The Importance of Family Meals
October is recognized as Eat Together, Eat Better Month, a time to recognize the importance of family meals. Shared family meals tend to be more nutritious than eating out or grabbing something “quick to eat.” Kids who eat regular meals are less likely to snack on “unhealthy” foods they grab on the go.
They are more likely to get the right amount of fruits and vegetables when they eat meals that are planned out. Not only are family meals good for mental and physical health reasons, planned sit-down meals give families the chance to reconnect with each other.
In a world full of smartphones and less face-to-face communication, it is important to share these moments with your families, especially as your children are getting older.
Finding the time to plan, prepare, and enjoy a family meal can be difficult. Try these tips to schedule family meals and make them enjoyable for everyone:
To make sure everyone can attend, look over the calendar at your families’ events for the week. Start with one night a week that everyone can sit down and eat together. After a few weeks of this, it will start to feel more routine and could eventually lead to 2-3 nights a week.
Sit and plan out each meal in advance, so you know what to cook, how much to cook, and if it will turn out well. Don’t be afraid to experiment with new recipes! Make sure you have all the supplies, but most importantly, don’t stress! The hardest part is getting everyone to the table.
Once you have all the supplies together and are getting ready to cook, involve the entire family in the preparation. Give each family member a job to help contribute to the night. One can be the taster, another can be in charge of setting the table, and another can be in charge of stirring.
Sit back, relax, and enjoy a stress-free meal with your family. Take this time to talk with your children and really listen to what they have to stay. Create an atmosphere that is open and discussion flows easily. Overall, don’t force anything. Have fun and enjoy the meal you get to eat with the family you love.
Family meals are a tradition your children will be able to take with them when they are older. They are an important staple and are a great way to keep your family close when things get hectic and crazy.