Dine In Day encourages healthy eating with family - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Dine In Day encourages healthy eating with family

During a time when busy lifestyles are the norm, people eat almost 45 percent of meals outside of the home, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. During a time when busy lifestyles are the norm, people eat almost 45 percent of meals outside of the home, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
CAPE GIRARDEAU, MO (KFVS) - The University of Missouri Extension encourages people to eat at home on December 3 as part of Dine In Day.

It's all in an effort to encourage people to eat healthy, and eat with their families.

We caught up with Tina Macklem during lunch time, as her 2-year-old son and the little girl she babysits were eating lunch.

On the kid's menu for the day? Mac and cheese.

"It kind of varies day to day, sometimes we might just have a peanut butter and jelly sandwich or chicken nuggets, or mac and cheese, you know whatever, they like their veggies too," said Macklem.

While Macklem and the kids usually eat lunch at home, everyone is encouraged to refrain from going out to eat because Dec. 3 is designated Dine In Day.

During a time when busy lifestyles are the norm, people eat almost 45 percent of meals outside of the home, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Dining out can have a negative impact.

People tend to take in more calories and make poor nutritional choices, they spend more on food and communicate with their family less.

Macklem also has a husband and 6-year-old son.

She said they make an effort to sit down to a meal together at the table at the end of the day.

"That's the time for everybody to just come together and talk about their day," said Macklem.

Experts say a family meal at home provides an opportunity to talk to kids about nutrition and portion control, as well as budgeting.

They suggest even making the meal preparation a family time. Let children help with age-appropriate tasks such as setting and clearing the table.

They also suggest banning cell phones and other electronic devices at the dinner table for older children, to encourage conversation.

The healthy eating day also comes on the same day that a new study says a Mediterranean diet rich in vegetables, fruits, nuts, beans and fish can help people live longer, help you manage your weight, and can lower your risk for chronic issues such as cardiovascular disease.

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