Eating out has become a popular trend for Americans, as more and more families are making their way to appetizing restaurants. In fact, the typical American family spends roughly 40% of their food budget on dining out, which in turn has been linked to poor food choices, increased obesity risk, and inadequate nutritional status. Research done at Rutgers University, led by Jennifer Martin-Biggers, found that children who have a home-cooked meals were more likely to eat a higher portion of fruits, vegetables, fiber, calcium-rich foods, and vitamins. Case in point, eating at home for most families usually leads to healthier food choices for your little ones.
If your family is eating out night after night, it is time to reinstate the family dinner. Make a set dinner time that allows for all family members to be present. Allow your child to aid in the cooking. Let them help you find, add, and mix ingredients together. This is a great chance to teach them about various kinds of healthy foods and how they are created. They may even be more inclined to try it! Another perk to cooking at home with your children is that it allows you to be in control of what ingredients to include in your meals, enabling you to fix meals appropriate for your family’s health needs. It may be difficult to consistently prepare home-cooked meals, but the benefits far exceed the costs. Your children will thank you in the end!
Home cooked meals may not be possible every night; we understand that. For those times when you and your family find yourselves venturing to the outside world for food, here are some “Eat This, Not That” tips:
Eat: Subway Steak and Cheese (390 calories)
Don’t Eat: Subway Meatball Marinara (580 calories)
Eat: Red Lobster Pan-seared Crab Cakes (380 calories)
Don’t Eat: Red Lobster Southwestern Lobster Rolls (870 calories)
Eat: Old Timer Big Mouth Burger (820 calories)
Don’t Eat: Chili’s Big Mouth Burger Bites (1,580 calories)
Check out: Eat This, Not That (restaurant survival guide) and Eat This, Not That! for Kids! by David Zinczenco
For busy, working parents, find more tips here
Some information in this post was retrieved from theatlantic.com
written by Natalie DiRocco