Eating a meal with your family is a great way to share healthy foods and stay up yo date on what’s happening in one another’s lives! But did you know that it’s also good for your family’s health? A recent study found that girls who ate five or more meals a week with their families had a lower risk of developing unhealthy eating habits and eating disorders. Other studies have linked regular family meals with lower rates of obesity, drug use, smoking, and suicidal thinking among adolescents. With all the benefits you and your family can derive from eating together, how can you afford not to? Get started this week with these tips:
- Set a time for a meal-just remember who has basketball practice or dance lessons on which day!
- Share food preparation and clean-up duties-your kids will love helping you prepare the meals, and if everyone is involved in cleanup, no one can complain about it.
- If they are old enough, let the kids help wash, peel and cut up vegetables.
- If your kids are too young to help cook, they can be involved – by choosing what vegetables they want for dinner, or by stirring ingredients in a bowl.
- Don’t let anyone opt out of the meal. Including everyone emphasizes the importance of the family’s time together.
- Turn off the TV and computers- focus on eating and talking!
- Eat slowly and enjoy the food, the conversation and the laughter!
- Keep mealtime conversation positive and avoid sensitive subjects. The point is for all of you to enjoy yourselves-not argue!
With a little practice, your family mealtimes will become something you all look forward to. Give it a try!