Services’ Nutrition Services. “A time to relax, recharge, laugh, tell stories and
catch up on the day, all while developing a sense of who we are as a family.”
Spend mealtime together
It helps young children learn to talk more, practise how to be with others
and learn etiquette. It also helps kids, including teenagers, develop a sense of
belonging connected to positive self-image.
For these reasons, Airdrie mom Sarah Deveau and her husband Keith Kucharski
sit down with their three daughters five times a week for dinner. “Family meals
are our chance to focus on eating healthfully, and to pay attention to our meal
and each other,” she says. “We’re just as busy as the next family, but we feel
carving the time out to listen and connect with our kids is important.”
Pass on family and cultural traditions
Food is an easy way to share cultural roots by introducing different ingredients
and dishes, and discussing where they came from and their cultural meaning.
“Make mealtime fun and engaging for the whole family,” says McCormick.
“It’s not the time to talk about conflicts. Keep the focus positive so benefits like
building vocabulary, confidence and manners can materialize.”
Agood meal with good company can satiate your belly and your spirit. And yet, many families are starved for a meal together. Given busy work, school and extracurricular schedules, long commutes and increasing competition from technology, it’s not
surprising families find it challenging to eat together regularly. But doing so
can be easier and more important than you may realize.
confidence and manners), school readiness, healthy eating habits (including
lower rates of obesity and eating disorders), learning how to make a meal, and
above all, unifying your family.
“We are losing the knowledge to make healthy, informed food choices,” says
Sharon McCormick, president and CEO of Poppy Innovations, which offers
cooking and gardening programs for kids and adults in Calgary. “To regain
that knowledge, we need to talk about ingredients and preparation. We need to
resurrect the value of cooking by having families eat together.”