September is Family Mealtime Month. It is a great time of year to reflect on your family mealtime routine. You might remember this post from last year. Give it a read. It is a great reminder of all the benefits family mealtime can bring. It is also a great motivator to get you on board with regular family mealtime.
Dinnertime can look different for different people. At my house, I usually feel like it is a scene out of a fast-paced, action-packed movie, where total chaos ensues. It gets nuts around here! Many nights I am temped to turn a movie on for the kids so I can browse the internet on my phone and eat my meal in peace. But because I believe strongly in the benefits of family mealtime, I try my best to not only sit down together, but to talk and engage each other as a family. Your dinnertime may look different. It doesn’t matter whether you are in the throws of parenthood like me, a single mom just getting by, or a couple without kids in the home. No matter your scenario, family mealtime is important.
It all starts with a plan. Menu planning is the key to less stress at dinnertime, more money in your pocket, and more health in your diet. Click here and here to view my most recent posts on menu planning to get started.
But what about those nights when the plan fails? Does that mean you have failed? Not at all! Family mealtime isn’t really about the meal at all. Of course it is encouraged that you have a nutritious and well-rounded meal, but more important than what you eat is that you have taken the time to sit down and engage with your family. So pull out the cold cereal, make a grilled cheese, or order a pizza on those nights things aren’t going quite right. Serve fruits and veggies on the side and call it good!
For some families, family mealtime doesn’t happen at dinner. Busy schedules, work hours, or other commitments might not allow the family to sit down together each evening. No problem! Commit to just one or two nights a week where schedules align. Or use breakfast, Sunday brunch, or Friday night pizza as your family meal. It doesn’t matter when you do it, just that you are doing it.
Act now by taking the pledge to create family mealtime. (Click the image to print).Print out our pledge card and commit to a certain amount of meals this month. Place the card in your kitchen where you can easily see it as a reminder to eat together as a family. You might also consider making goals together as a family. You can find a printable goal sheet here.
Check back all throughout the month of September for tips, tricks, and other resources to help your family have a successful family mealtime. When you need a new recipe idea this month, try Easy Minestrone Soup.
Find more great recipes in our Family Mealtime Cookbook. You can download your free copy by clicking here. Enjoy!
Certified Nutrition Education Assistant