Grow Your Own Let the kids help tend a few kitchen herbs and let them snip a leaf for meals. It also helps them appreciate where food comes from. 3 Plan the meal Start with letting your kids play a role in the planning. Let them suggest meal ideas and then do them. Even if it’s always the same suggestion (ahem, pizza!), help them learn how to modify it and try new variations. Have kids participate in the shopping. As they become invested in what ends up on the table, they’ll be more likely to eat it. F amily meals have always been important to Kerry Clifford, MS RD, LDN—and sometimes they’re unexpectedly an adventure, too. “My mom was always the cook and she cooked what was familiar for the whole family to sit down and enjoy,” says Kerry, Fresh Thyme Registered Dietitian. “But every once in a while, she left us with Dad to figure it out. He’d find random ingredients left in the fridge and make something up. One time, he combined mayonnaise, whipped cream, cabbage, and grapes to make what we called Funky Salad. Needless to say, we ended up at a restaurant. But I learned at a young age that experimenting in the kitchen was fun, harmless, and a family memory that’s still joked about decades later.” Rewards come from cooking and eating together as a family, even if, with today’s hectic schedules, it’s only a few times a week. And it might be more beneficial than you realize. It helps kids develop healthy eating habits, learn portion controls, and try new ingredients and better foods. Family dinners increase the nutritional intake of fruits and vegetables, and decrease the amount of fried foods and soda. A routine of eating together also provides other powerful benefits beyond the dinner table. It brings a family closer through quality time together and conversation without distractions (yep, turn off the TV and put away the phones). It can help improve performance in school and lower the risk of substance abuse or depression. All this while sharing a delicious family favorite or an occasional Funky Salad. Good habits. Good memories. Good nutrition. So what’s not to love? amily meals have always been important to Kerry Clifford, MS RD, LDN—and sometimes they’re unexpectedly an , too. “My mom was always the cook and she cooked what was familiar for the whole family to sit down and enjoy,” says what was familiar for the whole family to sit down and enjoy,” says Kerry, Fresh Thyme Registered Dietitian. “But every once in a while, Kerry, Fresh Thyme Registered Dietitian. “But every once in a while, she left us with Dad to figure it out. He’d find random ingredients she left us with Dad to figure it out. He’d find random ingredients left in the fridge and make something up. One time, he combined left in the fridge and make something up. One time, he combined mayonnaise, whipped cream, cabbage, and grapes to make what we mayonnaise, whipped cream, cabbage, and grapes to make what we called Funky Salad. Needless to say, we ended up at a restaurant. But I learned at a young age that experimenting in the kitchen was fun, harmless, and a family memory that’s still joked about decades later.” Rewards come from cooking and eating together as a family, even if, with today’s hectic schedules, it’s only a few times a week. And it might be more beneficial than you realize. It helps kids develop healthy eating habits, learn portion controls, and try new ingredients and better foods. Family dinners increase the nutritional intake of fruits and vegetables, and decrease the amount of fried foods and soda. A routine of eating together also provides other powerful benefits beyond the dinner table. It brings a family closer through quality time together and conversation without distractions (yep, turn off the TV and put away the phones). It can help improve performance in school and lower Plan the meal Start with letting your kids play a role in the planning. Let them suggest meal ideas and then do them. Even if it’s always the same suggestion (ahem, pizza!), help them learn how to modify it and try new variations. Have kids participate in the shopping. As they become invested in what ends up on the table, they’ll be more likely to eat it. the risk of substance abuse or depression. All this while sharing a delicious family favorite or an occasional Funky Salad. Good habits. Good memories. Good nutrition. amily meals have always been important to Kerry Clifford, amily meals have always been important to Kerry Clifford, MS RD, LDN—and sometimes they’re unexpectedly an MS RD, LDN—and sometimes they’re unexpectedly an , too. “My mom was always the cook and she cooked , too. “My mom was always the cook and she cooked what was familiar for the whole family to sit down and enjoy,” says what was familiar for the whole family to sit down and enjoy,” says Kerry, Fresh Thyme Registered Dietitian. “But every once in a while, she left us with Dad to figure it out. He’d find random ingredients left in the fridge and make something up. One time, he combined mayonnaise, whipped cream, cabbage, and grapes to make what we mayonnaise, whipped cream, cabbage, and grapes to make what we called Funky Salad. Needless to say, we ended up at a restaurant. But harmless, and a family memory that’s still joked about decades later.” Rewards come from cooking and eating together as a family, even if, with today’s hectic schedules, it’s only a few times a week. And it might be more beneficial than you realize. It helps kids develop healthy eating habits, learn portion controls, and try new ingredients and better foods. Family dinners amount of fried foods and soda. A routine of eating together also provides other quality time together and conversation without distractions (yep, turn off the TV favorite or an occasional Funky Salad. Good habits. Good memories. Good nutrition. TRY NEW FOODS See what gets their attention at the store, such as colorful carrots or a funny-looking kohlrabi. Buy it and cook it—they’ll be curious to try it. 2 What if you ran the grocery cart? “I would buy cake mix, candy, and ice cream bars, but not raisins.” - Olivia, 10 “I like the honey sticks and making my own peanut butter.” - Rachel, 7 3 MAKE A LIST Let kids contribute to the grocery list. Move beyond “candy” by guiding choices: “Do you want apples or pears? Write down your choice.” 1 freshthyme.com | September/October 2017 33 032-035 Fill up with Family.indd 33 8/14/17 11:52 AM