Growing up, family meals were a regular part of my life. There were two rules: no TV (cell phones weren’t really a problem yet) and you had to eat at least one serving of vegetables.
As a teenager, the main upside to family meals was not having to make anything for myself. For my parents it was a chance to ensure we were eating well and to check in with us. What we didn’t
realize then was that there are other major benefits to sharing meals with your family. September is National Family Meals Month, and while we generally considered family meals to be a good thing, research shared gives insight into why it is so positive.
From a nutrition perspective, parents may be thinking of the importance of each meal as an individual opportunity to guarantee healthy eating. But each of these individual meals begins to add up and can have major positive results on your child’s future health and nutrition. Children who took part in family meals at least 3 times a week had healthier eating patterns. Not only that, but they were more likely to be a normal weight and less likely to engage in disordered eating. On top of that, more weekly family meals have been associated with the psychological well-being of teenagers and reduced their likelihood of using tobacco and alcohol.
Increasing the number of family meals shared to better the health of
families is what National Family Meals Month is all about. You can check out what is being said on social media by searching the #familymealsmonth hashtag where you’ll will find ideas to help make family meals simple, nutritious, and a way to get children involved in the kitchen.
September may be drawing to a close, but there is never a bad time to make family meals a part of your routine. Check out our Pinterest page for meal ideas and let us know if you find a recipe you love!