Guest blog: Eating Together- Make it a Priority for Your Family

This guest blog is by Kitty Holman:

Well hello, 21st century.  In this day and age, we are lucky if our kids can look up from their iPhones to tell us how their day went.  With a constant flux of new inventions and technologies to make our lives “easier,” we are spending more and more time away from our families.  But there is at least one time of the day that can be set aside from the hustles, bustles, and stresses that encompass our lives. Meal time is a natural choice.  We all have to eat, and as a naturally social species, we like to do so with other people.  However, traditional family dinners are dwindling and quickly becoming unconventional. Taking forty five minutes to an hour out of your day to eat as a family has great nutritional and social benefits.  Most importantly, it will create a more permanent bond with your children.

Move Over Happy Meal: Good Nutrition is in Town

Many studies have proven that children and adolescents who eat at least one meal together as a family are less likely to be obese or substance abusers in adulthood.  Furthermore, those that eat fruits and vegetables as adolescents are more likely to eat them regularly during adulthood.   Making healthy decisions for your family’s meals have long lasting impacts. Although a seven course meal covering every triangle of the food pyramid is a luxury affordable by only a lucky few, you can promote good nutrition without spending hours in the kitchen.  For those days where you are pressed for time, pick up a lean rotisserie chicken and a bag of chopped lettuce from your grocery store.  Get your significant other and children involved as well.  Have them toss the salad and do the dishes.  Anything is better than a quick trip to a fast food restaurant on your way home, followed by dinner in front of the television.

Talk About Your Day: Befriend Your Children

If you want your kids to come to you with their problems in their adolescent years, you have to start building a connected relationship from childhood.  Family dinners are a good time to develop this relationship.  Showing interest in their day, listening to their opinions, and valuing them can build deeper trust between parents and their children.  Show your kids that they can come to you even when times get tough. Most importantly, listen to what they have to say.  Although at times their ideas may sound outlandish or irresponsible, be sure to listen to why they want to do that something. Do not dismiss their ideas or plans at the forefront.  This is important for their personal development and self-esteem.

As children become adolescents, it can become difficult to convince them that eating together is important.  However, by making family dinner a fun, carefree event rather than a chore, you may have more luck as the teenage years creep up on you.  If this fails, tell them 45 minutes together is all you ask.  No smartphones, no television, no computers, just togetherness and good nutrition.

Mutual respect is an important factor in the child-parent relationship.  Family dinners are a good time to show that you respect your child’s opinions and ambitions.  Furthermore, eating healthy food together can help your children develop smarter dietary habits.  Plus, good eating habits builds healthier immune systems.  This translates to minimal doctors visits and countless savings!  Protect your wallet and your family by eating at least one meal together every single day.

This guest post is contributed by Kitty Holman, who writes on the topics of nursing colleges.  She welcomes your comments at: kitty.holman20@gmail.com.

2 comments
Jo From Calories In Fruit
Jo From Calories In Fruit

Family meals are very important as they allow a family to discuss and comment on each others days. This openness in a family unit is of paramount importance to a child's upbringing.

Jackie
Jackie

thanks for the goodarticle

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