September is Family Meals Month, a month dedicated to spending time with loved ones over a meal. Regular family meals can lead to healthy behaviors in the long term.
September celebrates Family Meals Month. School has begun and families are back to a routine and that means busy schedules. Families often find themselves chasing to after school activities to doctors’ appointments and weekend tournaments. Busy schedules can make it difficult for families to sit down and enjoy a meal together.
Although it may be difficult, it is important to dedicate time to family meals. Family meals have been shown to nourish the spirit, brain, and health of all family members. More specifically, kids that share meals with their family are less likely to be overweight and more likely to eat healthy foods. Regular family meals also aid in building stronger family relationships among other positive social behaviors.
Even one more family meal per week can make a positive impact. Raise your mitt to commit to more family meals. Here are some ideas to help make it easier to commit:
- Get the kids involved! Ask them to help decide the weekly meals, bring them to your local Family Fare to shop for ingredients, and request their help to prepare the meals.
- Schedule meals on the calendar. Look at the family weekly commitments and see where a family meal may fit it, put in on the calendar and commit to this obligation as you would a work meeting or dentist appointment. Be sure teenagers are aware of this as well. Also, family meals do not need to be over the dinner table. Breakfast is just as suitable as well as a family BBQ or picnic at a local park on a weekend afternoon.
- Prepare meals in advance. A family meal does not need to take a lot of time or involve intense cooking. The slow cooker can do wonders when you are short on time. Preparing freezer meals like soups and casseroles can save a lot of time and stress when they just require a warm-up.
- Did you know that Family Fare has quick dinner options? Swing in to pick up a rotisserie chicken and deli salad on your way home. You can also find easy shelf stable meals to fill your panty, so that you are always prepared. Pick up a family size Our Family brand can of chicken noodle soup and stock up on boxes of Our Family brand mac and cheese.
Now that you are armed with some great tips to make family meals easier, remember that family meals should be void of electronics. Do not allow phones or tablets at the table and shut off the TV. Sitting down together as a family is a perfect time to talk about what each member of the family did that day or plans to do. It is also a great time to talk about family values, plan a family trip, or what movie to go to. Maybe you can even plan the next week’s meals together!
"This medical and/or nutritional information is not intended to be a substitute for individual advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition."
Louise Bilek – Healthy Foodie
Louise is one of the Health & Wellness Specialist’s at SpartanNash who is also a Certified Health Coach and Personal Trainer. Louise is passionate about living well and teaching others, especially children, how to make healthy food choices and be physically active.