|© Dudau | Stock Free Images & Dreamstime Stock Photos|
I would absolutely be lying if I said that dinnertime is all sunshine and lollipops at my house. In fact, it can be one of the most stressful times of my day. Sometimes just trying to get dinner on the table while simultaneously entertaining and containing two toddlers is about all I can handle. When we actually sit down, it’s often chaotic and always messy and someone ends up in tears at least twice a week. Even if that someone isn’t me, I feel totally defeated when a nutritious meal that I’ve carefully prepared with everyone’s dietary sensitives and preferences in mind is pushed around the plate for 30 minutes. UGH! It would certainly be a lot easier to microwave some chicken nuggets and mac & cheese and feed the kids before my husband gets home and then order take out after the kids go to bed. It might even be easier to prepare a healthy meal for the kiddos then prepare a second healthy meal for us later, but I don’t. Why? Believe me, I ask myself this question on a regular basis! Whenever I’m ready to give up I take a moment to remind myself that the family that eats together…
Family mealtime is the perfect opportunity to talk, laugh and share the events of your day. My kids are still a bit young for this, but some of my most cherished childhood memories happened around the dinner table. I remember lots of laughter and great discussion. It’s where I really got to know my family members as individuals rather than just Mom, Dad and Brother. Even though we’re not quite there yet, I’m glad that my children have the security of knowing that we all come together once a day as a family. I’m hopeful that despite the chaos we are laying the foundation for a wonderful family tradition.
…STAYS HEALTHY TOGETHER
For starters, home cooked meals are typically much more nutritious than food eaten on-the-go. Research shows that children who eat frequent dinners with their families eat more fruits and vegetables and less soda and fried foods. Their diets also have higher amounts of many key nutrients, like calcium, iron, and fiber. When children see their greatest role models frequently eating healthy foods and (better yet) trying new foods, they are much more likely to model these behaviors! Meals are also a great time to introduce some nutrition dialogue such as why we eat the foods we eat and the fact that not every food can be your favorite.
…STAYS HAPPY TOGETHER
Studies have shown that kids who frequently eat with their families are less likely to get depressed, consider suicide, or develop an eating disorder. They are also more likely to delay sex and to report that their parents are proud of them. Frequent family meals are associated with lower rates of smoking, drinking, and illegal drug use in preteens and teenagers. Think about it…if you spend every night sitting down with and talking to your children, you are far more likely to notice any changes or issues and you have the perfect venue to offer your love and support.
Not only do we learn about each other at the dinner table, but this is where we learn many important life skills including table manners, proper utensil use, and clearing the table. Frequent family meals have been linked to increased vocabulary development in young children; teenagers who eat dinner four or more times per week with their families have higher academic performance compared with teenagers who eat with their families two or fewer times per week.
…SAVES MONEY TOGETHER
Not only are meals prepared in the home more nutritious, but according to the national Consumer Expenditure Survey from the Bureau of Labor Statistics they cost about half as much as meals eaten outside the home.
I’ll be the first to admit that family meals can sometimes be just short of torture, but even with two toddlers we have some very special dinnertime moments. Routines start at a young age and the future payoff is totally worth the current stress and chaos. So in this over-scheduled and under-nourished culture, we can make a difference by simply sitting down as a family every day and enjoying a meal together. So light a candle, say a blessing, put on some classical music and start building those memories…bon appetite!
Eat Well, Be Well,
Part I of the film is now available to preview. It’s only about 5 minutes long but a good sneak peek at what’s to come. If you like it consider watching Food Matters this weekend as well. You can watch the first 40 minutes for free and then purchase the full film (only 4.95 for 3 days of online access). It’s also available to watch instantly through Netflix.
ABOUT THE FILM
We all want more energy, an ideal body and beautiful younger looking skin. So what is stopping us from getting this?
From the creators of the best-selling documentary FOOD MATTERS comes another hard-hitting film certain to rock your world.
HUNGRY FOR CHANGE exposes shocking secrets the diet, weight loss and food industry don’t want you to know about; deceptive strategies designed to keep you coming back for more. Find out what’s keeping you from having the body and health you deserve and how to escape the diet trap forever.
Featuring interviews with best selling health authors and leading medical experts plus real life transformational stories with those who know what it’s like to be sick and overweight. Learn from those who have been there before and continue your health journey today.
Eat Well, Be Well,
|Monica Corrado Holding Pork Liver|
- An excellent source of high-quality protein
- Nature’s most concentrated source of vitamin A
- All the B vitamins in abundance, particularly vitamin B12
- One of our best sources of folic acid
- A highly usable form of iron
- Trace elements such as copper, zinc and chromium; liver is our best source of copper
- An unidentified anti-fatigue factor
- CoQ10, a nutrient that is especially important for cardio-vascular function
- A good source of purines, nitrogen-containing compounds that serve as precursors for DNA and RNA.
|Pork Liver Pate|
- liver shot: cut a small cube of frozen liver and pop it like a pill
- grate a small amount of liver into brown rice, soup, or tomato juice
- add a little bit to meat loaf (1/4 cup max)