Aspirus | Aspire | Fall 2018

FAMILY meals have a lot of competition—especially with school back in session—from soccer games, piano lessons, homework and the schedules of working parents. Still, if you’re a mom or a dad, it’s important not to let those commitments crowd out family meals altogether. Andrew Snider, MD, a family medicine physician at Aspirus clinics in Antigo and Birnamwood, has four children of his own. He believes in family mealtime. Research shows that kids who regularly eat family meals are more likely to have healthy diets than those who don’t. Shared meals also give families the chance to talk and grow closer. And that may explain why they help protect kids from behavioral problems and even substance abuse. So do your best to eat as a family at least a few times a week. Here are some tips from Dr. Snider on how to fit in time together—and put healthy food on the table, even when you’re rushed: Andrew Snider, MD Make mealtime GOODFOOD, GOODTIMES Go online to recipes to find recipe ideas for yourself or the whole family. Serve no-fuss meals with nutritious foods. Try rotisserie chicken with frozen peas and potatoes. A sandwich—even at dinner—is OK too. Just use whole-grain bread, stuff it with veggies and lean meat, and serve it with a piece of fruit. Source: Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Plan ahead. Pick times when everybody’s available for a meal, and be sure everyone knows to be home at a certain time. If conflicts rule out dinner, try breakfast, especially on weekends. Let everybody pitch in. For example, young kids can wash the veggies, and older kids can do the chopping. family time Studies have shown that if you give children a plate with fruits and vegetables on it—in the correct portions—they will consume more. 4 aspire Fall 2018