We all want our family go live a healthier lifestyle. When it comes to creating healthy family habits, there are a few simple steps for getting  everyone involved and in the long run, the whole family will benefit. Temptation will be thwarted and a healthy use of food will prevail.

1. Plan together

One night each week plan meals as a family. Everyone gets to choose a dish. Create rules to keep the dish suggestions on track with your health goals, such as every meal must include a vegetable, every meal must not have more than one starch, or each week the family must try something they have never had before.

2. Cook together

Give each person a task in the kitchen and get the family involved when making meals. One person can set the table, make a side dish or pre heat the oven. These are all small tasks to get even a young 2 year old involved in creating habits of a nutritious family.

3. Eat together

This is key! These days not many families actually sit down and have dinner together. Statistics show having dinner with the family causes the family to eat healthier, school grades will be better and it will create stronger relationships between adults and children. Having family dinner allows the family to bond so not only are you eating a healthy meal but you’re creating positive energy in the house hold. It’s very important that during family dinner there are no distractions; really use this time to bond meaning NO cell phones or TV.

Families that eat together stay together.

Often we let life dictate how we spend our time each day. By taking the time to plan together, cook together and eat together, we will create lasting family habits that will prevent over eating, eating unhealthy and promote a healthier life.

What are you doing at dinner time that fosters a healthier family?

About the Author

Dr. Katalenas

Dr. Katalenas is a pediatrician and owner of The Pediatric Center of Round Rock and the author of the book "The Step Up Diet: From Scratch… The Quality, Quantity, and Timing Solution to Childhood Obesity", a guide to healthy cooking and eating for busy families.