The Good News (and the Bad News) About the State of Family Dinner

The statistics about family dinner are both encouraging, and, well, not so much.
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Let’s start with the good news, shall we? A full 70% of millennial moms say they eat together as a family more often than they did two years ago. We all know that getting a family dinner together is easier said than done, so rock on moms for making this happen! Children are 24% more likely to eat healthy foods if their family eats at least three meals together each week, and spending time at the end of the day as a family encourages closeness and sharing. Some research has linked more family meals with higher grades and a decrease in childhood obesity.

To make family dinner even easier to achieve, check out these recipes.

So that’s the good news. The bad news? Vegetables are served at only 23% of dinners.

Yikes!

The stats don’t say why we’re not serving veggies at more meals. I have a few guesses. Maybe they seem to be time-consuming to prep, we don’t know how to make them taste good, or the kids just won’t eat them anyway, so why bother?

C’mon moms, we can do this! Along with some sort of protein, a vegetable should be a mainstay on the dinner table. It could be as easy as opening up a bag of salad and serving it with salad dressing, defrosting some frozen veggies and topping them with olive oil and salt, or roasting sturdier root vegetables until caramelized and crispy. Here's how to excite your kids to try more vegetables.

And remember, it’s okay if they don’t actually eat them all the time. The important thing is that you serve them and enjoy them yourself. A dietitian shares why we shouldn’t “make” our kids eat veggies.

So let’s keeping eating together and challenging ourselves to serve more (delicious!) vegetables at dinner. Our kids will thank us… someday.

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