Mom or Dad has to work late, the kids have soccer practice and lots of homework. With today’s busy schedules, its not easy getting a home cooked meal on the table, and everyone in the same room to eat together. It’s no surprise that families can find themselves hitting the drive-thru on the way home more often than they might like. According to USA Today, people consume 50% more fat, calories, and sodium when they eat out, so eating on the run too much is not good for our waistlines. And to those who think they are saving money eating fast food, some home cooked dinners can be more economical than a fast food meal according to the NY Times.
But the advantages do not stop there, it turns out that regularly sitting down to a family dinner can benefit kids and families in two other big ways:
So with today’s over scheduled calendars, how can a family fit in dinner in between after school sports and activities, homework, and work obligations? Here are seven tips that can help families bring the family meal back:
Degenerative diseases like diabetes are on the rise, with one in three kids predicted to develop diabetes in their lifetime. And as the saying goes, “pay the grocer now, or pay the doctor later.” Fast food can cost us way more in the long run in terms of our health. Creating healthy eaters can help to prevent obesity and many related diseases. So making time to cook a healthy meal and sit down to dinner together as a family is worth the extra planning and effort it takes. Give it a try, and remember – the more you cook, the easier it gets; you might just be creating a healthier, happier family in the process. Does it mean you are a bad parent if you pop a frozen pizza in the oven occasionally? Of course not – we might not have time every night to make a home cooked meal, but the nights that we do – will benefit the whole family.
Article written by Nutritionist Sara Vance, whose book The Perfect Metabolism Plan (Red Wheel/Conari Press) will be hitting book shelves Spring of 2015. You can download her Cooking with Superfoods eBooklet now for free. A regular guest on Fox 5 San Diego, Sara used to be a sugar junkie too. She offers consultations, corporate nutrition, monthly cooking classes, and affordable online programs.
©2015, all rights reserved. Sara Vance.
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