Eating as a family is an experience that both parents and kids alike can enjoy equally. Interestingly, children actually like routine and adapt to it very easily so getting them to sit up at the dinner table may not be as difficult as you imagine. To the parents out there, this is a great opportunity to touch base and share thoughts and ideas with your children.
Did you know that children who have family meals in their life are more likely to experience the following health benefits?
- They are much more likely to consume grains, vegetables and fruits on a more regular basis, especially being there to police their behavior can help.
- They are less like to eat unhealthy snacks throughout the day.
- Interestingly, as they grow up they are less likely to take up smoking, alcohol and marijuana.
These meals are also a great opportunity for you the parent to teach and be role models for kids in how to eat healthy, and even in how to make healthy food delicious.
If you have some trouble getting your children to the dinner table and building a healthy eating habit, then here are some ideas you could try implementing:
- Ask your children to invite a friend over for dinner, this will make sure they are at the table.
- Actually turn making dinner into a game, have some fun getting your children to help out in the kitchen and they are sure to hang around to enjoy the fruits of their labour.
- Don’t push them about healthy food. The first goal is to get them to the table, be content with that for now. If you try and force things upon them, get angry at them or start lecturing then they are less likely to take up this routine. Make it easy, calm and fun.
You can still have family meals even with takeout, although you should strive for a nutritious home cook meal to build health but it also increases feelings of bonding among family members. It also makes the occasion more important to children if they feel like a lot of work and preparation has gone into this, it makes a meal into an event.
You should try and do this for every dinner, but if you absolutely can’t then at least try and make a weekly event where everyone sits down together. This will bring the family together, make the kids feel a more a part of something bigger than themselves and allow you to introduce healthy eating through example. This is as much about looking after the kids and their feelings of family unity which have a massive impact on mental health than it is about physical well-being.
Thanks to kidshealth.org, their information was helpful in this article.
If you are looking for mens health articles, try reading this one.