October is National Eat Better, Eat Together Month! With all the hustle and bustle of your daily routines, far too often do you get caught up in your personal lives and forget to spend quality time with your family. Even though you may live under the same roof, just being around each other daily is not enough. Regardless of who you are, food always brings people together, so what better time to be with your family than around the dinner table with a home cooked meal? Eating at least one meal a day with your family is good for a number of reasons.
Research shows that eating as a family promotes healthier eating overall. If you prepare and eat healthy meals with your children, you will be setting a good example of what good nutrition should look like. Additionally, it gives you time to talk, bond, and build relationships. Everyone has hectic schedules and life can get stressful, but by practicing this one healthy habit, you will find that it benefits both you and your family. Here are some helpful tips for coordinating family meals:
Figure out everyone's schedule and plan accordingly.
There will be days where not everyone will be able to eat together, but try your best to work around it and accommodate. Save leftovers for those who are coming home later! If it comes down to it, set aside at least one day a week where everyone can share a meal.
Eating together is great, but cooking together can be even better. Not only are you spending more time together, but eating the meal that everyone contributed to making tastes that much better!
On busier days, make a simple and quick meal.
This does not mean resort to carry out or even worse, fast food. Fire up some pasta or rice, sauté some veggies, and cook some chicken breast. Voila! In 30 minutes or less you have a balanced and healthy meal.
Leave electronics in a different room when sitting around the table.
Chances are you've already spent the majority of your day on one or more of these devices. Set them down for the 30 or 40 minutes you're at the table and enjoy the company of your family.
Think of a topic to discuss to which everyone can contribute.
Whether you're simply asking how everyone's day went, or what they aspire to do in the next 5 years, there are plenty of things to talk about that everyone can relate to.
Humans by nature are social animals, and we thrive off being around each other. Between enjoying mom's famous lasagna to preparing a family picnic on the weekend, food has the amazing ability to not only nourish, but bring people together and even have a therapeutic effect. So as you go about your busy month, think about how often you truly sit down and have some quality family time, and don't forget to eat better and eat together.