The Family Table

Educating Families About the Benefits of Family Meals

Archive for the tag “6 week challenge”

You’re Invited to the Family Table Celebration Dinner – Sept. 27th

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Family Table Celebration Dinner – Sept. 27th

Celebrate the success of Family Table’s 2nd year by joining the McMillen Center at Fort4Fitness.

On Friday, September 27, the McMillen Center will announce the year 3 theme for the Family Table project, as well as celebrate “Together, We Eat Better.” In partnership with Fort4Fitness, a family meal is planned from 5 – 8:30 p.m. Bring a meal to Parkview Field, or join us at the Huntington University Picnic Pavilion for a pasta dinner. Contribute $10 to the Family Table project and receive a FREE pasta dinner.

Contribute $10 to the Family Table project and receive a FREE pasta dinner

To make a one time contribution, use your debit card, a Paypal account is not required.

SIGN UP to Receive Prizes:

  • $200 Waiter on the Way Gift Certificate
  • $300 Package from Bussick Orthodonics
  • Admission and Lessons to Ice Skate at Lutheran Health Sports Center
  • 2 Olive Oil Bottles and Gift Basket from The Olive Twist
  • Tanglewood Berry Farm Cookbook
  • Canlin Ice Family Pass Certificate
  • Sky Zone 4 Family Fun Package
  • Crazy Pinz Group Party Package
  • Crazy Pinz Kingpin Membership

For more infromation on Family Meals, visit http://www.FamilyTableOnline.org

McMillen Center for Health Education | 260-456-4511 | schedule@mcmillencenter.org | http://www.mcmillencenter.org | 600 Jim Kelley Blvd. | Fort Wayne, IN 46816

Thanks to our Family Table sponsors:

Tip of the Week: Picky Eaters

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This Week’s Featured Recipe

Got a picky eater on your hands? Does your child eat a limited number of healthy foods? Join the club. What’s a parent to do?

First, for a fresh perspective, let’s change the word “picky” to “selective”. Sounds better already doesn’t it? Babies come in to the world enjoying slightly sweet, totally bland food (called milk). Children’s senses of smell and taste are keen. Different textures are scary. There’s even a DNA factor at play about how intensely a flavor is perceived. Children discern the taste of food differently than their parents.

What can you do? Sit back, relax and don’t take it personally. All children are selective. Child feeding specialist Ellyn Satter suggests we parents, “Be considerate without catering.” That translates into offering healthy foods for the whole family.

When Junior tells you that new dish doesn’t taste good, accept that it might not taste good to him – that’s considerate. But, continue to serve it in your regular mealtime rotation- that’s not catering. Someday (hopefully before he leaves for college), Junior might take a bite! Coaxing, bribing, rewarding and punishing with food will likely cause a bigger problem down the road.

Be consistent with meal and snack times so that your child will know his next meal is just a few hours away. All day grazing is ill-advised and does not help you establish good mealtime habits. At mealtime, offer a food from at least three of the five food groups (milk, protein, grains, vegetables and fruits) and let your child, her appetite and her tastebuds be her guide.

marcia

Marcia Crawford, MS, RDN

Tip of the Week: Top 10 Grocery Shopping Tips

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This Week’s Featured Recipe

Grocery Shopping

Planning is the key to quick, easy and economical grocery shopping.  Check out our ten tips to help make your shopping painless.

1.  Plan meals and snacks a week in advance and write them down.  Create or download a form that makes sense to you. There are phone apps for this as well.

2.  Set aside one-half hour to write it all down; gather your family calendar (and the school’s lunch calendar) to determine who will be eating which meals.  This half-hour will shrink to about 7 minutes in no time as you re-cycle your best days.

3.  Be realistic; if no one likes Brussels Sprouts, don’t plan them into your menus.

4. Check your refrigerator, freezer and cupboards for inventory.  Any foods that need to be used up?  Any foods that no one has any intention of eating?  Plan to use up the odds and ends or donate or discard the “bad” purchases.

5. Don’t hesitate to make planned-overs (they taste so much better than leftovers). That roast chicken on Sunday not only becomes a sandwich on Monday but chicken noodle soup on Tuesday.

