I’d love to gather my husband and kids around the table for a family meal, but we’re so busy! Do you have any tips for me?
Many fun family memories are built at the dinner table, but meals together also have many benefits that surpass the act of eating. During this time, your toddler can learn mealtime manners and how to feed herself while also increasing her vocabulary and learning how to put sentences together. Plus, studies show that families who eat together generally eat healthier meals with more fruits and vegetables—a way to promote good health for the whole family.
Even though eating as a family has its benefits, it still may be hard to find the time to sit down together. Here are some tips:
- Plan ahead. Make a menu of the week’s meals to help you be prepared.
- Keep it simple. Meals together don’t have to be elaborate. Cook a stew, chili, or other one-dish meal in the slow cooker during the day. Or throw together a quick meal with pasta, sauce, and precooked chicken.
- Make it fun. Have a picnic at the park or during an older child’s soccer practice.
- Make it fit the family. If dinner doesn’t work, make it breakfast. Meet dad, mom, or grandma for lunch at work.
- Keep it positive. Make family mealtime an opportunity to share highlights of your day.
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