The basic rule is that if you haven't eaten for hours or all day (which you shouldn't have, though in reality many are too busy to eat sometimes!) is to make sure you have had something at least an hour - 1 1/2hr's before exercising. Often just a couple of oatcakes with peanut butter, humous or cottage cheese is a good pre exercise snack. If you are about to have an intensive cardio 1/2hr or more then you really should eat something small a good 1 1/2 hours before to avoid a stich. Eat a little something with your kids when they eat, but save most of it for after the exercise session. When anyone exercises, the rule is you should eat within 2hrs of finishing your session otherwise your body will not utilise the nutrients properly & you will ache/feel tired the next day. Ideally the sooner you can eat after exercising the better, otherwise it is a wasted session. You need a mixture of protein (to mend the muscle fibres you have broken down whilst exercising) and some carbs to help refuel your energy that you have just burnt off - glycogen (the body's version of petrol!). It has been proven that even a large glass of milk is beneficial after a session - full of protein. If it is late in the evening avoid too heavy a meal and just eat something like eggs, milk, nuts or a bean salad. With carbs try to eat as many complex carbs - spinach, broccoli, kale, carrots, oats, rye bread, brown rice, sweet potatoes as these are full of healthy nutrients & slow-release energy. The greens can fill your plate up and fill you up with so much goodness and very little calories and virtually no fat and they take no time at all to steam!