September is Family Meals Month. And while quarantine might have forced our families to sit down at the table together more than we normally would, a return to school, work, and training might mean this, again, becomes a thing of the past.
There are a lot of benefits when families sit down at the table and share a meal together.
Studies have shown that when families eat together:
Adults and children make more nutritious and well rounded food choices
People who eat home-cooked meals eat an overall more nutritious diet
They are overall healthier
They enjoy a wider variety of foods
Adults and children are less likely to be overweight or obese
Kids and teens are more likely to eat nutritious foods
Kids and teens are less likely to develop eating disorders
Children are more likely to develop good social behaviors as adults, such as sharing, fairness, and respect
Teens develop better relationships with their parents (which makes them more likely to talk to them about hard topics #gymnastalliance) and do better in school
Teens are at lower risk of using drugs, drinking, smoking, or doing delinquent acts
Teens are less likely to show symptoms of depression
A Food Industry Association 2020 report found that while 90% of families wished they could eat together only 30% of families actually share dinner together every night.
So what can you do?
Make a plan to include 1 more meal together each week (it doesn't have to be dinner!)
Turn off the TV and put down the devices during meal time
Use a conversation starter
Plan meals for when everyone is home
Involve everyone in menu planning and make a meal everyone will enjoy
Use storebought shortcuts and your kitchen appliances to make mealtime on busy days quick easy
For more information, visit www.FamilyMealsMovement.org