Benefits of Planning
Family Meals -
Why Families Should
Planning Family Meals Benefits
When it comes to raising a family, one of the hardest jobs is trying to come up with solutions for dinner every night, let alone trying to find the time to cook!
But there are so many benefits to cooking
and serving our families home-cooked meals that you will see it is well
worth your time and effort.
Top Ten Benefits of Having Family Meals Together
- Kids of all ages need and love family rituals. Kids also thrive on
Eating family meals together provides children with a well-needed
sense of security and belonging. So tonight, take turns
lighting a candle or saying a simple prayer.
- Much, much better nutrition! Any meal cooked at home is
pretty much guaranteed to be healthier than eating fast food or take-out.
According to experts, a family that eats together regularly is more likely to
consume more fruits and vegetables and less fried foods and soft drinks.
- Children and teens are less likely to develop addictive habits such as
drugs, alcohol or smoking. Children who feel important to their family
are more likely to have a greater sense of self-confidence and are less
likely to give into peer pressure.
- Save tons of money and time when you shop with a grocery list.
Sticking to a plan can help you save money and time each month by reducing
random buying and countless trips to the grocery store. Want a better dinner
hour? Have a better plan!
- Parents can control what ingredients go into home-cooked foods.
Salt is becoming a nightmare as high sodium levels are now being linked
to high blood pressure in children from eating so much fast food.
- Children who eat meals together with their family have been found to do
better academically. This is a great time to teach children
communication skills. Lots of chatter at the dinner table and adult
conversation gives kids an edge with verbal communication skills.
- Raising healthier children to become healthy adults by teaching
children the importance of proper nutrition. By offering a variety of
foods each week children learn to accept all food groups more readily.
Read labels with your children explaining sodium levels, different
ingredients, and also the importance eating fresh foods with no
additives. Children tend to mimic their parent's eating habits
and will take these habits with them into adulthood as well.
- Weight Control. Kids are less likely to have weight problems when parents help develop
proper eating habits.
- Proper Portion Control. It is much easier to get portion sizes under
control by eating at home. The world has
gone crazy with super-sizing our food and we really don't need to eat that
much in one sitting. This is a great opportunity to show kids
well-balanced and well-portioned food.
- Proper Table Manners - Proper table manners are taught at the kitchen or
dining room table. Waiting until everyone is served, no chewing with
your mouth open, etc... are important manners to learn at a young age.
* Children cherish time together with their parents
and family dinner hour
provides the perfect opportunity to spend time listening to each child.
Staying connected with family is one of the reasons why children
Make Family Meals Enjoyable
- Turn of all electronic devices. (Yes, this includes the TV.)
- Never argue or bring up unpleasant conversations. We all need to
relax and this is the perfect opportunity. Strive on making dinner hour fun.
- Always eat at the dinner table and not in front of a TV.
- Celebrate achievements. Make a cake or cupcakes and celebrate even
the smallest accomplishments in your children's life.
Unfortunately, there is no set formula for meal planning; no mysterious trick that you have yet to discover. It is more a self-discipline,
routine task that impacts your household budget, frees time, and encourages healthy eating habits.
How to Make Daily Dinner Hour Easier
- Once a week, make a menu for all the dinners you will serve for the coming week.
- Try to include all the major entree groups such as beef, pork, chicken, and pasta.
- Review each of the recipes and list all the items you need to purchase at the store. Be sure to include the vegetables and side dishes that compliment your meals.
- Your goal is to shop only once a week, so organization is the key to your success.
- Have kids help with meal preparations. There are so many easy things
that kids can do to make cooking the actual dinner run smoother for the
chef! But remember to make it fun. No one likes a grouchy
Have a weekly shopping list and stick to it. This is where you save money. Impulse buys are a thing of the past. With your dinners carefully planned, you will walk right by the expensive frozen
dinners and packaged foods. Take your coupons and buy the store brand when you can to save even more.
Your shopping time will be shorter because now you are organized. You know what you want and where to find it. No more wandering around thinking, "What can we have for dinner tonight?" for you! You have planned an entire week's worth of meals. You are in and you are out - fast.
Save money, eat healthier, and have more free time - three resolutions that can be kept by planning your meals! It will also result in spending more time with your family! Good luck!