HOW MANY TIMES A WEEK DO YOU EAT YOUR MEAL AS A FAMILY?
1, 2, 7, 14? Ideally, we’d like to do this as often as possible. But we must admit that it is not easy to find opportunities to eat together these days: busy schedules, sports activities, conflicts between children or teenagers, endless transit time between work and home… But are these reasons to eat separately? No. The perfect meal does not exist; there is no need to look for it. The main thing is to get into the habit of getting together around a meal. Each family decides how often they want to sit down and eat together… Without screens… Most of the time. Because eating together as a family strengthens the emotional bond between the child and the parent. It promotes family support and communication. The more frequent family meals are, the better the protection for children and teenagers.
ON MY PLATE THERE IS…
Generally, eating home-cooked meals allows for a greater variety of healthy foods. This increases the amount of fiber, whole grains, vegetables, vitamins, and minerals such as iron and calcium. Not to mention that homemade meals are usually less salty and fatty than store-bought ones. That’s why we can say that home-cooked meals eaten as a family tend to improve the eating habits of our children and teenagers.
LET’S TALK ABOUT OUR TEENS EATING HABITS!
By the time they reach their teens, kids often find that it’s not really “cool” to eat with their families. If left by themselves, they spend 3 minutes eating a meal that took 60 minutes to prepare. We are lucky if they show up at the table. But what to about it?
In my opinion, even if the conversation is limited to a few “yeahs”, teens need us, their family members. Sitting down and sharing a meal with them is a simple way to say, “I love you”, “You are important to me”, or “Keep going, trust yourself”. Also, since adolescence is the second most important period of growth in their lives, it is the time to offer them the most nourishing food. We shouldn’t worry too much if our teenager jumps into the cereal box before dinner. He or she is often hungry and a good bowl of low-sugar cereal (maximum 7g of sugar per 55g of cereal) with milk or soy beverage is a healthy way to wait until dinner is ready.
I DON’T LIKE IT!
What to do when children don’t want to eat? Mealtime can sometimes seem complicated with children who are rather picky eaters. Rest assured, there are a variety of strategies to help your child want to try the different foods that are served to her or him.
One thing is for sure, whether it’s tumultuous or hilarious, you’ll have fond memories of those family meals! Be patient! The magic happens in the long run!
What are your memories, funny or not, of meals shared with your family?