Eat Better, Eat Together
Did you know that family meals nourish the spirit, brain, and health of all family members? Studies link frequent meals together to increased self-esteem, a sense of wellbeing, positive social behaviors, and stronger family relationships. We spoke to Chef Tim Zintz, Director of Culinary Development at Aramark and a father himself, whose tips can help families bond and strengthen their relationship with food.
Offer Them the Lead
Foster creativity at the kitchen counter. Allow children to experiment with new foods and put together flavor combinations. Instruct when necessary, but then let your children take it from there! “Expose kids to new foods along the way and they’ll be even more inspired,” Chef Zintz suggests. You may be surprised once their creative juices start flowing!
Let Them Act Their Age
Looking for a sous chef? Even young children can help with preparing a meal. Show them how to open packages, squeeze lemons or limes, and help clean pots with lots of sudsy water. Older children can cut up vegetables, measure and mix ingredients, and eventually take over recipes with supervision. When kids are involved in meal prep, they’re more likely to eat what’s served.
Kids can be messy by nature and involving them in meal prep can be time-consuming. Try to add a dash of patience and leave ample time for clean-up! The kitchen can be a relaxing and fun environment, reducing stress and encouraging a positive relationship with food for your family (which they’re likely to carry with them into adulthood!)
Note: Since everyone’s health history and nutritional needs are so different, please make sure that you talk with your doctor and a registered dietitian to get advice about the diet and exercise plan that‘s right for you.