Families can benefit from eating together, even if it’s only one meal a day. October is National Eat Better, Eat together Month. Children learn important social skill from eating together, skills like manners, sharing, taking turns and cleaning up after themselves. Family meals offer children important communication and bonding opportunities as well, this time helps to strengthen the familial bonds and boost confidence in young diners. This time can also prove beneficial in enforcing healthy eating habits, prevent mindless overeating, and encourage picky eaters to try something new. Family dinner can be a great way to involve older kids in the kitchen, helping promote a healthy relationship with nutrition.
Carving out meal times with everyone’s busy schedules can be difficult, but the secret is in the preparation. Spend some time planning which meal time works best to bring everyone together, let everyone have a day to pick what’s on the menu, let keiki help shop for the groceries, wash fruits and veggies, and set the table. Encourage them to find recipes they might like to try, or show them how to make some family favorites from your childhood. You just might find that everyone eats a little better when they eat together.