This is the third blog post by our guest blogger Mindy Hofman – please read her bio.
A time to reflect on the benefits of sharing healthy meals with your friends or family, October is National Eat Better, Eat Together Month. As a single parent it can be challenging to find the time to prepare a healthy meal and sit down with my daughter after a day of work, followed up by carpooling. Allowing my daughter to eat dinner in front of her screen is an appealing thought; however, I try to do better as often as I can. When we spend mealtime together with no screens or other distractions, it is magical. I get to hear about my daughter’s day and tell her about mine. I learn about her friends, what she is learning about at school and whatever else is on her little mind. There is something special about the relaxed nature of sitting at the table together enjoying a healthy meal. We are making memories I will cherish when my daughter goes away to college and beyond.
In honor of National Eat Together, Eat Better Month, let’s look at eating together and eating better:
Unplug: Kids and adults alike can be addicted to their screens. A daily break at mealtime for the whole family, including grownups, is good for everyone. Does the thought of being unplugged create anxiety for you or your family members? If so, it is a sign that you need a break. If possible, plan a consistent mealtime where it is known to all, even your boss, that you are unavailable. Make it a habit and it will become routine.
Involve the Kiddos: Depending on the age of your children, there are many ways to get them involved. Younger kiddos usually love setting the table and “helping” you cook. As kiddos grow older, they can take on more responsibility, working their way up to clearing the table, loading the dishwasher, or washing and drying the dishes.
Better Communication: When I pick my daughter up from school, if I ask how her day was, I am told it was “fine” or “good.” It is not until she is rested and recharged that I get a full answer. That time is usually dinnertime. I will start by telling her a little bit about my day, then we move on to how her day unfolded. When I share the details of my day first, it helps my daughter ease into telling me about her experiences and she doesn’t feel like she is being interrogated. It is a more casual, relaxed, genuine environment for open conversations.
Healthy Habits: Eating together provides an opportunity to create and nurture healthy eating habits. Tucking the distractions away while enjoying a meal together leads to more mindful eating habits.
Do you have any traditions or tips involving “eating better or eating together”? We would love to hear from you.
Mindy Hofman is the founder of Inspiring Women Media and author of a forthcoming book about successful women in Austin (expected to publish in 2022). She is a self-proclaimed women’s rights champion and strongly believes in the transformative power of women supporting women. Mindy graduated from The Art Institute of New York City with a degree in Graphic Design and worked as a graphic designer in New York City and San Francisco. Today she resides in Austin, TX where she has lived for the past 5 years with her daughter and two small dogs.
#Communication #ParentChildCommunication #FamilyDinner #NationalDay #Parenting #Wellness #HealthyEating #MindfulEating #FamilyTime