Family Meals Month- What’s Stopping You?
Making the time to eat together is no simple task. But it’s worth the effort! In fact, it’s so important that we dedicate the entire month of September to family meals. Sharing meals together has been proven to strengthen family bonds, foster emotional balance, and improve nutrition. The physical and emotional benefits of family meals are endless! However, many barriers exist that make family meals tough to stick with.
There never seems to be enough time in the day! Especially when you’re juggling school, sports, and work schedules. Take advantage of your free time during the week to prep meals. I like to call this “being kind to your future self”! Whether it’s cutting up your fruits and veggies over the weekend or throwing together some meals to put in the freezer – you’ll be amazed at how much time you save!
Also, no one said that your family meal must be dinner. Maybe a family meal at your house looks like having breakfast together before school or work! That flexibility with your mealtimes allows you to adapt to whatever the day throws at you. And you can be just as flexible with your meal options! Put together a list of meals that you could make with the ingredients you have on hand, then choose which makes sense for a certain day.
It’s overwhelming to think about having family meals each day. Rest assured, you don’t need to do an overhaul of your schedule to make family meals happen. In fact, as few as 3 family meals per week saw a 24% increase in healthier food consumption.Start small, even if that means 1 family meal per week. Feel free to keep it simple with your food choices, and don’t forget to be kind to your future self!
We’ve all been there – it’s 6pm, the family is hungry (including you), and you’re staring into the pantry debating what to make for dinner. After a long day, it’s natural to feel decision fatigue. After all, you’ve just spent all day making decisions! Meal planning and prep alleviates the stress of deciding what to make for dinner. Find what works best for you: That could mean having entire meals prepped in the freezer or writing out a meal plan for the week. Either way, the goal is to make decisions easier after a long day!
Different Food Preferences
Family meals involve balancing the preferences of many. Which poses a huge challenge! Eliminate the fuss by offering well-liked dishes alongside new ones. Children, and yes even adults, will be more willing to try new foods that they see other family members eating. (Another benefit of family meals!) If you’re dealing with picky eaters, keep in mind that it can take up to 10 attempts of offering food for a child to eat it.
When you prioritize family meals, you prioritize the physical and emotional well-being of the whole family. And we challenge you to give family meals a try this month! Here are some of our resources to help you get started:
- Healthy Eating on a Budget
- Meals in Minutes
- Dietitian’s Choice Recipes
- Dietitian Tips on Meal Prepping
Happy Family Meals Month™!