Time to Eat

For most of us, finding time to sit down and eat a meal can be difficult. But did you know that families that eat together also tend to eat better and are healthier? Children and teens who have family meals eat better, feel better about themselves, get along better with other people, and do better in school. Here are 5 ways to make the most of family mealtimes for maximum benefit:

1. Sit and eat.
The goal of family meals are for everyone to come together and connect while sharing a meal. Now’s not the time to worry about a perfectly cleaned kitchen or set table. You could get creative and have a lunchtime picnic on a blanket in the living room if you wanted to.

2. Think outside the (dinner) box.
Family meals don’t have to be a dinner or evening meal. Competing schedules or after school activities may mean that not everyone is home to eat at the same time. Sitting down for a snack after a busy morning might work well with children who aren’t in school yet. Or maybe a day off from work is when everyone has a chance to come together. Family meals are for you and your family. Find the time that works for you and go from there.

3. Keep conversation happy and positive.
Focus the conversation on what you did during the day. Talk about what you did or what made you laugh. You could ask everyone their favorite part of their day. Keep a jar of conversation starters nearby to spark up a new topic when you need to.

4. Unplug.
It’s no secret how distracting our phones, TV, or other screens can be. Turn the shows off and put the phones away. Removing distractions keeps everyone focused on the meal and each other.