young children need to feel safe and secure Source: Davis, 1995; Arch Dis child. 73: 356; McKenzie, 1993; J. Gastronomy. 7:34-35 Build a sense of community and unity; this sense of unity was found to be important during adolescence

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13 Lack of time due to: Work Sports (soccer, baseball, basketball, football, tennis)

14  Be flexible: Do at least one or two meals per week together—Saturday lunch or dinner; Sunday brunch  Cook meals ahead on weekend and freeze or store for later  Use a slow cooker

15  Children (8 to 18 years old) spend an average of 3 hours a day watching TV and 1 hour on the computer  Fifty percent of all American households have three or more televisions  Only 1 in 12 American families require their children to finish their homework before watching television  TV viewing during mealtime Can decrease time spent communicating Increases children’s risk for being overweight Kaiser Family Foundation

16  Turn the television off during family mealtime  Remove the television from the eating area  Decide on specific viewing times

17 Conflicting schedules: Parents holding 2 or more jobs Second job Long or irregular work hours Teens working

18  Have family meals on weekends or at a time when everyone is together  Have family breakfast instead of dinner  Have family meals at the soccer field if this is where everyone is together  Make meals ahead of time can help avoid the dinner rush and allow more time for the meal

19 What Skills Are Needed?

20 What is a "Healthy Diet"? The Dietary Guidelines describe a healthy diet as one that:  Emphasizes vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and fat-free or low-fat milk and milk products;  Includes lean meats, poultry, fish, beans, eggs, and nuts; and  Is low in saturated fats, trans-fats, cholesterol, salt (sodium), and added sugars  Use the Food Guide Pyramid

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22 Plan ahead every week to anticipate work, school, and other activities that affect mealtime Plan simple, quick meals especially to start Use cookbooks and grocery ads to write menus Make shopping list; read recipes from start to finish Stock up on basic items Use what you have on hand Consider leftovers when planning meals

23  Plan meals ahead of time  Get family input when planning menus  Have children set the table  Have an older child pour the milk  Allow younger children to put ice in glasses  Have family members cut up fruits and vegetables for a pre-meal snack  Ask family members to make the salad

24  Set a regular family mealtime; pick a time together  Enjoy more table time and less cooking time  Turn off the TV; turn on the answering machine.  Focus mealtime on family talk  Keep table talk positive; everyone gets to talk and to listen; important to set the rules  Keep table time realistic—not too long that the pleasure goes away

25  Cook several main dishes when you have more time, such as on weekends  Make soups, stews, or casseroles to freeze for the next week  Cook extra food as “plan-overs” for later use  Do some tasks ahead: Washing and trimming vegetables Cooking noodles for a pasta salad Cooking lean ground meat for tacos a few hours ahead or the day before

26 Goal: Enjoyment, relaxation, and listening to each other  EMPHASIZE: Pleasure and enjoyment  DO NOT engage in serious debates  FOCUS conversation on the positive. Everyone gets to talk and everyone listens  AVOID mealtime interruptions and distractions

27  Ask everyone to share their favorite part or biggest challenge of the day  Exchange memories about your favorite family pasttime  Ask kids about their classes, homework, teachers, and upcoming assignments  Tell a joke  Plan or talk about a family vacation you would like to take  Plan, and then let the kids pick tasks for the next day’s menu, preparation, and clean up

28  Use Riddles and Trivia What is the strangest food you have ever eaten? Can you think of any songs about food? Sing one! What is your favorite food? Why do you like it? Can you name a vegetable that is a root? A flower? A stem? A leaf?

29 Ingrid Adams, Ph.D. Extension Specialist for Nutrition and Weight Management July 2009 Copyright © 2009 for materials developed by University of Kentucky Cooperative Extension. This publication may be reproduced in portions or its entirety for educational or nonprofit purposes only. Permitted users shall give credit to the author(s) and include this copyright notice. Educational programs of Kentucky Cooperative Extension serve all people regardless of race, color, age, sex, religion, disability, or national origin.


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