Summer time can be a very busy time for a lot of people. Just because school is out, doesn’t mean that work is out for a lot of parents, or that sports stop… but that doesn’t mean that you have to miss out on quality family time. Eating family meals together is very important for several reasons. Research shows that when families eat dinner together, they are more likely to eat more vegetables and fruits — and fewer fried foods, soda, and foods with trans fats. Besides promoting better nutrition, you also get to have some good conversation, and really show your kids that they matter.
Take it one step further, and maybe have the kids help you prepare dinner! My girls love to help out in the kitchen, and often times it can lead to some good laughs. They love to cut veggies for our stir fry meals, or season meats for the grill. They’ve gotten pretty good over the last couple of months too.
Unfortunately, with busy schedules, etc., not every family takes the time to eat dinner together. For the third summer in a row, the Walmart Foundation has announced $15 Million in grants to nonprofits helping families with feeding and nutrition education programs. These funds will go to the Children’s Health Fun, Food Research and Action Center, League of United Latin American Citizens, National 4-H Council, National Recreation and Park Association, and YMCA of the USA.
Join Walmart’s Eat Healthy Together Challenge
This year, in addition to the donations, Walmart is collaborating with Chef Lorena Garcia, renowned chef and author with TV appearances on BRAVO’s “Top Chef Masters” and NBC’s “Biggest Loser”, to launch the Eat Healthy Together Challenge. The challenge encourages families to eat healthy meals together at least three times a week.
Families can join the challenge by taking these simple steps (click here for official contest rules):
- Follow @WalmartHealthy on Twitter.
- Post photos or updates on Twitter of your family eating healthy meals together, and include hashtags #EatHealthyTogether #Contest #WalMealChallenge.
- Check out @WalmartHealthy each Monday for the announcement of the winning Challenge Tweet of the week; each winner will be awarded a $25 Walmart gift card.
The challenge will run from Monday, June 30, 2014, through Monday, August 4, 2014, with the first gift card to be awarded on Monday, July 7, 2014. Entries need to be received by 10:00 a.m. ET on Mondays to be considered for the contest each week.
To learn more about meal planning and how families can create healthy meals together, please visit foundation.walmart.com/eathealthytogetherfor access to helpful resources:
- Download, print and post a Challenge Calendar to track each day you eat as a family
- Get healthy shopping & cooking tips and a recipe from Chef Lorena
- Check out more tasty summer recipe ideas at Walmart.com
“Parents and caregivers are the single most influential role model when it comes to nutrition, and in turn, it falls on their shoulders to help children learn healthy eating habits,” said Chef Lorena. “Walmart’s Eat Healthy Together Challenge is a fun, interactive way to help encourage more families to eat healthy together by providing them with the resources they need to succeed. Fostering a routine now will help ensure the habit continues during the school year and beyond.”