A Realistic Way to Eat Family Dinners Together (2:39)
Any parent knows that juggling family responsibilities, work obligations, and extra engagements is a full-time job in and of itself. Taking care of your own health and well-being can easily fall to the wayside, but it doesn’t have to be so difficult. Dr. Michael Roizen, a core expert and the chief wellness officer at the Cleveland Clinic, shares his realistic tips so you can change the way you eat and maintain a healthy weight — all while keeping up with the whole family.
Portion Everyone’s Meals
Not everyone’s schedules match up, but it’s important to sit down to family dinner together as often as possible. Studies show that eating on a regular schedule and with loved ones especially can help people eat healthier and mindfully and even encourage weight loss. Divide meals for children and adults into two separate portions. Let everyone eat one portion when they’re hungry after school or work and then save the second portion for when everyone is home at the same time. This might mean eating an entree earlier and then a dessert, like sliced fresh fruit, the second time around. See what works for each member of your family, but at the end of the day, make sure everyone gathers around to eat together.
Stop Eating Off Your Child’s Plate
“Cleaning up” by finishing the leftovers on your child’s plate quickly translates to more pounds. By one estimate, stopping this sabotaging habit can help you lose up to 35 pounds a year. A simple way to curb temptations and overeating is to keep a scrap bowl on your kitchen counter or table. Once the bowl is full of leftover scraps, you’ll start to notice how much extra food you’re consuming and what a large impact it can have on your waistline.
Schedule an “Outside Day” Every Week
Set aside one day out of the week where the whole family goes outside after dinner for a walk, a bike ride, a quick game of catch, or some kind of physical activity. Get the whole family moving so you can shake off the unhealthy sedentary habits — like plopping down for a movie or endless hours of video gaming.