The fourth blog in our Nutrition Month Series “Unlock the Potential of Food” is focusing on “Potential to Bring us Together”.
Family meals offer a wonderful opportunity to unplug and connect with each other.
It may take some work to figure out how to make family meals happen, but the benefits are worth it. Children who eat with their family tend to eat healthier, and perform better at school while lowering the chance of becoming overweight or starting an eating disorder.
It’s not just children who benefit, although they tend to eat more vegetable and fruits, decrease their sugar sweetened beverage intake, get better grades, and decreases the chance of your child starting smoking, using alcohol or drugs.
Adults who eat with friends and family tend to eat more vegetable and fruits, drink less pop, eat fewer meals at fast food restaurants and have lower body mass indexes.
Older adults who eat with others have better diets, improved nutrient intake and lower rates of malnutrition.
Keep in mind that family meals don’t need to be at supper time. If a parent works shift work the timing of family meals may look different. They can be breakfast or lunch or something in-between.
When you sit down together it’s a great time for conversation. Try these tips to get your kids talking.
- Do ask questions that require more than a yes or no answer
- Do put cell phones/screens away for the time you are at the table
- Do keep meal time positive
- Do model good habits for your children.
Mealtimes together can make a positive difference in the health of all family members. So aim to have them together as often as possible.