By Corinne Glazer, RDN with Ranier Castillo, Dietetic Intern
School has started which typically means a busier schedule! It can be difficult
to have everyone in the family set a time to sit down, converse, and enjoy
food at the dinner table together. During the month of September, National
Family Meals Month is a nationwide initiative to encourage families to
reap the benefits of sitting down at home together and eating a wholesome
meal. Their pledge is “to have one more meal together, at home,
per week.” The benefits of eating as a family include social benefits,
but can also improve your overall health! Here are some ways eating together
at home throughout the week can help:
- Engaging in family meal time can help promote healthy weight management.
- Spending time with loved ones can help boost self-esteem. Family meal times
have also been shown to provide a positive atmosphere in family households
which can improve children’s social skills.
- Children are less likely to develop behavioral problems or engage in illegal
substance use as they age.
- Cooking meals together as a family improves family dynamics and can improve
skills in the kitchen for everyone.
- Family meals can decrease use of electronics.
You can also get the children involved by having them help with making
meals. Cooking and eating together as a family can deepen children’s
knowledge about food and nutrition! “It’s never too early
to get your children involved in the kitchen – have them choose
veggies at the market, wash produce, set the table, or mix and stir. Teaching
kids early on that the family values making and having meals together
can have a significant impact on their health and wellbeing for years
to come,” notes Registered Dietitian Nutritionist Kristen Hung who
is an advocate for family wellness and disease prevention at Torrance Memorial.
Interested in learning more techniques to build a healthy and nutritious
lifestyle for you and your children?
Call Torrance Memorial Specialty Center to learn more about meeting with a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist through
our NEW (Nutrition Education and Wellness) program or learning with your
kids in a class setting through our Healthy Ever After Program, (310)-891-6707.