Mom's meatloaf just isn't what it used to be. And by that, of course, we mean that unlike the family dinners we once saw on The Waltons--or even The Simpsons, for that matter--it's more and more difficult to get everyone around the table for a decent meal.
Nevermind that the ingredients in "Ma" Walton's traditional meatloaf are now much more difficult to find in their natural state, rather than packed with hormones and additives. The bigger challenge we see for families is that everyone is constantly on the go, meaning fewer occasions for wholesome togetherness around something that is good for you.
But we've got a few ideas (plus a recipe on page 15) to reinstill health for the whole family.
EAT TOGETHER (AT HOME) AS OFTEN AS POSSIBLE.
In this era of soccer games, dance recitals, dad working late and mom needing to put together a PowerPoint for tomorrow's big pitch to investors, it's easy to fall into the trap: Eat quick, eat in front of the TV, eat junk. Big mistake. Of all the things you can do to influence the health of your family, perhaps the most important is to make family dining a priority. Research shows that having family eat together more than twice a week can positively influence a child's waist, eating behavior, and overall psychological development.
EAT MORE EARLIER, LESS LATER.
Our bodies crave more calories at the end of the day and fewer in the morning, a holdover from the time when early humans' food supply was unreliable and storing energy was an advantage. But today that pattern has negative effects on our health. Studies in animals and humans have now found that eating out of sync with the clock is associated with weight gain, chronic disease and premature aging. If you can swing it, make breakfast the family's largest meal of the day, and cut back at dinner.
START 'EM EARLY.
A basic fact any parent will recognize: Kids prefer foods they're familiar with. So as...