Why Family Meals Are Important and How to Prepare Great Healthy Family Meals?
Family meals are important in more ways than one. Unfortunately, due to a lot of external factors, it has become a rarity for most to share a meal with family. Today, in most households, both parents are working. And, given the fact that most are nuclear families, meaning just parents and children, there are no on to prepare the meals. Each member of the families is busy with their own lives and hence do not find time to sit down to eat together. Nevertheless, there are many advantages to having family meals and some of them are as listed below:
Family Meals Benefits
Physical health benefits –
The very first point is family meal health benefits, especially if the meal is home-cooked. Many pieces of research have been conducted to highlight the health benefits of family meals and they show that families that eat together are healthier. Research also show that children eat their fruits and vegetables better if they eat together with their families. So, if you find it difficult to get your children to eat their veggies and fruits, the trick is to have them eat together with the entire family.
Mental health benefits –
Life has become stressful nowadays and one way to mitigate this stress is family mealtimes. Family meal health benefits include getting together with the people who know you and love you the most to talk about everything. By eating together at least once during the day, especially dinner, you can talk about your day. It has been shown in numerous studies that talking about your stress actually helps to reduce it. So, by having family meals regularly you can help your family as well as yourself stay stress-free and happy.
Teach eating manners to children –
One of the best ways to teach children model and socially acceptable behaviour is through family mealtimes. It is said that children learn better by watching than listening. Hence when you sit down to eat with your children during family meals you can show them how to behave properly at a table. With regular family mealtimes, your children will learn table manners and will be disciplined about eating.
Children learn to try a wide variety of food –
Children who are fussy eater become better when they sit down to eat meals with their families. By eating together at family meals your children will be more open to trying new food items when they see other family members trying and loving them. Even if they don’t like a food item, which is normal and also okay, they will learn to reject it politely.
Prepare Healthy Family Meals Together
Everyone is busy so understandably cooking healthy family meals take a backseat. But it need not be this way. Cooking together easy to make family meals will benefit the whole family by helping your bond while also staying healthy. Some steps to cooking healthy family meals for dinner are as follows:
- Sit together and plan your family meal for the next day. Then make a grocery list based on what you want to prepare.
- You can have fun going grocery shopping together or if everyone is busy, take turns to grocery shop. You can also assign each member of the family with the responsibility to buy a certain item.
- When everyone gets home from their respective workplaces, schools and colleges, start preparing for your healthy family meal Each family member can take turns to chop vegetables and fruits, set the table and do the cooking.
- Once you are done preparing your meal, have a happy time sitting down and eating with your family.
Family Meals Preparing Benefits
There are many benefits of preparing healthy family meals together with your family, and they are:
- You can turn it into a great bonding time with your family. Everyone can come together and have fun while preparing the meal. Remember it is not as much about cooking as it is about having a gala time together. Hence you can choose to use a combination of store-bought food and prepare maybe a small salad or a soup or a dessert to go with it.
- It has been proven time and again that children eat food better that they have helped to prepare. Make sure to involve your children in the preparation of a healthy family meal process to encourage them to eat better.
- It is a great way to help your children become more independent. If they can cook healthy sumptuous meals, they can go anywhere in the world and live happily.
- You can take this opportunity to teach your children about food and kitchen safety. Teach them how and why they should wash their hands before starting to cook, and also how to be careful while being around fire, electrical and hot items.
Family Healthy Meals Ideas
Some great family healthy meals ideas include sandwiches, vegetable or chicken soup, fruit salads, and boiled vegetables with dressing. It doesn’t sound much appetizing but you can make the meals more interesting by playing around with the dressing and decorations. The trick is to use as many natural herbs and spices as you can and garnishing to make the meals tastier. For example:
- Add peanut butter to the sandwich to make it delicious yet healthy. If you have small children in the family, you can also make little smiley faces on top with tomato sauce to make it more interesting.
- Add a little chilli flake and oregano to your vegetable or chicken soup to spice it up and make it more delicious.
- You can add a little garlic mayonnaise or mustard sauce to your boiled veggies for that out-of-the-world taste.
- Make desserts with fruits and cream. Just instead of sugar, add a bit of honey. It will not only taste good but it will actually be healthier.
Health is the most important and the second most is your family. So, take care of both by resorting to having healthy family meals every day, with the tips that are given here.