Each year, families and friends will gather together around the table. In some cases, people even travel hundreds of miles for Thanksgiving, while others will spend days preparing and cooking. But what about the meals we eat on the other 364 days of the year?
Unfortunately, for many families, the effort of just gathering for a meal on an ordinary day is too much. The Trying to work around the daily burdens of our busy lives makes family mealtime seem like a thing of the past. We need to think about how we are eating.
Why are making meals at home and eating together so important? We tend to make healthier food at home than what we would grab running through the drive-thru or pick up
at a restaurant, and we also spend less money than eating out.
It’s the perfect setting to expose children to different foods and expand their tastes. Studies have also found that children and teens who eat dinner with their families five or more days a week have less trouble with drugs and alcohol, eat healthier, show better academic performance, and report being closer with their parents.
Remove the distractions, put away the phones, turn off the television and have a real conversation. Share stories from your days, tell jokes and save the scolding for later.
Amy Giffin, MS, RDN, CD, SNS, is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and School Nutrition Supervisor for the Sheboygan Area School District.