Want your grandkids to eat more VEGGIES this summer? Here’s the KEY…

Americans (especially New Yorkers) are always in a hurry.

We’re in a hurry to run errands. We’re in a hurry to get through the line at the store. We’re even in a hurry to finish eating!

But according to a new study, simply taking MORE TIME this summer to enjoy your meals could have a HUGE positive impact on health… and especially for your grandkids.

For this study, researchers randomized 50 families into two groups. One group ate their meals as usual. The second group was asked to extend their mealtime by 50 percent (10 minutes longer, on average).

It turns out, during the longer family meals, kids ate at least three more pieces of fruit and nearly four more pieces of vegetables than those who followed their regular, shorter routines. And these additional portions totaled to about one medium apple a day!

This kind of simple lifestyle change may even help kids avoid obesity as they get older, as the slower eaters in the study also reported higher levels of satiety (feeling full).

So this summer—make it a point to sit down and enjoy some leisurely, unrushed meals with your grandkids. It really IS the secret to getting them to eat more fruits and veggies! Not to mention, you’ll personally get to enjoy the extra time with them.

Here’s a simple, grandkid-friendly recipe from my book The A-List Diet that you can enjoy making AND eating together…

Taco Burger Wrap (Serves 1)


  • 8 ounces ground beef
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 1 large iceberg lettuce leaf
  • 1 ounce cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 1 tablespoon sliced jalapeño (omit if too hot for the kiddos, or replace with bell pepper)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons red taco sauce


  1. Preheat an outdoor grill or stovetop grill pan over high heat.
  2. In a medium bowl, mix the beef, cumin, paprika, and lime juice until well combined. Form a patty that’s oblong rather than circular. Be careful not to overwork the meat or pack the patty too tightly.
  3. Grill the patty to the desired doneness, two minutes per side for medium-rare.
  4. Place the lettuce on a plate and place the burger on the stem end. Top with the cheese, jalapeño, and taco sauce. Fold the lettuce over the burger—no bun required.
  5. Serve with a selection of chopped veggies and fruits.

To a healthier you,

Fred Pescatore, M.D.


“Longer Family Meals Are Healthier Meals for Kids.” MedPage Today, 4/3/23. (medpagetoday.com/primarycare/dietnutrition/103838)