CM: Connecting with each other. Share your day, laugh, vent, plan, schedule. Oh! and eat!
Healthy, happy, smart kids. Statistics show kids eat healthier even outside the home, when they're part of regular family meals. They're happier because they're a part of something special. They learn modelled behaviour, which helps in and out of the home. And teenagers who eat with the family 4x or more per week have better grades than those that eat 2x or less.
Meal time is a great barometer. You get a baseline for behaviour. You'll notice when things are "just not quite right", and then you have more opportunity to observe, and to actively listen.
AO: What are some tips you can give us for bringing our families back to the table?
- Don't make a big deal about it (you'll scare your teenagersJ). Start with meals that you know the whole family loves. Set the table with everything you need. THEN call the troops. But the golden rule is this: Mom is stuck to her chair until the end of dinner.
- If dinner will be later, put out a bag of carrots and a dip.
- Use the dining room. Enjoy it! Who's more important than your own family?
- Keep meal time short - 20-30 minutes, 5 minute clean-up. It promotes a sense of ease for all!
- Once you have a few weeks in, then try meal plans, throw in more healthy choices, grocery lists, organize your kitchen to suit your family meals.
- One thing about groceries - Grocery Gateway - they take computer orders up to 11 pm for delivery the next morning before you go to work! How great is that? The $10 delivery fee makes up for the extra items you pick up at the grocery store on the way home when you're tired and hungry and have no idea what to have for dinner.