Social Media started off with the intention of building connections, but as it so often begins to take over your life, it distances you from those who should be closest – your family. The addiction to social media has grown to the point that are countless articles dedicated to finding a balance between social media and real life filled with tips like “turning off your phone after 10pm” or “leaving your phone in the car while on a date”. There are even apps like SelfControl dedicated to blocking social media sites for a certain period of time! Artists have created videos on the importance of a balanced lifestyle and one artist has dedicated his blog to photographs that highlight the divide created when spending time with others but glued to the screen of a digital device. With all that being said for finding balance and building real connections, meal times are great for bonding with family members, and it’s a great way to educate your family on healthy eating habits!
Healthy eating and balanced meals are a part of a well-rounded lifestyle. Studies have shown that eating meals together increases nutritional benefits, as well as intellectual and behavioral maturity in children. Busy families sometimes see mealtimes as stressful events when juggling different schedules and picky eaters, but with a little organization, they can be the best part of everyone’s day.
- Have your kids help with meal planning – This gives them an opportunity to learn about the different ingredients in their meals and healthy food choices. And if you have picky eaters, this is a perfect opportunity to open their mind to foods they might not eat if simply placed in front of them at dinnertime.
- Eat everything on your plate – If you’re picky about what you eat, don’t be surprised if your kids start to imitate you.
- Learn about the cultural background of foods – Kids (and adults) love stories! And most people love eating a good meal, so use mealtimes to learn about different cultures and their foods. Have a pizza party and talk about the different types from different areas like New York, Chicago, and Italy. Or make burgers and talk about how this American staple actually originated from German immigrants.
- Divide and conquer – Learn to delegate meal prep tasks. Allow them to develop fine motor skills and give them room to be creative (and get a little messy)!