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Magical mealtimes

Eating together is one of the most important things you can do with your child. Family meals give structure, an opportunity to model healthy eating, and set eating patterns that will hopefully continue throughout your child’s life – the building blocks for happy growth. It’s not easy to eat together as a family every day but try and make family meals a priority. Keep it simple menu-wise and let your child help with the food preparation.

A warm atmosphere, positive conversation and being attentive to your child are just as important as what’s on the plate! Sharing small moments from the day helps create stronger connections away from the table.

Family meals for happy growth

Numerous studies have explored the link between the frequency of family meals and diet quality. Shared family meals three or more times per week, were more likely to result in healthier diets and eating patterns. Families were less likely to eat unhealthy foods such as sodas, fast foods and fried foods. They were also more likely to eat fruit and vegetables, as well as breakfast. This behaviour meant that children were less likely to be overweight and have eating disorders in adolescence compared to those who shared fewer than three family meals per week together.2

Such huge benefits to be had from the humble family meal! Although much of the research to date involved older children, new studies on pre-school and school-aged children are showing similar patterns, which is good news. It means you can do something positive now that will impact your child’s quality of life, health and wellbeing for many years to come.3

Family mealtime tips

  • Try to set regular mealtimes for your child. Pre-schoolers may need to eat around five times a day, so spread out these eating occasions across the day.
  • Have your child eat in the same place e.g. at the dining or kitchen table.
  • Try and have at least one meal together as a family per day, where everyone is offered the same foods. It will give you the opportunity to model healthy eating choices.
  • Use mealtimes as an opportunity to chat with your child, not just about the food, but also about their day.

Remember, everything starts in the tummy and grows from there... when they feel right, they can enjoy all the ways of Growing Up Happy.

IMPORTANT NOTICE. NESTLÉ® LACTOKID® 4 is not a breastmilk substitute, and is formulated to support the changing nutrition needs of healthy young children older than 3 years.