Celebrate the Family Meal this October with National Eat Better, Eat Together Month

Newswise — October is National Eat Better; Eat Together Month. That means it's time to corral the kids and tempt the teens with healthy family meals, says The Association for Dressings & Sauces (ADS).

According to Washington State University, children and teenagers report that what they like about family meals is the mealtime conversation. They like having time to share, find out what others have been up to and to laugh.

The memorable family meal can be anything from quick and easy to elaborate and multiple courses. Try having candlelight dinners. You can also incorporate everyone into the shopping expedition. That way each person can select a vegetable for the family meal that they make and eat together. Or, try experimenting with foods from other countries and assign your kids the task of online research to come up with menu ideas. Even better, try experimenting with various types of salads " Asian, Latin American, Mediterranean, and don't forget the salad dressing. The offerings are plenty and the benefits speak for themselves:

Salads with dressing offer numerous health benefits and are an excellent menu choice for maintaining optimal weight and nutrition. And, by building their own salad, kids have an opportunity to express their individualism and have a say in what they eat. Vegetables and fruits in many salads are an excellent source of fiber, which has been linked to a reduced risk of cancer. Researchers at the University of California, Los Angeles and Louisiana State University published a study in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association that found that those who eat salads, raw vegetables and salad dressing have considerably higher levels of vitamins C, E, B6 and folic acid, all key nutrients in promoting a healthy immune system.

In addition, researchers from Iowa State University and Ohio State University published a study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition that showed eating salad vegetables with some added fat, such as full-fat salad dressings, promotes the absorption of lycopene, alpha- and beta-carotenes, all of which aid in the fight against cancer and heart disease. An added bonus - most salad dressings are free of trans fats.

About The Association for Dressings & SaucesThe Association for Dressings & Sauces is an international trade association representing the manufacturers of salad dressings and condiment sauces and the suppliers to the industry. Visit www.dressings-sauces.org to learn more about the nutritional benefits of salads and salad dressings, and to obtain numerous salad recipes as well as a copy of the brochure, "The Good News About Salad Dressings and Sauces." For more information about the health aspects of fresh vegetable and salad dressing consumption and related research, visit http://www.saladaday.org.

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