Enjoy Family Meals
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It is very important to continue with a routine of eating meals and snacks at set times during the day. This will prevent you from mindlessly eating throughout the day “out of boredom”.
One positive aspect of the recommendations to stay home is that families may have more time to eat meals together. Eating meals with others can bring many benefits including:
- The opportunity to model healthy eating behaviours for children
- The ability to connect with your family and friends
- The opportunity to “unplug” from the world and enjoy some quality time. It’s also great for your mental health
If you are under self-isolation or live away from your loved ones or friends, technology can be a great way to facilitate family meals. Set a time with your family or friends to share a “virtual” family meal, but make sure technology is only used to connect everyone, not as a distraction. Turn off all other devices or distractions, including TVs, computers, tablets, or phones. Also, remember to keep toys and books off the table.
Don’t forget to remind everyone to wash their hands with soap and water for 20 seconds before and after eating the meal.
For young kids
Make your own placemat - Children can decorate a large piece of coloured paper using craft supplies, paint or markers. They can draw or use pictures of food from grocery store flyers to add to the placemat. Make a placemat for each member of the family and enjoy a colourful family dinner.
Have teens in charge of making the family meal. Task them with the responsibility of picking the recipe, helping out with the grocery list, and preparing the meal (with supervision). During the meal, you can ask them to share about their experience cooking.
For the family
Make a “family meal questions” jar. Write down a list of fun questions to answer during mealtimes, put it in an empty jar, and have each member of the family take turns reading and answering questions.
- If you could eat one fruit or vegetable forever, what would it be?
- What is your favourite meal?
- If you could visit one country in the world, which would it be?
- Use three words to describe yourself
The Screen-Free Meal Time Toolkit will help to support your family in adopting screen-free meals.
The Toolkit includes recipes, grocery lists and activities related to food for children the complete!
If you require the toolkit in an alternate format, please contact 519-258-2146, ext. 3100.