The Benefits of Eating Together For Children and Families

Make Mealtimes about Being Together
Eating together provides a time to be connected. This helps children feel loved, safe and secure.
Focus on enjoying each other’s company, not on what or how much each child is eating.
Use meal times to teach children about family values and traditions.
Keep mealtime conversations positive. Encourage children to talk about their day. This helps to develop more communication between family members.
Schedule difficult or disciplinary conversations for some time other than meals.
Tip: Turn off distractions like the TV, computer, tablets and phones during mealtimes. Keep toys and books off the table.

Model Positive Eating Behaviour

  • You are an important role model for good table manners, trying new foods, and enjoying mealtimes. Children and youth are more likely to eat foods their parents and family also enjoy eating.
  • Make offering new foods part of your regular mealtime routine. Children often need to see, smell, and touch a food many times before trying it. Offer new foods with familiar foods and include foods your child has refused in the past.
  • Not everyone likes every food, and that’s okay. Encourage kids to say “no, thank you,” or teach them what you would like them to do or say if they don’t want to eat something.
  • Trust children to show or tell you how much they want to eat and when they are finished eating. An important part of healthy eating is learning to stop when they are full. Being forced or pressured to finish food can make your child ignore their internal hunger and fullness cues.
  • Try not to rush children through a meal. Children often take longer to eat than adults. Remind children to eat slowly, chew their food well and enjoy what they are eating.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.