The Delicious Benefits of Family Meals

Sept. 6, 2016

Mealtimes have changed in some major ways since we crafted our very first batch of certified organic baby food over 30 years ago. Even though the primary source of nutrition for children less than 12 months of age is breast milk or formula, there’s a new generation of baby foodies, trying new feeding favorites like organic baby food pouches at mealtime. Our commitment to helping all families find ways to enjoy mealtime together as often as they can hasn’t wavered.  And of course, snapping pics of every magic and memorable “first” is important to share with your social world.

Transitioning from infancy to toddlerhood naturally comes with a lot of messy (but delicious!) milestones.  Beyond important decisions such as purchasing organic food products and ingredients, making mealtimes a priority can have a lifetime of positive benefits for your little one. Time together at the table offers consistency and comfort for children, and can help generate a sense of closeness in our hectic, activity-filled days. As your child grows a bit older, table time offers an important opportunity for communication between family members. Because of these benefits, research consistently finds family meals associated with encouraging kids’ intake of wholesome foods, supporting psychological well being and even managing body weight. 

Best of all, this bounty of benefits can happen for your family no matter where we are on our own unique parenting journey. A 2011 study found that children who regularly eat with their family may choose better-for you foods, may support proper weight and have a positive association with the foods they select. Here’s how to help your family make the most of mealtimes.

3 Easy Ways To Make More of Mealtimes: 

1. Enjoy at least 3 meals a week in a way that works for your family’s schedule. 
Most studies have found the benefits begin to kick in when families share at least 3 meals a week. Whether its breakfast or dinner, weeknight or weekend, it doesn’t matter. Decide which meals realistically suit your own family’s lifestyle and needs best. 

2. Turn off technology.
Let real communication and connection flow; put phones in a basket out of sight, turn off the TV, or shut down the screen. Not only does a more authentic connection happen, but it allows little ones to focus on the food more without distractions and sows the seeds for healthy eating habits.

3. Aim for consistency, not perfection. 
Expect life to throw a curveball or two. Or three. More important than perfectly cooked meals every time is the goal of consistency: simply strive to cook, share, and eat good food…together. Let the Earth’s Best Organic® brand bring food to your family table. 

1J Am Diet Assoc. 2010 Jul;110 (7):1036-42.
2Pediatrics. 2011; 127: 1565-72.