Getting together each day with your family to enjoy a good meal has many benefits. It is more nutritious to eat home cooked food over a fast food restaurant. Teens are less likely to smoke, drink, or do drugs if they partake in family meals each week. Children that sit down at night and eat with their parents have a better relationship with them. Below are some tips to help if you are a busy parent that does not have sufficient time to cook at home each night.
You do not have to sit down at your table each night to eat dinner. Having dinner at a restaurant (such as OJ's Steak & Pizza) together offers the same benefits. Just be careful that you and your family choose healthy foods. If you see something on the menu that is fried, ask the server if you can have it grilled instead. Change out French fries for veggies, and get a larger salad with smaller portions of your main dish. Ask the server to bring you a take home box in the beginning, and put half of your food in it to take home with you.
Order your food from the healthy low fat entrees on the menu. Many restaurants will list the nutritional content for food. If they do not, ask the server for this information. You can rely on this, as restaurants that list nutritional content must meet FDA standards.
Get the Kids Involved
Cooking goes faster if you have some help, and most kids love to be in the kitchen to help with the cooking. Your kids may even be more likely to try new foods if they help prepare them. This is one way to get them to eat broccoli and green beans.
To take it further, start a vegetable garden with your kids in your back yard. You do not have to have a lot of room to grow some nutritious vegetables. It also saves you money on your grocery bill. Let your children help you plant and take care of the vegetables. When it is time, ask them to get the vegetables from the garden to bring into the house to prepare for your meals. This also helps them stay active and out of the house.
Sitting down together every night to enjoy a meal may not always be possible for your family, but do it as much as you can. Getting together a few nights a week is beneficial.