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Family Meal Time: Why is Something So Simple So Important?

Family Meal

Did you know that August is Family Meals Month? With summer coming to an end, school getting in to full swing and all the activities that fill our calendars this time of year, it’s not uncommon to let family mealtime fall to the bottom of the priority list. However, by making family meal time a priority, you’re creating an environment for a healthy family, helping your kids make better decisions and do better in school, as well as saving your families hard earned money.

Did you know that kids who eat dinner with their family are more likely to perform well in school? Only 9% of students who eat with their family are likely to get C’s on their report card. However, this number over doubles to 20% in students who do not eat with their families this frequently.1 Family dinners are a great place to recap the day, both academically and personally. Take some time at dinner to discuss what’s going on in your child’s classes and also what’s going on in the hallways.

Another benefit of family meals is that you can use this as an opportunity to demonstrate healthy eating habits. Many kids only know what tastes good. They haven’t learned the importance of eating healthy foods to fuel their bodies and their brains. Cook foods that taste good and provide nutrition to your family. Not sure where to start? “The Sneaky Chef to the Rescue” offers many great recipes that help you introduce new foods to your family by cooking them in to foods they already love. After they’ve eaten (and loved) it, it’s up to you if you tell them what’s in the recipe or not!

Lastly, are you looking to save a little money? In today’s tight economy, many families are looking to tighten the purse strings a bit. Cooking and eating together at home can help save your family extra money that you can use to go on a family trip or purchase a new game that you can play together. Statistics show that meals at home, on average, cost half as much as meals outside the home.1 What does the math look like? If you’re family stayed home one night per week that you typically go out, a meal that would have cost you $45 will now only cost $22.50. Over 1 year, the savings adds up to $1170 over one year. That’s just by changing your habit one night per week.

The bottom line is that family meals are good for your whole family. There is not one aspect of your family life that would be negatively impacted. The key to making this successful is to turn it in to a fun activity; don’t make it a chore. Get everyone involved in the cooking and cleaning, you’ll be teaching your children great life lessons while enjoying some much needed family together time!

Need a little help? Let’s face it, schedules are tight! “Make Ahead Meals Made Healthy” offers delicious recipes that can be prepared ahead of time to make your evenings less stressful. Or, if you’re looking to make your meals as inexpensive as possible, “The $5 Dinner Mom Cookbook” is filled will healthy recipes that will feed your family on a budget.

Why do you love family meal time? Please share your thoughts with everyone! You can always share here on the blog, on Facebook, Twitter or Google+. Let’s start the conversation!

1 Source: CNN.com

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Diabetes Plate Tackles Diabetes Education

Did you know that 25.8 million Americans are living with diabetes? Some are diagnosed and some still undiagnosed. And, unfortunately, this number is not shrinking. In 2010, 1.9 million new cases of diabetes were diagnosed in people aged 20 and over.** Not only is this a problem for the individual suffering from diabetes, it’s a problem for all of us as a society. How can we educate people on the causes and effects of diabetes? How can we take a population that is living with diabetes and get them back on the right track? How can we take a generation that is being raised addicted to food and teach them about healthy eating habits? Educate!

diabetes plateProviding education and the right tools is the best thing we can do. In the upcoming Fall 2013 edition of the NCES catalog, we’ve focused on diabetes prevention and education with our new products. Our new Right-Sized Diabetes Plate is designed specifically with the diabetic in mind. On this plate, our dietitians have tackled the major issues facing diabetics and given them tools to manage their diabetes right on the plate.

  • Portion Control: This is a very important consideration for all of us, but especially for a person with diabetes. Keeping blood sugars in check often means only eating proper portions of foods from each food group.
  • Carbohydrate Counting: More than just watching portions, a person with diabetes must keep track of the carbohydrates they consume. Because carbs play such a huge roll in blood sugar levels, monitoring carb intake helps a diabetic control their highs and lows.
  • Physical Activity: Managing diabetes through diet is only part of the equation. Maintaining a healthy weight and building a strong body is reliant on getting the recommended amount of physical activity.

The NCES Right-Sized Diabetes Plate combines these three concepts in to a visually appealing plate that can be used on a daily basis to help a person living with diabetes remember how to manage their diabetes through diet and exercise.

This plate and other new diabetes related products have been added to our growing Diabetes section in the catalog and at www.NCEScatalog.com. Take a second to view the diabetes section here today. Do you have ideas for us to add to the Diabetes section? Please share your ideas on Facebook, Twitter or email them to us at info@ncescatalog.com.

**Source: http://www.diabetes.org/diabetes-basics/diabetes-statistics/