6.  There’s great convenience in single serving items for lunches but you are paying more for the package than the food.  Buy a large bag and have one of the kids count out portions into reusable containers.

7. For fresh produce, consider their shelf-life.  Use highly perishable fruits and veggies early in the week and keep those that have a longer shelf life for days 6 and 7.

8. Frozen fruits and vegetables can easily round out that end-of-the-week meal.

9. Make sure you have storage containers and supplies.  Those two pounds of hamburger in the freezer will be harder to use quickly than the 1/2 pound packages you created (and labeled and dated!).

10. Encourage the whole family to participate.  You can educate everyone about budgeting, time management, cooking and, of course, good nutrition. Dole out questions, tasks and responsibilities appropriate for your age child.

We promise, careful planning will make feeding your family a real joy!

marcia

Marcia Crawford, MS, RDN

Tip of the Week: The Research

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This Week’s Featured Recipe

Today is the start of our Family Table 6 Week Challenge! If you haven’t signed up for the Challenge, do it now to get our free mailing with lots of items designed to make family meals easier.

We are all busy, and sometimes it can just seem like too much work to get everyone together at the table. As an overcommitted mom, I have come to look at family meals as preventing problems which, if they happened, could take up a whole lot of my time than cooking does, and be devastating to my family. The research is overwhelming when it comes to the benefits of family meals to our kids. Children who eat at least 3 meals a week with their families have better communication skills; get better grades; are less likely to bully other youth; are less likely to use drugs, alcohol or tobacco; and less likely to have a teen pregnancy. These are all benefits we want our children to have, and it almost seems too good to be true that by just eating together we could have these benefits. I think this school year I am going to tell my 9th grader that doing poorly in math is just not an option for him because he eats dinner with his family!

These benefits to our children come about from the family connectedness meals create. Last week, a large study about teens and dating violence was released. Before conducting his study, the researcher anticipated that family bonds and support would help prevent both delinquency and dating violence. However, the researcher found family connectedness turned out to be far more important than anticipated, “I was a little surprised… We thought it would be helpful, but it turned out to be very helpful in decreasing all forms of violence we measured, and all forms of delinquency.”

If you would like to read more about the research on the benefits of family meals, click here.

Holli-Seabury-2012

Holli Seabury, CEO, wife and mom of 7

Tip of the Week: A New School Year

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Judging by the amount of parents I saw this past weekend, a lot of us were out buying back-to-school supplies. Every year at this time, as I pack bookbags with new pencils and yet another ruler (what happens to the previous year’s ruler?) I pledge to begin the school year as Mom of the Year. I vow to send my kids to school with healthy lunches, make sure homework is done properly and put neatly in the bookbags, and to put a delicious home cooked dinner on the table every night so my family can eat together and share the exciting news of the day. By October, this has usually disintegrated into trying to find something quasi-edible they can take for lunch and realizing I never checked the homework as they run out the door late for the bus (again).

This school year, I am still holding out hope of getting dinner on the table, at least most nights. I recently received an email from a friend on this subject. He sent me a link to Michael Pollan’s latest book about cooking. Pollan makes the interesting observation in his latest book, Cooked, that home-cooked food is generally healthier because it’s just too difficult and messy to cook unhealthy food, like french fries, at home. And, if we are cooking what we eat, we won’t eat as many desserts because it will be too much work to make them. I don’t know about you, but I will skip the ice cream before I churn my own!

Often though, we tend to fall into the habit of using too many processed foods in our home cooking. The problem with these convenience foods like boxed macaroni and cheese, veggies with pre-made sauces, and pre-made mashed potatoes, is that they just aren’t healthy because of all the chemicals and sodium. Do you want ideas for how to get an easy, healthy meal on the table? Watch our video How to Get a Meal on the Table Faster than You Can Go Through the Drive-Thru. If you happened to be in England recently, you might have seen this video on the telly there; it’s being played throughout England by a London television station.

Holli-Seabury-2012

Holli Seabury, CEO, wife and mom 7

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