Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Making Memories, One Meal at a Time

(Due to our participation in Screen Free Week, this post was written and scheduled in advance!!)

Do you and your family eat together every night at the dinner table? Every night, or maybe only once or twice a week? Or do you all eat scattered around the living room with your eyes glued to the TV, lacking conversation and not even savoring your meal?
If you aren't eating together as a family, at the table, then you are missing out on some invaluable family time. Dining together not only increases and improves the family's communication and connection, but also results in more well adjusted (i.e. HAPPY and well behaved) children.
Studies have shown that children who regularly eat dinner with their families do better academically, have increased language skills, and healthier eating habits. Does any of that surprise you? (read more about the benefits here)
In our home, we eat dinner together as a family almost every single night. It is something that is very important to me. This may be one of the only times each day where the whole family is together all at once. Why would anybody sacrifice that? As a family, we talk about our day, make jokes, tell stories and bond with one another.
Meal planning in advance is a good way to improve the amount of dinners you eat together. If you already know what's going to be on the table, you're more likely to end up at the table! Let your kids help you prepare the meal... it may take a little bit longer, but children love to help cook, and it may inspire them to try foods they wouldn't have otherwise wanted to eat. Kids take great pride in the creations they make!
If dinner isn't a time that you can all be together, why not try carving out time for breakfast? Just simply striving to share a meal together each day will reap huge benefits.
Last week I was thumbing through my Better Homes & Gardens magazine and I saw mention of The Family Dinner Project. If you need inspiration to start dining together or to improve the quality of your meals together, then check it out!
Happy Eating!