September is National Family Meals Month, so it’s the perfect time to recommit to eating meals together as a family.
Juggling school routines, activities, jobs and family life can be tricky with the beginning of a new school year. It’s no wonder that sharing meals together seems old fashioned in our modern, busy lives. Family meals have decreased one-third in the past 20 years, but the evidence for the importance of family meals is growing. Research continues to demonstrate that magic happens during family mealtime when families engage each other in conversation around the table.
Family meals eaten at home have been proven to benefit the health and wellness of children and adolescents, to fight obesity, substance abuse and to make families stronger.
Numerous studies show that having regular family meals can help kids get higher grades, have better self-esteem, and participate in less risky behavior.
Kids who eat with their families regularly are significantly less likely to be overweight or have eating disorders, and are likely to consume more fruits and veggies.
Adolescents are less likely to show symptoms of depression and less likely to use/abuse drugs with each additional family meal shared each week.
People who cook most of their meals at home consume less added sugar and fat (and about 130 fewer calories per day) compared to people who cook less or not at all.
It doesn’t have to be dinner. Breakfast, lunch, snacks — any time of day counts — the idea is to share one extra meal together per week.
Let Harmons be the solution to the mealtime dilemma of busy families. Watch for dinner ideas, recipes, cooking classes, news segments and information to celebrate making family meals a priority. Ask your Harmons dietitian for more details and spread the word among family and friends!