The family that eats together is healthier

Ramon Esparza, MDPediatrician at ARC Pflugerville, talks about the importance of family meals. In addition to promoting good nutrition and family bonding, Dr. Esparza says that family mealtime also helps children develop good eating habits and social skills.

“We have found that with having at least three mealtimes per week people tend to eat healthier and develop better eating habits,” says Dr. Esparza. “You can develop your child’s social skills by asking about what they did during the day, by incorporating them into the conversation during family mealtime.”

Watch Dr. Esparza’s video to learn more about the importance of family mealtime, or read the content below:

Nutrition and family meals

A good age to start family mealtimes would be when the child is able to sit up and start eating, grabbing things for themselves as well as you being able to spoon feed them. This way they are able to see ‘hey everybody sits down at this time, and this is when we eat.’

Family mealtimes promote bonding between family members

Family mealtime is important because it allows for the family to develop the bones that they can develop sitting around the table and talking about their day.

Good eating habits and improved social skills

We have found that with having at least three mealtimes per week people tend to eat healthier and develop better eating habits. You can develop your child’s social skills by asking about what they did during the day, by incorporating them into the conversation during family mealtime.

Is snacking ok?

If a child is hungry before their meal what are the things that we can do is we can actually give them snacks; things like apples, cut up and slice accordingly, because we don’t want a choking hazard, cucumbers, broccoli. You can also boil some foods and then mash them, such as potatoes or carrots.

Vegetables? But my child refuses to eat them

The way to introduce vegetables to a child that is not wanting to eat vegetables is to wait til they’re hungry. One of the good ways of doing thing is to give them as snacks, any type of vegetables as long as they're hungry they will start eating a little more. research has said that sometimes it takes more than 10 times for kids to actually like a food during those first 10 times they might not like it but as you continue to give it to them, they will develop those tastes.

Three things to remember

- make it fun
- don't get angry and
- don't give up

I'm here for you and your child; nutrition, physicals, or anything you guys want to discuss.

Make an appointment with Dr. Esparza today

To schedule a visit with Dr. Esparza, call ARC Pflugerville at 512-989-2680 or book an appointment online.

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