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Middlesex-London Health Unit

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Eat Together 

A “family” doesn’t have to include just immediate family members like parents, children and siblings; it could also include friends or other relatives. Canada’s Food Guide states that eating with others is a great way to connect with others and share food traditions and cultures.


Benefits of eating with others for children and teens:

  • supports positive eating habits, like eating more vegetables and fruit
  • will avoid high-risk activities, like substance abuse and smoking
  • can build and maintain close relationships
  • will learn to stop eating once they are full, especially when their parents/caregivers act as role models
  • can practice social skills and manners by using “please” and “thank you”

Top 5 ways to promote eating with others in your home

1. Make eating together a priority.

Schedule time for meals, but be flexible with meal timing and location. If you aren’t eating together now, set a goal of having at least one meal together per week to start.

2. Plan ahead.

Use Canada’s Food Guide to plan meals. Include a variety of vegetables, fruits, whole grains and protein foods.

3. Involve everyone.

They can help with planning, preparing, serving and cleaning up after meals. Give children and teens age-appropriate tasks.

4. Be a positive role model.

Try new foods with your kids. Make sure you also eat regular meals and snacks with your kids.

5. Keep the focus on each other .

Remove distractions, like the TV, tablets and cell phones. Also, keep conversations about pleasant topics.

Date of creation: January 21, 2013
Last modified on: November 23, 2022