With our busy schedules, juggling work, school, extracurricular activities, screen time, and meals can be challenging. Unfortunately, for some, family meals without screens or other external distractions have become rare. However, it is important to note that these meals have beneficial effects for all family members, even if the nutritional quality of the dishes served may be low. In this article, we will explore the advantages of family meals for mental health, nutrition, and learning.
Better mental health through family meals
While mental health is not a nutrient, it is essential to take care of it. Eating together as a family could contribute to improving the mental health of household members. Studies have indeed shown a decrease in anxiety, depression, violence, alcoholism, smoking, and eating disorders in families who regularly share their meals. If a "pill" offered all these benefits, it would be sold at a high price and consumed without hesitation!
These positive effects can be explained by more significant and higher-quality interactions among family members. When we share a family meal, we take the time to catch up on everyone's news, detect potential problems, and encourage each other.
A more nutritious diet for everyone
Planning family meals helps prioritize a healthier and more balanced diet. When a recipe is scheduled, there is a greater chance that the meal will be cooked instead of opting for a quick and less nutritious option. Fast meals are often high in salt, fat, and sugars, but low in vitamins and minerals. Thus, simply by eating together as a family, the nutritional quality of the plates improves.
A time for learning and sharing
Family meals offer an excellent opportunity to discover new foods, transmit our culinary culture and family values. It is also an important moment of socialization for all family members. Children naturally learn these sharing habits during school lunches and snacks.
Since ancient times, humans in most cultures have shared meals together. By eating as a family, you pass on to your loved ones your knowledge, eating habits, and much more. Family meals offer many advantages for the health and well-being of all household members. Although it requires a little organization, the benefits are worth it. Even if it's only once a week, scheduling a time in the schedule to share a meal without screens or other distractions is worth it. Investing time and attention in family meals will strengthen family bonds, promote healthier eating, and contribute to better mental health for everyone.
In conclusion, family meals offer much more than just moments of food sharing. They are precious opportunities to strengthen family bonds, transmit values, promote a balanced diet, and promote better mental health for all household members. Even with busy schedules, it is essential to reserve time for these special moments without screens or external distractions. Whether it's once a week or more, the benefits of family meals are worth it. Take the time to organize these moments and enjoy the advantages they offer for the well-being of your entire family, whether it is a traditional family or composed of people close to your heart. Start planning your next family meal today with the help of a Registered Dietitian and create lasting memories together.