Do you ever feel like you are your family's personal uber service? You get them to practice on time, try to make sure their uniforms are clean, spend weekends at tournaments or other activities. I haven't even mentioned work and other obligations! Now here I am telling you to sit down as a family for dinner!?!? I have had many clients and friends tell me how busy they are this time of year so I thought this was a good time to remind you of the benefits of eating together and some tips of how to make it work for you and your family.
Here are just a few of the benefits:
1. It's a great time for kids to try new foods
2. Healthy meals = healthy kids. Studies have shown a decrease in depression and other mental health issues as well as improved self esteem.
3. Eating together lowers the chance of teens using drugs, smoking, or drinking.
4. Improved grades
5. Save money
Sitting down as a family is a message to children that they matter and it is an opportunity recap the day and share stories or accomplishments. This is a time to build memories and traditions. You would be surprised what your child will remember, it's not always about big fancy trips or vacations, sometimes it's the basic daily rituals that have more of an impact. Now I know you may tell me that it is next to impossible to do this and some days it may be (and that's ok) but here are a few tips to make family meal time a priority:
1. If you can't make a family meal happen, don't stress about it. Try to set aside 15-20 minutes as a family to discuss the day.
2. If someone gets home from work late, the rest of the family can sit at the table and have a snack, mini meal, or a cup of tea or water while they eat.
3. It doesn't have to be dinner. How about eating breakfast or lunch together? Or even a picnic at the ball field.