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August 11, 2020 • Kids Health

Family Meals Boost Kids Nutrition Significantly

 kid superhero healthy children
Sitting down for family meals proves to be a powerful avenue to boost kids’ fruit and vegetable intake. In a study involving over 2000 school-age children, even those sitting down for family meals just once or twice a week consumed significantly more produce than those who never ate together. Relative to children who rarely or never sat down for family meals, those who “sometimes” ate family meals consumed 3.4 ounces more fruits and veggies a day, while those who regularly dined with their families ate 4.5 ounces more a day. The study also found that cutting up a child’s fruit and vegetables enhanced consumption as did viewing a parent eating fruits and veggies (i.e. positive parental role modeling).
If you want a simple, concise guide that blends all of my hands-on experience raising four healthy eaters, with the best evidence-based strategies for cultivating life-long sound nutritional habits in your children, check out my award-winning book, The Family Plan.

Healthy Kid-friendly Pumpkin Peanut Roll

Serves 1This lunch is truly on a roll for health providing a whopping dose of nutrients in a package that is scrumptious!


1 100% whole wheat tortilla

2 tbsp peanut butter (or any nut butter), natural best

2 tbsp 100% canned pumpkin

1 tbsp hemp kernels or 2 tsp wheat germ (or ground flax seed)

1 small to medium ripe banana, diced or cut lengthwise into strips

1 drizzle of honey, raw best

3 dashes cinnamon

Side: Kid’s Mix 

1 small handful dried fruit of choice (raisins, apples, mangoes, figs, apricots)

1 small handful semi-sweet dark chocolate chips



Using a knife, spread the nut butter evenly across one surface of the tortilla. Next, spread a layer of the pumpkin evenly on top of the nut butter. Sprinkle the hemp kernels or wheat germ over the pumpkin. Cut the banana lengthwise into strips and place them on one half of the tortilla. Lightly drizzle the whole tortilla with honey. Add a few dashes of cinnamon. Starting on the side of the tortilla with the banana strips, roll the tortilla into a burrito-style roll. Wrap the roll tightly in aluminum foil.

For the side, combine dried fruit and chocolate chips together. For fun, you can place them in a kid-friendly container like an Altoid box.

(Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health December 2012)