Modern families are a revolving door of activity, especially as children become young adults with conflicting schedules around school, work, sports and relationships. Finding time for family activities can often feel like a challenge, let alone eating together as a family. Beyond just nourishing our bodies, this simple act holds profound benefits for our long-term health and well-being. As the owner of be. Health Collagen with a husband who also runs his own business, we are pushing every day to manage our schedules and a home with 5 kids (yes, you read that right, we live in a zoo)!

With less than half of Australian families opting to share an evening meal due to current life pressures, it's important to return to understanding the benefits of instilling a regular routine of cooking and eating together as a family.

Building a Healthy Routine in the Early Years

Cooking and eating together as a family provides an opportunity to instill healthy eating habits from a young age. By involving children in meal preparation, parents can teach them about nutrition, portion control, and the importance of balanced meals. Children who regularly eat meals with their families are more likely to consume fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, and less likely to indulge in unhealthy snacks or fast food.

Promote Close Connections

Family meals offer a precious chance for open communication and bonding. Sitting down together without the distractions of phones or screens encourages meaningful conversations, where family members can share their experiences, thoughts, and feelings. These moments of connection not only strengthen family ties but also contribute to mental and emotional well-being. Children who have regular family meals are less likely to experience behavioral problems, depression, or substance abuse.

Promoting Mindful Eating

In today's fast-paced world, it's easy to fall into the trap of mindless eating, rushing through meals without paying attention to what or how much we're consuming. Family meals provide an opportunity to practice mindful eating, where we savor each bite, appreciate the flavors, and listen to our body's hunger cues. By slowing down and enjoying meals together, families can cultivate a healthier relationship with food, reducing the risk of overeating and associated health issues like obesity and digestive problems.

Develop Skills & Independence

Cooking together as a family not only nourishes the body but also feeds the soul. It's a chance to explore new ingredients, flavors, and recipes, sparking creativity and culinary curiosity. As parents involve children in meal preparation, they pass down valuable cooking skills and traditions, ensuring that future generations have the tools to make healthy choices and enjoy homemade meals. Moreover, cooking together fosters a sense of teamwork and accomplishment, boosting self-esteem and confidence in both children and adults.

In the fast-paced world we live in, the simple act of cooking and eating together as a family holds immense power. Beyond just nourishing our bodies, it strengthens family bonds, promotes healthy habits, and fosters a deeper connection with food. By prioritising family meals, we invest in our long-term health and well-being, creating a foundation for a lifetime of wellness and happiness. So, get on the group chat and set a date, gather around the table and share a meal, and celebrate the joys of family, food, and togetherness.

 

Sources:

https://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/news/nsw/new-survey-reveals-half-of-australian-families-skip-dinner-over-money-and-food-doubts/news-story/4362c9d870690b0eef134a898db5901f


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