What’s the Real Reason for Eating Family Meals?
There are a lot of reasons why family meals have become a struggle for families. Long commutes, afterschool activities, parents with multiple jobs and more schoolwork for children and adolescents all play a part in this.
It’s an important issue to discuss, because one in five children in the United States is overweight and therefore is at risk for developing heart disease, high blood pressure, and diabetes. Which as a vegan, you can feel confident already in your dietary choices as a way to reverse and combat these health issues.
Research has also shown that families that eat together:
- Eat more vegetables and fruit
- Eat fewer fried foods
- Drink less soda
- Children in families that regularly eat dinner together get better grades and were more likely to avoid cigarettes, alcohol, and marijuana.
- Children are less likely to be overweight or obese if the family eats together.
How can I work family meals into our routine?
Set yourself up for success. Start with only a few meals a week if you currently eat none together. If timing really doesn’t work for your family at dinner substitute them with shared breakfasts, evening snacks, or any similar activity that will allow your family to gather more regularly. Here’s a few extra tips to help keep on track:
- Use a meal planning strategy, such as the ones provided for members in Ask A Plant Based Dietitian.
- No television or phones allowed!
- Write the grocery list together, and work out ways that children can participate it the cooking process.
- Try fun recipes on our Recipe Page
A huge resource for families is being able to come connect with others going through similar struggles, check out Facebook Groups such as Vegan Pregnancy and Parenting and Vegan Eats 4 Smaller Feet. You can also find fun with us on Instagram, just check out @veganpregnancyandparenting and @veganeats4littlefeet!