We all know the pressure of trying to balance our hectic lifestyles: work, school, kids, sports and activities all tend to take precedence over family meals. But eating together as a family should always be a top priority. There are many benefits of family meals, like better academic performance, higher self-esteem and lower rates of obesity, and family mealtime doesn’t have to be so challenging. Check out these 5 easy tips to help your family eat together when busy season kicks into overdrive:
- Plan ahead. Creating a list before going to the grocery store can save you 40% on impulse buys, and planning meals ahead also saves time later on. Make a menu ahead to allow yourself adequate time to prepare meals during the week.
- Keep it simple. Eating together as a family doesn’t necessarily mean preparing an elaborate meal. Keep the menu simple so that it’s convenient to eat together on those extra busy days. Try this delicious one pan recipe of skillet butternut squash lasagna for an easy dish the whole family will love.
- Pro Tip: Double the recipe of a meal so you cook once but eat twice.
- Have help. Call on your family members to help prepare meals. Enlisting help saves you time, and it gets the kids involved in cooking. Not only does that teach them culinary skills and responsibility, but it also engages them in conversation and strengthens bonds with you and other family members.
- Make it interesting. Family meals don’t always have to be set around the dining room table. Pack breakfast or pick up dinner, just make it a point to eat together as a family. Your family can even enjoy meals on-the-go at convenient places like picnic tables, parks and rest stops.
- Get creative. For those days when it’s impossible to find time to enjoy a full meal together, get creative. Pack snacks to eat together if you’re traveling, or stop by a sweets shop to share a dessert on the way home–however you can sit down and connect with your family to make eating together a priority.
This October join The Dairy Alliance in their Eat Together, Eat Better with Real Dairy Campaign. Learn more about the benefits of eating together, how to plan and prep for nutritious family meals, and find quick and easy recipes by following us on social media: