Meals are family time - The Buffalo News

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Meals are family time

It’s common for Eleanor Payne to bump into students at Wegmans in Williamsville – the students in her group cycling and cardio kickboxing classes at the Independent Health Family Branch YMCA, not her day job at Veronica E. Conner Middle School on Grand Island.

“They always look in my cart and say, ‘I figure you’d be buying those.’ Or they’ll see me at checkout and say, ‘Good, you’re lifting your own groceries. I like that.’ ” Payne, 43, piled up 40 pounds during several pregnancies about a decade ago, but it’s long gone. Her husband, Scott, lost 50 pounds.

Talk about your typical family meals.

For the morning, we’ll have oatmeal with some fruit or an Egg Beater omelette, with some peppers and onions. For lunch, it’s typically a salad with some romaine lettuce, green peppers, onions, with sunflower seeds or dried cranberries. Or we’ll alternate and have tuna fish with a little lemon juice and salt and pepper.

We’ll have a sensible dinner with loads of protein, either fish or chicken, and then our vegetables. What’s great is as a family, we cook together, so our kids know what we’re doing and how we’re doing it. We have them select the vegetable, so it’s really making them part of the process. Sometimes, when people say, ‘How come your kids eat that?’ It’s because they selected it. When we go grocery shopping, we make them become part of the process, too.

– Scott Scanlon

On the Web: Read more about how Payne lost her baby weight at

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