Meals Together…Do Matter

Research shows that when families eat together, teens are less likely to SMOKE, DRINK or use illegal DRUGS.

   Plus, they tend to do better academically. But with families’ crazy schedules, finding times for sharing a meal can be a challenge. Here are some tips that may help your family get these positive effects:

• Pick a Meal Find a meal that works for your family – it doesn’t have to be dinner. Turns out, the positive effects are not limited to the evening meal.

Plan Menus Design an entire week’s worth of meals in advance. Reduce stress by having the ingredients you need in advance.

• Prep Ahead If you have time in the morning, wash and trim the vegetables, make the salad and/or thaw the meat you intend to cook that evening.

Think Fast! Many nutritious meals can be stir-fried or grilled, two speedy ways to cook quickly. Save meals that are more elaborate for weekends.

• No TV!!! Keep this time sacred. Share stories and the highlights of your day without the distraction of the news, phone calls or texts.

Given that frequent family meals have such a positive influence on children, it’s worth the effort to find ways to make this a habit in your family.