#2013alive: Make Time to Share a Family Meal

#2013alive: Make Time to Share a Family Meal

Studies show that eating family meals together has positive effects on children, such as better school performance and healthier eating habits.

Welcome to month 2, week 2 of our 12 Months of Wellness. With Valentine’s Day just days away, you may be planning a romantic candlelit dinner with a special loved one. Sharing delicous food, fun company, and meaningful conversation always makes us feel good.

In our hectic lives, sitting down to a nice meal as a family may be a rare occurrence as numerous activities and conflicting schedules thwart mealtime plans. Many families find it extremely difficult to sit down to a meal together. But let’s try to change that this week!

Not only do children develop healthier eating habits when they engage in regular family mealtime, they’re much more likely to open up about the problems they’re having. Studies show that families can improve communication when they regularly sit down to eat together.

Choose a date and time

This week, let’s choose a meal when we can get all of our family together at the table. It may not be dinner—choose breakfast if that’s a better time to round up the family. Then let’s set a goal to sit down to eat together X number of times a week. Choose whatever number is realistic and doable for you. Mark it on the calendar.

Make the most of mealtime

  • Keep mealtime healthy and simple. Be sure to include veggies and salads.
  • Plan the meals and shop ahead of time, so you have everything on hand.
  • Use a crockpot, and let dinner cook on its own while you’re at work.
  • Get the kids to set the table and help with cleanup.
  • Have fun! Talk about your day, your plans, hobbies, sports, whatever your family members are interested in. Leave heavy duty conversations for another time.
  • Create a relaxed environment. Light a candle, put flowers on the table, break out the good dishes, play background music.
  • Don’t turn on the TV, and turn cellphones off.

Follow us!
Tune in to find out how we’re doing by checking our ongoing Twitter, Facebook, and blog posts. Drop us a line via blog or Facebook comments, or by using the Twitter hashtag #2013alive to let us know how you’re doing on your 2013 journey! And download February’s goal sheet to track your progress.

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