Ever wonder if there was a “right way” to eat? We all know that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and we may not do it all the time, but we do understand how big of a difference it makes to the rest of our day. But wait…there’s more. How you go about eating your meal is hands down, one of the most important factors in establishing a healthy lifestyle for both the young and the old. Giving your mealtime a makeover just might be what you need to lose those last five pounds, to get your picky eater of a child to eat more, or even the secret to a close knit family.
- Schedule and Sit. Schedule a time when you would like to sit down and eat with your family and stay seated throughout the entire meal. Scheduling mealtimes can help prevent unnecessary caloric intake from grazing and constant snacking.
- You Are What You Eat. Mealtimes should be quiet, pleasant and relaxed gatherings for the family. Turn off the television and focus on communicating with the people around you during meal time. Not only will you be more conscious of what’s going on in your family, but also of what you eat.
- Take Your Time. Mealtimes should take 15-30 minutes and allow 5-15 minutes to eat your snack. A lot of the time, we tend to eat fast and end up eating a lot more than our body needs since our it usually takes up to 20 minutes to realize it is full.
- Avoid the Clean Plate Syndrome. Try not to force everyone to finish their plates when they are already full, including yourself. As much as we want to make ourselves believe that we are essentially saving children from _________ by not wasting food, overeating is just as bad for our own health.
- Make Half Your Plate Veggies. Sounds easy enough, but make that extra effort to make sure that you have vegetables available at every mealtime. Not only are they packed with vitamins and nutrients, they are also low in calories but can still fill you up!
What have you done lately to give your mealtime a makeover? Tried any of the above?
Research assistance provided by Monica Lobo, RD.