Monday, July 23, 2012

Mindful Parenting: Family Meals

Most families know they "should" try to eat some meals as a family (with no mp3 player/phone/TV use at the same time). But you may not realize just how many benefits family meals have. Family meals are related to positive behaviors in many areas: literacy, nutrition, healthy weight, school work, drug use, mood, mental illness, sex, and eating disorders. So it's definitely worth it to make the extra effort to make it happen.

If you aren't currently eating meals as a family regularly, here are some tips to try:
- Make meal prep a family affair. This shortens the amount of time needed.
- Consider changing up the schedule. If one parent works until 7, then have a light meal at 5 and an evening snack together. Or try family breakfasts.
- Start with just one meal a week and try to work up to at least 5-7.
- Keep expectations age-appropriate. Toddlers won't have the attention span of preteens, but you'll be setting good foundations.

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