Families First Families First AprilMay2017 : Page 23

CELEBRATION FOR YOUNG CHILDREN Saturday, April 29 11 am to 1 pm City Opera House 11 am -1 pm Hands-On Activity Center hosted by GTAEYC Horizon Books 11 am -Noon: Wings of Wonder State Theatre 10 am: Kid’s Matinee -Monster Trucks Activities in Downtown Shops & Children’s Art Work Displays Benefits of Home-Cooked Meals National Nutrition Month By Grace Derocha to nutrition labels and the power to control the size of each serving. Healthier Prep: Cooking meals at home diminishes the temptation of indulging in fried options and doesn’t involve the excess sugar, sodium, and fats that are used to enhance the flavor of restaurant foods. The option to bake, grill, and steam meats and veggies is possible at home. Home cooking puts you in the driver’s seat to control what is being consumed. Explores Flavor: Preparing meals at home allows exploration with a wide variety of reci-pes, flavors, and unique foods. Meal plan and name the days of the week to help inspire a delicious and diverse menu. For example, Mediterranean Mondays, Taco Tuesdays, Wellness Wednesdays, Kids Cook Thursdays, Leftover Fridays, and more. Having a hard time with kids who hate veggies? Don’t give up—there are creative ways to sneak them in every meal. Remember, it can sometimes take 10-20 tries to acquire a taste for different foods. downtown traverse city l downtowntc.com l 231.922.2050 #downtowntc T rying to eat healthy while managing a busy life can be extremely difficult. Let’s be honest—after a long day of work it can be hard to muster the energy to take care of family and household needs, let alone prepare a healthy dinner. On days like this, dining at a restaurant or picking up carryout can seem far more appealing. While it’s certainly okay to treat the family to the occasional convenience meal, there are numer-ous benefits to home cooking. Northern Michigan based portrait & wedding photographer  
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&#0b; &#0f;  IMPROVES FAMILY DYNAMICS Initiates Conversation: Everyone in the family, including Mom and Dad, could use a break from screen time throughout the day to have face-to-face conversations at mealtime. When dining out, the distract-ing environment and fast-paced experi-ence can deter from meaningful interac-tion. Researchers found that young children learned 1,000 rare words at the dinner table, compared to only 143 from parents reading storybooks aloud. For older, school-aged children, regular mealtime is an even more powerful predictor of high achievement scores than time spent in school, doing homework, playing sports, or doing art. Learning Opportunity: For toddlers, cook-ing at home is a chance to explore their senses from smell to touch. Dinnertime becomes an opportunity to practice life skills, build healthy eating habits, and practice good food safety. By the time a child is 12 years old, cooking can reiterate and teach basic math skills and chemical reactions. Stronger Relationships: Working together as a family to cook healthy meals can be a chance to bond, spark creativity, and learn when experimenting with new foods or recipes. It can be a weekly or daily tradition and creates lasting memories for the whole family. SUPPORTS HEALTHIER FUTURES Better Grades: A Columbia University study found that adolescents who enjoy between five and seven family dinners per week were twice as likely to see mostly As and Bs on a grade report at school, compared to those teens who have fewer than three family dinners per week. Improves Mental Health: Using meal time to facilitate conversations and bond as a fam-ily has a significant impact on children. Time magazine reports that teens who eat with their family at home often show fewer signs of depression and feel more supported than those who do not. Healthier Generations: When children are exposed to healthier eating habits at a young age, they are more likely to invest in their health as adults. Often, the tradition carries on in future generations as well. Grace Derocha is a registered dietitian, certified diabetes educator, and certified health coach at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan. For more health tips, visit AHealthierMichigan.org. ENCOURAGES HEALTHIER HABITS Healthier Portions: When dining out, serv-ings are normally two to four times larger than what is recommended. At home, healthy por-tions can be guaranteed based on accessibility April/May 2017 • Families First Monthly • 23

Benefits Of Eating At Home

Grace Derocha

National Nutrition Month

Trying to eat healthy while managing a busy life can be extremely difficult. Let’s be honest—after a long day of work it can be hard to muster the energy to take care of family and household needs, let alone prepare a healthy dinner. On days like this, dining at a restaurant or picking up carryout can seem far more appealing. While it’s certainly okay to treat the family to the occasional convenience meal, there are numerous benefits to home cooking.

IMPROVES FAMILY DYNAMICS

Initiates Conversation: Everyone in the family, including Mom and Dad, could use a break from screen time throughout the day to have face-to-face conversations at mealtime. When dining out, the distracting environment and fast-paced experience can deter from meaningful interaction. Researchers found that young children learned 1,000 rare words at the dinner table, compared to only 143 from parents reading storybooks aloud. For older, school-aged children, regular mealtime is an even more powerful predictor of high achievement scores than time spent in school, doing homework, playing sports, or doing art.

Learning Opportunity: For toddlers, cooking at home is a chance to explore their senses from smell to touch. Dinnertime becomes an opportunity to practice life skills, build healthy eating habits, and practice good food safety. By the time a child is 12 years old, cooking can reiterate and teach basic math skills and chemical reactions.

Stronger Relationships: Working together as a family to cook healthy meals can be a chance to bond, spark creativity, and learn when experimenting with new foods or recipes. It can be a weekly or daily tradition and creates lasting memories for the whole family.

ENCOURAGES HEALTHIER HABITS

Healthier Portions: When dining out, servings are normally two to four times larger than what is recommended. At home, healthy portions can be guaranteed based on accessibility to nutrition labels and the power to control the size of each serving.

Healthier Prep: Cooking meals at home diminishes the temptation of indulging in fried options and doesn’t involve the excess sugar, sodium, and fats that are used to enhance the flavor of restaurant foods. The option to bake, grill, and steam meats and veggies is possible at home. Home cooking puts you in the driver’s seat to control what is being consumed.

Explores Flavor: Preparing meals at home allows exploration with a wide variety of recipes, flavors, and unique foods. Meal plan and name the days of the week to help inspire a delicious and diverse menu. For example, Mediterranean Mondays, Taco Tuesdays, Wellness Wednesdays, Kids Cook Thursdays, Leftover Fridays, and more. Having a hard time with kids who hate veggies? Don’t give up—there are creative ways to sneak them in every meal. Remember, it can sometimes take 10-20 tries to acquire a taste for different foods.

SUPPORTS HEALTHIER FUTURES

Better Grades: A Columbia University study found that adolescents who enjoy between five and seven family dinners per week were twice as likely to see mostly As and Bs on a grade report at school, compared to those teens who have fewer than three family dinners per week.

Improves Mental Health: Using meal time to facilitate conversations and bond as a family has a significant impact on children. Time magazine reports that teens who eat with their family at home often show fewer signs of depression and feel more supported than those who do not.

Healthier Generations: When children are exposed to healthier eating habits at a young age, they are more likely to invest in their health as adults. Often, the tradition carries on in future generations as well.

Grace Derocha is a registered dietitian, certified diabetes educator, and certified health coach at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan. For more health tips, visit AHealthierMichigan.org.

Read the full article at http://digital.zoompubs.com/article/Benefits+Of+Eating+At+Home/2756745/398403/article.html.

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