October is National Eat Together, Eat Better month. Many families are busy and always on the go. This campaign encourages families to eat meals with each other, promoting togetherness. Making a conscious effort to eat a meal together is a great way to reconnect with one another, build healthy habits, and slow down. Data shows that when families eat together, children are more likely to have increased fruit and vegetable intake, improved healthy habits, and are less likely to engage in risky behavior.
Here are some tips to help you get started:
- Schedule the meals – put your planned family meals on a calendar; this way, you make mealtime a priority and can arrange your week around it.
- Prepare family meals ahead of time – preparing parts of your meal ahead of time will make the day more manageable and less stressful.
- Involve the whole family – from choosing the meal to cooking to setting the table; there’s a task for everyone!
- Put down the phones and turn off the TVs – limit distractions so everyone is fully present and engaged in conversations.
- Ask intentional questions – promote conversation by asking questions like “how did you help someone today?” or “what was your favorite part of the day?”.
If dinner is a challenge to get everyone around the table, choose a weekend meal such as breakfast, lunch, or snack time! Choose any meal that works best for you and your family. Aim to eat together at least three times a week; eventually, this will become a priority and add consistency to your routine. For more inspiration and information, click here.