The month of October is Eat Better Eat Together Month. Statistics show that families that regularly eat meals together begin to develop a closer relationship, as well as keeping the lines of communication open. According the Ground Report News on October 3, families that take the time to cook together and eat together are generally healthier. Your meals are more likely to be more nutritious, and children appear to do better in school academically, and with less behavioral problems.
Sharing meals together is also the perfect time to develop family traditions, while instilling family values (the road map to your family’s “personal beliefs and behavior guidelines”). Children who enjoy family meals together are apt to be more respectful when it comes to honoring family values and traditions.
Williams-Sonoma Family Meals: Creating Traditions in the Kitchen
This all sounds easy enough, right? So what makes eating nutritious meals together as a family so difficult, and what is the solution? The answer for most people would be simple…Time; with everyone’s busy schedules, there just never seems to be enough time. So what’s the solution? You Need To Make A Plan.
Just like you schedule your work, school activities, sports, and doctor visits, you will need to schedule in time for family meals, and this is not as difficult as you may think. You can begin with one meal during the week, then try adding a second meal on the weekend.
The first thing you need consider is choosing a time when everyone will be home together (you may need to modify or change a few things around to make this happen), and then figure out “What is the best time for your family?” Everyone assumes it is dinner time, but if that is not possible for you, then why not consider breakfast?
Next you can pick a theme, like taco night/breakfast, pizza time, or let each child take turns picking their favorite meal of the day, and don’t forget to include some healthy choices.
And finally, sit back and enjoy as you listen and engage in your family’s conversation. In our family we usually start from the youngest to the oldest, inviting them to share one thing they did not like about their day, and one thing they liked best about their day. Word of advice, we noticed that when we started with our youngest, she seemed so excited to tell us “every” detail of her day, that we decided (with a smile), that we had to put a 3 minute time limit on our “sharing” in order to let everyone have their turn. It’s a fun way to keep your family engaged in conversation at meal time, as well as creating memories that will last a lifetime.