Enjoy Healthy Dinners with Friends and Family
Feeling left out at mealtime can make it hard for you to stay on track. When you feel isolated or separated by the foods you are eating, it can affect how you enjoy your meals and spend time with family and friends. Having support from others can go a long way toward maintaining healthy eating for life and can benefit all of you through:
● Better nutrition. Families that eat together tend to eat more fruits and vegetables and less fried foods.¹
● Healthier habits for kids. Children who eat with the family show higher intakes of fiber, calcium, iron, folate and vitamins.¹
● Stronger relationships. Eating together provides opportunities to strengthen relationships and boost self-esteem.¹
Try these strategies to help you feel more connected to others at mealtimes, stay on track to your goals, and form healthy habits for the long run.
1. Enjoy a Jenny meal that is similar to what you are cooking for your family. Prepare Jenny’s lasagna for yourself and other lasagna for your family; Jenny’s chicken fajitas for yourself and tacos for your family; and Jenny’s French toast for yourself and French toast for your family.
2. Prepare healthy side dishes and salads for everyone to share that you can enjoy alongside your Jenny meals. Steamed veggies, salads with lots of non-starchy vegetables, and fresh fruits can help you round out your meals and satisfy your family at the same time.
3. Use Jenny recipes and healthy cooking tips to make meals you can all enjoy and still stay on track.
4. Buy extra Jenny meals to share. Did you know that an entire box of prepared mac and cheese can contain about 600 calories and more than 1,600 milligrams of sodium! That is almost your entire day’s sodium limit. The Jenny’s Macaroni & Cheese contains less than half the calories and sodium and includes a vegetable serving. Add a side salad, and you have a healthy meal for everyone ready in a snap!
Sharing your healthy foods and habits can help you feel more included and less isolated at mealtimes, and it can benefit the overall health of everyone at your table!
1. Gallup SL, et al. What the research tells us about family meals. Family Tapestries Packet 2003. The Ohio State University. Available at: http://getmovinggethealthynj.rutgers.edu/increase/family+meals/What+the+Research+Tells+Us+About+Family+Meals.pdf Accessed July 15, 2013.