Really? Families that eat together are healthier?
Studies show, that not only do children like to sit down at the dinner table and eat a meal with their parents. They are more likely to eat a well-balanced, nutritious meal when they do! Start a tradition of eating together with your little babies. It’s easier to train them to sit at the table if you start when they’re young.
Eating dinner together most nights was normal life. Many people’s lives are too busy and it’s uncommon to eat dinner anymore.
My husband grew up in an extremely traditional and old fashioned family. His mom stayed home and cared for their 8 children; they ate hot cereal or eggs for breakfast and sat down at a gigantic table together, for dinner each night.
I grew up with one younger brother and a baby sister and we basically did the same thing. We ate dinner together most nights. Even when my parents separated, my mom did a wonderful job keeping the family traditions and we continued to eat dinner together, each night, until each of us moved out to go to college or jobs, etc.
We Grew Up and Kept Our Parents Traditions
When I got married, David and I kept the same traditions, the way we were both raised. It just seemed natural. As each of our 9 children came along, we naturally cooked a lot at home and ate together.
We had a friend and his little girl live with us for 3 months and one night at dinner, he said to us, “You people are like the Brady Bunch” and I said, “But where’s my housekeeper, Alice?” haha. Our friend was raised in a very different environment and he didn’t know that anyone sat down and ate dinner together anymore, except maybe on holidays.
With the hectic lives we all lead these days, getting the family all together in the same place at the same time can be a very difficult chore. Think about all the activities that your kids are involved in each week? You’re on the go all the time.
We tried to keep our schedules very reasonable. If one boy was in football, we focused on football. When we had 2 girls in gymnastics, that’s what we focused on. We let a girl take violin and another boy take guitar, so music was our thing for a while. The main thing is that we did not allow these extra-curricular activities to overwhelm our family’s life, goals, or our schedules.
I know that between work schedules, after-school activities, errands, and the like, we all have less and less time.
It is totally worth it, to implement a few simple ideas, execute some clever planning, and make your family dinners, an enjoyable and treasured family time.
First of all, designate no less than one night per week to have a sit-down meal with your family.
I know that you can’t completely change everything, but if you’re willing to change it up, one night a week, you’ll see tremendous benefit to your family’s overall well-being. The fact that statistically your children will tend to be healthier, is enough reason for me, right?
Here are 5 great ideas:
– Sunday nights are a great time to plan your family dinners because you have more time to relax. The weekend chores and errands are done, and it’s the lull before the storm of the week’s school and work.
-If your babes are in any way old enough, involve them in the meal planning and preparation. This gives them a strong sense of self and it builds the foundation for a lifetime of healthy meal planning and preparation. Odds are, that if you take the time to plan these dinners, you’re going to make more healthy, homemade items.
-Make sure the TV and phones are off! This sounds like a no-brainer in theory, but it reality, it’s hard to break some of our habits. We have our phones always there, of course, and the TV sometimes just drones on in the background. If you could see how much these distractions take away from your time together with the most important people in your life, you’d be very willing to shut out the noise.
-Take your time eating, and teach your children how to do the same. I know, it’s hard to tell that to a hungry teenager, who wants to wolf his food down and run off to something more ‘fun’. Eating slowly is a healthy habit.
-Don’t jump up and start clearing dishes and putting things away until everyone is done eating and talking. Relax! Dinner is not a ‘task’ to check off of your to do list. It is valuable time, spent together, interacting and loving each other.
What are all the benefits to Families that eat together?
a. Healthier habits are instilled in your children, (and probably yourself).
b. You’ll have healthier and deeper relationships between you and your children and healthier relationships between each of the kids themselves.
c. Start your week in calm and organized way. You’ll be more focused and successful going into work and school.
d. You will have better happiness and satisfaction with your life. This is when you can show each other that it’s important to take time with each other to actually care, in the midst of a crazy and busy life.
Quote: Dexter Yager: People don’t care how much you know, till they know how much you care.
Here’s the deal. If your little precious darlings can sense that you care deeply about them, they will be willing to listen to you and you will have greater influence in their lives for the good. Get my free report for more great ideas with your precious family