7 Healthy Family Dining Tips

View as Slideshow

Eat meals together as a family.

Eat meals together as a family.
Experts say that families reap enormous emotional benefits when its members regularly eat meals together: Family communication is better, people eat more nutritiously, and the behavior of children is better overall. All of this means that your household is less a den of stress than a harmonious oasis.

Make your own healthful selections at the supermarket.

Make your own healthful selections at the supermarket.
If you aren't the primary grocery shopper for the family, hit the supermarket with your spouse and make sure that the shopping cart contains foods that you like that also fit into your eating plan. This will increase the odds that home-cooked meals are appealing to you and help you reach your goals for weight loss and blood sugar control. It also will reduce the chances of arguments cropping up over menu selection.

Downsize—don't eliminate—the junk food in your cupboard.

Downsize—don't eliminate—the junk food in your cupboard.
Unless you do all of the household food shopping, you may feel as if you don't have much control over whether tempting foods enter your house.On the other hand, you might also be reluctant to ban all junk foods and "punish" your family. There is a middle ground: Ask the family shopper to buy those tempting foods in smaller sizes—half of a cake instead of a whole one, for instance, small containers of ice cream, and small bags of potato chips. If you end up indulging in these items, you'll at least have some automatic portion control.

Content continues below ad

Create a playbook of healthful recipe favorites.

Create a playbook of healthful recipe favorites.
Ask each person in your household to scour cookbooks, food magazines, and the Internet for healthful recipes that look appealing. Try them out and put the "keepers" in your recipe file. Teach every family member how to make these meals—or at least the ones that they chose—so the daily cooking duties don't just fall on one person. The more involved (and proud) your family members are of their cooking contributions, the more fun healthy eating will be.

Flank less-healthy entrées with bowls of veggies.

Flank less-healthy entrées with bowls of veggies.
On a night when the main dish at dinner does not fit with your meal plan, set a large bowl of raw or steamed vegetables on the table as a side dish. Take just a small portion of the entrée and extra helpings of the vegetable. Other members of your family probably won't be as meticulous about healthful eating as you, but that's okay. When you show this kind of flexibility, everyone will be satisfied by the household's dinner fare over the long haul.

Start a compost pile.

Start a compost pile.
Many families have a "clean your plate" rule that just encourages everyone to overeat. However, when there's an earth-friendly way to recycle excess food, leaving food on your plate will not seem so wasteful. Plant-based table scraps and the trimmings from fruits and vegetables go in the pile. Turning your compost pile with a shovel once a week and dumping in your grass clippings will add a little more physical activity to your life as well.

Content continues below ad

When schedules conflict, adjust your eating.

When schedules conflict, adjust your eating.
Say your son is playing his big clarinet solo in a talent show at noon, right when you should be having lunch. Why not pack your meal in a refrigerated lunch bag? To hold you over during the performance, eat half of your sandwich during the car ride to the show, and eat the rest of your lunch as soon as it's over.

Want to stay smart and healthy?

Get our weekly Health Reads newsletter

how we use your e-mail
We will use your email address to send you the newsletter each week, and we may also send you occasional special offers from Reader's Digest. For more information please read our privacy policy.

Funny Jokes

Some people like to travel by train because 
it combines the slowness of a car with the cramped public exposure of 
an airplane.

Dennis Miller

Funny Jokes

I think my pilot was a little inexperienced. We were sitting on the runway, and he said, “OK, folks, we’re gonna be taking off in a just few—whoa! Here we go.”

Kevin Nealon

Funny Jokes

“I can’t wait until your vacation is over.” 
—Everyone following you on Instagram

@kristencarney

Funny Jokes

A man knocked on my door and asked for a donation toward the local swimming pool. So I gave him a glass of water.

Comedian Greg Davies

Funny Jokes

Just found the worst page in the entire dictionary. What I saw was disgraceful, disgusting, dishonest, and disingenuous.

@sixthformpoet

Funny Jokes

Client: We need you to log in to the YouTube and make all our company videos viral.

From clientsfromhell.net

Funny Jokes

My cat just walked up to the paper shredder and said, “Teach me 
everything you know.”

@NicCageMatch

Funny Jokes

“Just because you can’t dance doesn’t mean you shouldn’t dance.” 
—Alcohol

@yoyoha (Josh Hara)

Funny Jokes

My parents didn’t want to move to Florida, but they turned 60 and that’s the law.

—Jerry Seinfeld

Funny Jokes

Q: What do you call an Amish guy with his hand in a horse’s mouth?

A: A mechanic.

Fields marked with an * are required
Foods That Harm Foods That HealWant a Free eBook?
FOODS THAT HARM, FOODS THAT HEAL offers important information about the role diet plays in the struggle against heart disease, cancer, diabetes and other serious illnesses. Answer the question below to receive your FREE digital eBook.

Someone in my household experiences the following conditions:

Send me a link to download FOODS THAT HARM, FOODS THAT HEAL:
By clicking below, I agree to the Trusted Media Brands Privacy Policy