Article Posted by Sherri Sacconaghi, August 22nd, 2011,
As the school year begins we start racing around taking our kids to sports and other after school activities. So much for the pleasant family dinners you have been enjoying all summer right? Not so fast.
Eating together as a family can be a challenge for those with school- aged kids. But the benefits of this ritual make it worth holding on to. According to Joseph Califano Jr., President of the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse, “ Family Meals are one of the most important ways for parents to be involved in their kids’ lives”.
Many studies have highlighted the benefits of sitting down together at a family meal. When families eat together: Everyone in the family eats healthier; kids are less likely to become overweight; They are less likely to smoke or try drugs; less likely to become depressed, and more likely to get good grades. And stress levels drop for everyone.
You can see the value of family meal time, now the challenge is how make it happen. Follow the simple Healthy Life principles. Take baby steps and plan ahead. Here are some tips to get you started.
Set a reasonable goal. How many family meals can you commit to implementing? Two times a week? It does not have to be nightly to make a difference.
Keep it Simple. No need to go all Rachel Ray. Cheese quesadillas and salad are a go to meal in my house. Even a stop at a sandwich shop is okay as long as you are sitting down together and talking.
Dust off the crock pot. When pressed for time it means less cooking and more family interaction.
Turn off the electronics. Make the most of your time together. Use it to talk about the day, school, work, upcoming events. Don’t waste it by checking Facebook.
As the parent in the household you set the schedule. Yes, football practice and guitar lessons are important too but make the effort to put family time first. Who knows what you might learn over a hot plate of spaghetti and meatballs.
Article by: Sherri Sacconaghi
Certified Health Coach and Personal Fitness Trainer
Ph: 503 621 7549