“Eat Better, Eat Together” Month is all about making intentional choices. When we eat together we tend to slow down, make better nutritional choices, be less prone to stress eating and bingeing, and allow more time to rest and digest. Children tend to mimic the behaviors of those around them, and this applies to meal habits in a big way. Here are a few reasons to re-strategize mealtimes at home:
- Establishing Tradition– Sitting down at the table together teaches that mealtime shouldn’t involve multi-tasking.
- Unplugging– Keeping electronics away from mealtime forces everyone to flex their communication muscles and social skills.
- Healthy Habits– Dependents at home will most likely eat what is made for them. Make sure meals are nutritious and filling!
- Skill Share– Give children an appropriate level of responsibility, like washing vegetables or setting the table.
With our always-on-the-go lifestyles, it may not surprise you that 46% of Americans eat dinner alone, and an average of 44% of young adults eat while distracted- while driving, on the phone, working, or watching television. But what’s the risk of solitary, unfocused eating?
- Nutrition– People who are distracted or on the move tend to eat for convenience- a quick, less nutritious choice.
- Isolation– Eating together is a social event! Doing this solo can lead to loneliness and even depression.
- Consistency– When it comes to diet, consistency is key. With no one to hold you accountable when you’re alone, it’s easy to either skip vital caloric intake or over-indulge.
- Health– Dining alone is associated with a higher risk of obesity and metabolic syndrome.
For ideas on how to support your and your family’s eating behaviors, contact CHARGE’s Registered Dietitians.