September is family meals month. Ideally, we eat with family most days, all months of the year. But, if that is not the case with your family, then now may be a good time to bring back the family meal atmosphere. Why? Sitting down as a family promotes conversation, healthy eating behaviors, and fond memories. Research shows that as families eat more meals together, they have greater unity, better grades, and closer relationships. Also, the percentage of household members who are overweight, or abuse alcohol or drugs, is significantly lower in families who eat meals together on a regular basis than those who don’t.
Eating together as a family doesn’t mean elaborate meals made from scratch. Even when food is picked up from a drive-through, it would be more beneficial to eat the food together at a table rather than in a car. Don’t have a dining table? Find one from a friend or family member looking to upgrade, search garage sales or buy a folding table. A table is a great investment for the well-being of your family. In the meantime, eat in the living room, but turn OFF the TV and leave phones alone.
I challenge you to assess how often you eat together currently and make a goal to eat one more meal together each week.
Family Meal Tips:
Pick the day or days that work for everyone to commit to.
When pressed for time, choose the meal for conveniences such as slow-cooker meals, casseroles or grilled meats.
Pick an entree and side dishes so that each family member likes at least one item from what is offered. Example: grilled chicken, baked potato, broccoli & cheese and watermelon.
Plan for conversation starters. Share something interesting from the day!
Turn off screens