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Posts tagged ‘eating’

by Logan

Health Benefits From Eating Dinner Together

Eating at a table, surrounded by your family may seem as something as foreign to you as aliens. But it also might be something you are already doing.  But studies are showing that there is a developmental and health benefit to having family dinner a few times a week.

As a teenager, I hated eating a meal with my parents. That was usually the time that I got in trouble about my poor grades or something that I did wrong. But, I also remember getting praised for the good things that I did and our family even solved some family crisis around the dinner table. fo

Also, when sitting around the dinner table, I was much more likely to get a better meal. When my parents cooked, I was getting some meat, vegetables, breads, milks, and other necessary daily vitamins. Eating around the table really provided a good baseline for nutrition.

Now, was every meal a perfectly balanced nutritional masterpiece?  Of course not.  But you are allowed a few indulges every once in a while.

While nutritional benefits are great, the social and relationships advantages are immense. Really, a family that eats together, is far better off than a family that doesn’t. Of course this isn’t an across the board statement. There are plenty of good families that don’t eat together and they survive. There are plenty of families that eat together all the time, that don’t survive. But, on average, it is a great things.

Let’s take a look at some of the benefits

1.)     Forms a connection

When you take time to listen to your family, you form a strong bond with them. This is a great time to learn how everyone’s day went. A connection is especially important between spouses and children and parents. Both sides want the other side to listen and give feed back.  Plans are made and goals can be set.  Then, at a later time, they can be reevaluated and changes can be made.  A sense of security and love can be formed.

2.)     Helps you relax

After a long day of work, or school, or watching the kids, or whatever…this time can help you relax. You sit back and enjoy each other’s company.  You learn something and are others are listening to you. You can discuss the day and sort of release some bent up tension.

3.)     Solves problems

Problems arise in families all the time. Dinner time can be a moment to identify the problem and make solutions. Skipping this moment can have lasting effects. A problem that could have been solved early in the process, no may take days and weeks to solve.

4.)     A great teaching moment

This moment can provide time to discuss things like manners and behavior around the dinner table. Open discussion can happen on expectations and what worked and didn’t about a specific incident or moment.  Often we are busy with sports, homework, television, or something else. Eating time provides a few moments where important things can happen.

5.)     A great time to have some fun

Dinner time is a great time to laugh and enjoy what others are saying. Jokes and fun times are routine around the dinner table. My own children love to hear my work stories and the awesome things that happen. More than once, I’ve had milk pouring from my nose on the funny things that they have said.


Overall, eating together provides both mental and nutritional well being. It can be overstated the importance of that time that is spent. Often, if used in a good way, then more than just a good meal can occur. Opportunities to try new food and get input from your children is priceless. Eating together is such a good boost to your health.  Don’t miss this chance.

by Christel Swasey

A Little Health Pep Talk For Holiday Health

How do you define Christmas cheer?

True Christmas cheer might have a little more to do with keeping our loved ones around for many more Christmases, than it has to do with the flavor of anything at the Christmas party.

But some of us need healthy eating pep talks, especially during the holiday season.  Can you remember the connection between diabetes, cancer, depression and junk food while someone hands you a platter of homemade, billion-calorie cookies?   Me, neither.

During the holidays, neighborly kindness seems to be synonymous with sugary gifts.  Our family swims in rivers of neighbors’ candies and sweet breads and cheese rolls.

But I  simply can not eat every plate of fudge and fruitcake that someone puts under my nose (although I would like to, in the moment) –but I can’t do it and feel good later.

I can’t afford a personal trainer, but I need some serious health propaganda,  and I have found good pep talks all over the internet to help keep me on the straight and narrow path of eating right and exercising.

Here’s one pep talk I really enjoyed, from the Green Smoothie Girl.

She describes how she deals with the moment when she is swallowing her homemade celery-carrot-beet concoction in the car, and she looks over and sees people diving into juicy cheeseburgers and french fries in the next car over.  She reminds the reader of the longer-term benefits of eating right.

A few minutes after eating, the Green Smoothie girl had “millions of cancer-fighting antioxidant molecules neutralizing, literally, the day’s stresses and exposure to chemicals.”  She had a positive mood and energy a few minutes after lunch, while the cheeseburger and fry-eaters were probably feeling sluggish, bloated, and thirsty.

I also appreciated the healthy Christmas food ideas from Family Fun Magazine, because the ideas are festive and happy looking, but not all made out of sugar!  There are edible Christmas ornament shaped treats that look like frosted sugar cookies, but they’re made of crackers, low-fat cream cheese, and colorful veggies.

There are many websites that offer adorable ways to swap out sugary, rich treats for healthier traditions.  For example, check out the cute holiday cucumber cups with festive herbed hummus inside, for appetizers. Click Here

I also like little ideas like this one, from Katie’s Healthy Bites:  simple ways to cute 100 calories, here and there, during the holiday bustle.  Also Dr. Dean Ornish has his own version of the same idea, with variation, here

Friends, we can do this.  We don’t have to overindulge in holiday sludge.  Ideas abound for ways to go the extra mile to serve ourselves and others healthier choices, and to keep a truer Christmas spirit –keeping our family and friends healthy and happy for many more Christmases to come.

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