Regular home-cooked family meals tend to allow for healthier dietary habits to be developed by all including:
Eating together also creates greater family bonds. In children, regular family meals are associated with:
- Better academic performance
- Lowered rates of deviant behavior such as alcohol use
- Feelings of greater security and stability
- Positive social development
- Development of communication skills
Physical activity is also great to do as a family. It is important for everyone's health and doing it together makes it more fun! Your relationships will be strengthened as you spend more time together and you will be serving as a great role model for your children. Plus, you'll improve your health at the same time!
Here are some tips to help you make family your focus
- Check your schedule and find time to make family a priority.
- Turn off the TV and other distractions and do things together, like play games or talk.
- Go for a family walk or bike ride.
- Truly listen to one another and allow every family member to contribute to the conversation.
- Make family dinners a habit.
- Get everyone involved in the cooking process whether it is planning the menu, shopping for groceries, setting the table, making a salad or doing the dishes.
- Turn up the music and dance together.
- Turn household chores into a game.
In addition to laughing more and focusing on your family, here are some tips to help you celebrate life!
- Stop and look around you—there is so much beauty in the world.
- Take a deep breath—your health will thank you for it.
- Listen to peaceful music—it will help quiet your mind.
- Eat slower—enjoy the eating experience.
- Give yourself the gift of time—whether it is to read a good book or take a bubble bath.
- Do less—it is okay to say "no." Focus on what is really important.
- Shut it off—the TV, the phone, the computer.
- Find pleasure in all that you do—even the laundry!
- Imitate your children—they are the masters at playing, laughing and taking life lightly!
By incorporating these healthy living habits into your everyday life, you will be well on your way to a healthier and happier you!