Eating family meals together is an important way to stay connected in our relationships and maintain a balance between work and family life. We often lead chaotic lives and finding time to sit down and eat a meal let alone with others can be a challenge. As a nutritionist, mother, and wife I cannot emphasize how important this in the development of healthy relationships with food. It is certainly not necessary to eat all 3 meals a day together–even once a week can make a lasting impression. It is important to not make this time necessarily about food–taking the emphasis away from food can actually make the eating process go smoother. Below are a few suggestions worth considering, especially if someone in your family struggles with their own relationship with food.
- If everyone seems on different schedules during the week try eating together on Sunday nights.
- Make everyone part of the cooking process
- Insist on no technology during the meal time
- Consider eating breakfasts together if the timing of dinners is too complicated
- Try preparing one meal for everyone to eat
- Talk about something else other than food during the meal
Personally and professionally I found the experience of eating with family to be one of the most powerful tools available. I hope you too find it as therapeutic and rewarding–happy meal time!