Children

School Lunches in America Face Health and Cost Concerns — Food News

The status of school lunch in America is far from perfect. Between unhealthy options and lunch shaming, there's tremendous room for improvement when it comes to how and what children in the nation are being fed.

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The Things Emotionally Healthy Families Do at the Dinner Table — Table Talk

Some nights it feels like a major feat if everyone in my family eats dinner — let alone the idea of us all doing it together. As in, at the same time. With both kids involved in travel sports and my husband and I ending work at different times, we often graze in shifts: My sons get fed by their sitter, I scarf down hummus and carrots (and, ahem, some brie), and my husband hoovers up the leftovers.

But no matter how crazy life gets, I know there are good reasons to slow down and sync up for the family-meal thing. The simple act of sitting down for a shared meal on a regular basis brings health and happiness benefits. Children who eat with their families are less likely to be depressed and may do better in school, according to research.

There's no question that eating slowly with friends and family (as they do in Italy and Greece) is better for your heart and waistline than our typical American wham-bam eating mode.

The good news: You don't have to bend over backwards trying to create rituals that'll actually work in the real world. Here's what busy, happy families do to make mealtimes matter.

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Recipe: Slow Cooker Honey Teriyaki Chicken — Quick and Easy Weeknight Dinners

(Image credit: Joe Lingeman/The Kitchn)

Coming of age in the High Mall Era meant the food court was the first stop before buying a new halter top or catching Freddie Prinze Jr.'s latest flick. Despite being a mall regular, I always debated between choosing the oversized pizza slice or sticky-sweet chicken teriyaki. Chicken teriyaki always won. Today, I rarely make it into a mall, but on days when my energy is low and the need to feed my family is high, the urge for chicken teriyaki takeout is strong.

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Next Week’s Meal Plan: 5 Easy Weeknight Dinners for Back to School — Next Week’s Meal Plan

This week my daughter started kindergarten in her new school in our new city. We're still working on finding preschool for our littlest kiddo, but it feels like we are finding our way back to a regular school-year schedule. After a hectic summer, it feels glorious.

I imagine most of you are in the same boat we are: looking for easy weeknight dinners that will make this first week back into a new schedule enjoyable. This week's meal plan is exactly that: Five family favorites that are perfect for back to school.

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How Our Weekly Dinner Calendar Gets My Kid in the Game — Dinner with Kids

Some kids are notorious for craving predictability at dinnertime. They like the same pasta served in a particular bowl. Or they only eat tofu pho, which sounds adventurous, without green things, from one Vietnamese restaurant, and only on Thursday nights. (We'd like the table by the window, please.) Or they eat gyoza, but only at a certain friend's house, because her dad really does make it best, and in that case he'll have 20.

I have one of these children.

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Recipe: Apple-Cinnamon French Toast Casserole — Make-Ahead Breakfast Recipes

(Image credit: Joe Lingeman)

French toast is the gold-standard of slow Saturdays – a hot cup of coffee in one hand, a sizzling skillet on the stove, and Billie Holiday crooning in the background. There's nothing like the soothing repetition of whisking eggs and cream, cutting rich egg bread into impossibly thick slices, combining the two, and watching the toast sizzle in a pool of butter. That is the dream until you have two toddlers begging for breakfast before your feet find your slippers. I'm here to tell you that you can have all the things that French toast offers without hovering over a hot pan at 6:30 in the morning.

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