Life is busy, especially for families. From late-night work meetings to school events and extracurriculars, families are on the go. This can often lead to rushed meals or meals on the go. With hectic schedules, it is important to plan relaxed family mealtimes into your schedule as often as possible. There are several benefits to relaxed family meals that include: the development of positive eating habits, creation of stronger parent-child bonds, and better school performance. The University of Nebraska’s EAT Family Style at Home website supports families with quick, easy, and fun ways to make mealtimes healthy, enjoyable, and less stressful for everyone.
You can find the EAT Family Style at Home’s website by going to https://child.unl.edu and looking under the Family Resources tab. The website is divided into six main areas: positive mealtimes, recipe stories, cooking with kids, spark conversations, activities by age group and family resources.
The Positive Mealtimes section offers tips for making mealtimes relaxed, appealing, and less stressful. A few highlights from this tab are seven tips to help picky eaters and tips on handling food refusal. The Recipe Stories section offers tried-and-tasted, easy family recipes that bring back memories of good times together. In addition to traditional recipes, there are tips on packing a cooler, and how to organize your pantry. The Cooking with Kids section offers simple age-appropriate activities for children to help with in the kitchen.
Some additional information in this section includes steps to helping children learn how to serve themselves and helping kids learn how to set the table. The Spark Conversations section offers ideas for conversation starters for talking around the dinner table. Additional information found in this section is supporting children’s self-regulation in eating and using praise effectively.
The Activities by age section is broken down into activities, recipes, and useful information for preschoolers, school-ages, adolescent, and all age groups. The Family Resources section has ideas and resources that help to make food fun for young children and families through additional helpful tips and recipes. Each of these six main sections offer important information and helpful tips though videos and downloadable handouts. EAT Family Style at Home hopes to help create memorable mealtimes for families through these useful resources.