Every family tries to strike a balance between spending quality time together, work, and school life. Although the weekends may be a bit relaxed, it’s still not easy arranging a family meal. You need to put in the energy to cook the food and ensure everyone is around. To encourage families and especially the kids to eat together more often, make mealtime fun, and most importantly, serve delicious meals everyone will enjoy.
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To enable this, make the meals simple, delicious, and most importantly, nutritious. For instance, if your family loves eating fish, when you can’t cook one, get a tasty fish sauce substitute. They’ll enjoy the taste of fish, making the meal memorable. Broaden your cooking skills and make sure you take into consideration your family’s nutrition needs.
Children Who Enjoy Family Mealtimes Tend to Be Healthier
Most kids don’t like fruits and vegetables and may snack the entire day on junk if no one carefully follows up on what they eat. Having planned meal times ensures everyone eats what is served. Parents can make sure the kids eat their vegetables and fruits and maintain healthy eating habits.
Also, parents tend to plan healthier options when the family is seating together for a meal. Because it’s impossible to have all three main meals together every day, plan to have either breakfast or dinner together and lunches on weekends.
Mealtimes are not just a time to nourish empty stomachs, but families can get to know how each person is fairing. If you have dinner together, the kids will share school time stories and the day’s activities while you and your partner can talk about exciting work happenings. Kids will learn how to express their needs, worries, and expectations more freely because mealtime gives them the opportunity.
Research has noted that kids from families that eat together are less likely to abuse drugs or get overweight. They have better relationships with their parents too.
How to Start a Successful Family Meal Time
If you’ve not yet started this routine, start simple and make sure to follow up. You can start by planning one family meal a week and increase it to at least three meals. Although eating at a restaurant together is better than not having any family meal, keep it minimal because you will be indulging in unhealthy choices more.
Plan When Everyone is Present
It’s usually hard for families to plan a meal together during a school weekday. Most kids have extracurricular activities to attend after school, while parents might get home late from work. If you cannot have dinner together, plan to have dessert or an after dinner snack when everyone is home. Also, plan the weekends to include more family mealtimes.
Breakfast time can also be an ideal family mealtime, but if you find the kids are too sleepy to have a conversation or you have to rush through the meal to make it to work and school on time, stick to the evenings. You’ll have a more relaxed time then.
As you incorporate this routine, start simple, have a goal, be flexible, and have fun.