Videos

Happy Mealtime, Healthy Kids

December 2017

CHICAGO, Ill. (Ivanhoe Newswire) — Dinner time is stressful for many families, with parents coming home from work, kids arriving from school, and everyone hungry and ready to eat. New research suggests that a positive attitude during mealtime could influence kids’ food choices, having an impact on their health down the road.

For Lisa and Chris Lucht, the kitchen table is the place where their family refuels and reconnects.

Lisa told Ivanhoe, “It’s important to get us all together so that we have time to talk. The kids know we are focusing on them. They have our full attention. We have their full attention.”

“I like talking about different things and I like eating the vegetables at dinner,” said the Luchts’ daughter.

But a smooth transition from day to dinnertime isn’t always easy.

“Coming home from work, and getting us all to the table, it’s busy,” detailed Lisa.

New research suggests that if parents can create a positive environment at mealtime, children reap the health benefits.

Jaclyn Saltzman, MPH, of the University of Illinois Family Resiliency Center, said, “These findings are saying that emotions matter. Mealtimes matter.”

Saltzman and her colleagues studied the habits of 75 families with three-year-olds. For 23 months they videotaped mealtime visits and used surveys to assess positive and negative emotions and interactions.

“Families that had a more positive mealtime emotional climate also had children who ate about one more serving of healthy food,” said Saltzman.

Saltzman said parents can create a positive environment by involving kids in mealtime setup or preparation. Set a dinnertime routine; eat at the same time and in the same place. Organize a meal plan ahead of time, cutting up vegetables earlier in the afternoon or on weekends. Finally, eliminate all distractions.

“Their kids eat more healthy foods, the kids have healthier weight statuses,” explained Saltzman.

For parents, it’s food for thought.

That extra serving of healthy food meant that kids were eating more lean or soy protein, fruits, and vegetables over an extended period of time. Saltzman and her colleagues at the University of Illinois Family Resiliency Center have additional mealtime tips for families on their website.

Contributors to this news report include: Cyndy McGrath, Supervising and Field Producer; Milvionne Chery, Assistant Producer; Roque Correa, Editor and Videographer.

Produced by Child Trends News Service in partnership with Ivanhoe Broadcast News and funded by a grant from the National Science Foundation. 


Spanish Translation

Cenas Felices, Hijos Sanos

CHICAGO, Ill. (Ivanhoe Newswire) — La hora de la cena puede ser un foco de ansiedad. Los padres llegan del trabajo, los hijos de la escuela, y todo el mundo esta cansado y hambriento. Un nuevo estudio indica que un ambiente relajado durante las comidas puede tener un impacto positivo en los alimentos que escogen nuestros hijos, y su salud en el futuro.

Para Lisa y Chris Lucht la mesa de la cocina es donde la familia recarga baterías y refuerza vínculos. Pero no siempre es facil hacer la transicion de un día frenético a una cena armoniosa. Un nuevo estudio indica que si los padres crean un ambiente positivo durante las comidas, los beneficios se reflejan en la salud de sus hijos. Jaclyn Saltzman y sus colegas de la Universidad de Illinois estudiaron los habitos de 75 familias con hijos de tres años. Durante 23 meses filmaron las horas de comida y realizaron encuestas para determinar que tipo de ambiente reino durante la cena, positivo o negativo. El resultado? Los hijos de las familias que mantuvieron un clima emocional positivo comieron una porcion mas de una comida saludable.

Saltzman indica que los padres pueden crear un ambiente positivo involucrando a los niñٴos en la preparación de la comida, manteniendo una rutina, comiendo a la misma hora y en el mismo sitio, y planeando los menús con antelación. Asimismo, deben de eliminar cualquier distraccion. Por que una mesa armoniosa, siembra salud.

Esa porcion extra de comida saludable significa que los niٴños estaban  comiendo mas proteinas magras o de soya, frutas y vegetales en  una forma consistente y prolongada. Saltzman y su colegas del “family resiliency center,” de la Universidad de Illinois ofrecen mas ideas y sugerencias para ayudar a los padres durante las comidas en su pagina de internet.

Los contribuyentes a este reportaje incluyen: Cyndy McGrath, Supervisora y Productora de Campo; Milvionne Chery, Productora Assistente; Roque Correa, Editor Y Camarografo.

Producido por Child Trends News Service en asocio con Ivanhoe Broadcast News y auspiciado por una beca de la National Science Foundation.