Eating as a Family Has Many Benefits
GALVESTON COUNTY, Texas - Meals provide the ideal opportunity for socializing and exchanging ideas. Since we tend to copy the meal habits of those we eat with, one of the easiest ways to make sure kids learn to eat a healthy diet is to eat one yourself—in front of them, at the table, on a regular basis. Lack of time and too many activities can make it hard for families to eat together on a regular basis.
October is Eat Better, Eat Together Month and the Galveston County Health District (GCHD) highlights a few ways that may help you find time to sit down together at least a few times a week:
- Make a breakfast date with your kids on the weekends. Get everyone involved in the meal preparations: mixing batter, cutting up fruit, setting the table and cleaning up are all possibilities.
- Have a “No Excuses” night when everyone has dinner together, no matter what. Take turns planning and cooking the meal.
- Eat before evening events or right afterwards. Using a slow cooker, or cooking ahead on the weekends may help on super busy nights.
- Have easy meal ingredients on hand so meals at home can happen easily even when there’s no time: hearty canned soups, eggs (can be scrambled or made into omelets), sliced cheese (grilled cheese sandwiches) or pasta and jarred spaghetti sauce will all work for simple dinners. Serve some baby carrots and cut up fruit on the side, and you are way ahead of the drive thru nutritionally.
Once your family eats together more often, you may be surprised to hear your kids ask to do it more frequently. That means it's time to involve them in the cooking: have them plan and prepare a meal for the family. Sit back, relax and enjoy!
*Logo credit: Washington State University