Just how important are family meals? Is it worth the time and effort?
The answer is a resounding yes! In fact, research has shown that the more often that families eat together the less likely teenagers are to engage in risky behavior. Eating and talking together can help children be happier, healthier, and more successful in school.
What are the benefits?
- Children learn the art of conversation, eye contact, give and take and the rhythm of talking with others
- Parents can model good manners and healthy food choices
- Children learn better eating habits—it is easier to eat more healthy off of a plate rather than out of a bag in from of a screen
- Families can pass down culture, family identity and tradition
How can you make this happen?
- Use your slow cooker for easy one pot meals
- Cook once and eat twice-make over your leftovers
- Meals do not have to be elaborate affairs, keep it simple
- Enlist the help of all family members, even little ones can wash fruits and veggies and set the table
Try for one family meal per week. Get to know your children. A little time invested now can make a big difference in the life of your child. Sometimes love is spelled T-I-M-E
Try these simple recipes: http://web.extension.illinois.edu/cce/downloads/72190.pdf