Eating together as a family benefits mental, physical and emotional health. Studies have shown that teens who participate in family mealtimes are less likely to become involved in drugs or other bad habits, and perform better in school.
Still, many families fail to make eating around the table together a priority. Busy schedules make it difficult to find the time. However, it’s important to sit down with your family over a homecooked meal as much as you can. Create memories, and create healthy eating habits.
The good news is that with a little planning, you can enjoy a family meal at least a few times each week.
HOW TO MAKE FAMILY MEALTIME HAPPEN
As a parent, you understand how difficult it can be to keep a family on task during the school year. Meal planning relieves some of that stress while creating healthy eating habits. Here are some tips as you begin your meal planning journey.
Meal planning is time-consuming, especially in the beginning. Go into the process knowing that it’s going to take a while to get into a routine and allow yourself adequate time to figure out your unique system.
Evaluate Your Weekly Routine
Have a realistic vision of your family’s schedule. Each family has different time restraints based on the parents’ work schedules and the kids’ activity schedules. Think about things like:
- Which days you need a fast, easy meal
- When everyone is home to sit down together
- What day each week works best for grocery shopping
Brainstorm and Organize
This involves making many lists initially but will become easier as you get accustomed to the process. First, make a list of meals you know your family loves. Then search for recipes you’d like to try and jot those down. Keep these additional tips in mind:
- Schedule one day each week to meal plan and make a grocery list
- Start with five or six meals
- Organize your coupons the same day you meal plan
- Check for ingredients you already have
Create a Master Shopping List
There are several templates available online for both meal planning and shopping, or you can create your own. Once you’ve pinned down your exact meals for the week, fill in the form. Divide your list into categories so it’s easier to find things at the store.
Stick to It
The most important part of any new routine is repetition. Even if it doesn’t go as planned the first couple of weeks, keep trying. Remember, it takes a while to get your process down pat. But once you do, your family will start enjoying healthy meals together regularly.
For more tips on keeping your family healthy, reach out to the experts at Amarillo Town Club. Our family-friendly facility and fitness professionals would be happy to help you reach your goals.