Juggling jobs, kids and the demands of a busy, modern life often come at the expense of family mealtime at home. In fact, 63% of Americans decide what to eat less than an hour before eating. It's easy to opt for take-out or fast food when schedules get hectic. But there's science-based evidence to support making the effort to eat more family meals instead.
What are the Benefits of Family Meals?
-Studies show that eating home-cooked meals together as a family nourish the spirit, brain and health of parents and kids alike.
-When people cook most of their meals at home, they consume fewer carbohydrates, less sugar and less fat than those who cook less or not at all.
-Plus, regular meals are linked to the kinds of outcomes we all want for our children: higher grades and self-esteem, healthier eating habits and less risky behavior.
-In fact, kids and teens who share meals with their family three or more times per week are significantly less likely to be overweight, more likely to eat healthy foods and less likely to have eating disorders.
-With each additional family meal shared each week, adolescents are less likely to show symptoms of depression, less likely to use/abuse drugs and less likely to engage in delinquent acts.
According to a Harris Poll, only 30% of American Families share dinner every night. To keep families eating together around the table, we all need quick, easy recipes, meal solutions and tricks on how to prep once and eat twice to save time.
One of my favorite quick and easy meals is 3-bean chili served with rice. Chili can be easily stored in the fridge or freezer as a heat-and-eat dish. Leftover rice stores easily in the fridge too and can be warmed in the microwave or re-invented later in the week as veggie & rice stir-fry.
Search social media for #FamilyMealsMonth to find recipes and ideas on how to share one more family meal a week! Or, use #FamilyMealsMonth to share your own ideas and tips for making family meals happen-- especially during September: National Family Meals Month and all year long! Tag me on twitter @KarenBuch or @NutritionConnectionsLLC on Facebook in your posts! I'd love to see all your #FamilyMealsMonth ideas & meal pics and share them too!