Sadly, far too many children across the country may not
remember the last time they sat down together and ate a full meal as a family. Due
to homework, work for the parents, and a host of other responsibilities for both
the kids and the adults, some families rarely have the opportunity to sit down
together and enjoy a home-cooked meal in the company of their loved ones.
Ultimately, this is extremely detrimental for both parents
and children; it robs children of the opportunity to spend quality time with
their parents, and parents of time impart wisdom on their kids, and discuss
life lessons face to face. So this year, we are celebrating October as
Eat Together, Eat Better Month, a time
during which we encourage families to take a few moments to sit down at the
table and eat as a family. Make sure to clear your schedule this month so that
you have ample time to enjoy food together with your loved ones.
The Importance of Eating Together
Of course, eating together as a family allows you to sit
down and discuss what happened throughout the course of your day, as well as
any other fun things that come to mind. But, most importantly, many believe
that when families eat together, they often eat better; more specifically,
they eat more nutritiously and a greater
variety of foods. Instead of simply grabbing a sweet or starchy snack to
munch on as they continue on their day, eating as a family often leads to both
the adults and the children making healthier options that otherwise wouldn’t be
available in the absence of a family meal. Both parents and children are more
likely to eat a balanced diet that includes vegetables when eating together as
In addition to healthier choices, however, eating together
also allows parents and children to have lengthy discussions on a variety of
topics. Parents and their little ones can discuss what happened during their
day, what they hope to happen throughout the week, and anything else that comes
to mind. In turn, these minor discussions will help strengthen the bond between
the members of the family.
Find Ways to Incorporate Family Meals Into Your Routine
Making the decision to spend more mealtimes together as a
family is often much easier said than done; to be sure, it involves nothing
more than a simple promise. But actually making it happen is an entirely
different story, one that requires commitment from all members of the family,
especially the parents. So how, then, can parents and children work together to
incorporate a greater amount of collective meals into the family routine, even
in light of an already busy schedule?
The first step, ultimately, requires a great amount of
communication. In order for parents and children to come together and enjoy
meals as a family, they must have a solid understanding of what each member of
the family will be doing at that time. For example, parents should know their
children’s after-school schedule, and kids should know when they are to be expected
home after school or activities.
Furthermore, parents should do their best to rearrange their
schedules in order to incorporate family meals at dinner time, and should do
the same for their children. This doesn’t mean that parents or children should
absolutely sacrifice necessary activities, but instead should be willing to
work together to help ensure the family can spend quality time with one
Have Extra Time? Try Cooking Together?
Some families may find it difficult to find any time at all
to sit down and eat together as a family. Those families that do have excess
time, however, should consider not only sitting down together for a delicious
dinner, but cooking together in the kitchen as well before the meal is served.
Cooking dinner together helps children develop a stronger appreciation for the
source of their food, as well as the preparation that goes into making it a
delicious meal on the table. And in addition, cooking provides extra time for
the parents to impart further knowledge on their kids.
Of course, if your kids are too young to take part in the
cooking process, you can let them pretend to create their own delicious meal
Garden Salad toy for kids during the Eat Together, Eat Better Month. This is a fun toy that will help
ensure that everyone has fun as you
better as a family
together around the table.
Eat Together as a Family This Month
Don’t let busy schedules get in the way of eating together
as a family this month. Instead, follow these few simple tips to help ensure
that you eat together and eat better with those whom you truly love.