There is a trend happening that is not good for the family. Are you falling into the trap? Why families don’t eat together anymore.
This trend is so prevalent that some people are even getting rid of their dining room tables and opting for grabbing a quick meal at the center kitchen island. With this trend, dining rooms are all but disappearing from new homes. Ultimately, this is not good for the family, and it’s not good for the individual child.
Let’s look at the reasons behind this trend and why it is happening.
Dual Income Families
Today most parents work, which makes it hard for either parent to have the incentive to cook dinner at home. But, if everyone participates and you keep the meal simple, you really can have food on the table in 30 minutes or less.
Parents Work Too Late
This is a real problem for some parents in our 24-hour society. If this is you, then you can try to work around it by finding another meal that you can enjoy together. If you decide to eat together without distractions when you can, it’ll be okay.
Perfection is not required. Start by changing your eating habits by one evening meal at a time and gradually work up to 5 or six nights a week.
Single Parent Families
It’s hard for a single parent because they don’t have the option to get help. But, what if you could get other single parents to work with you on family dinner nights? You can choose the largest home for the dinner and share the duties.
Older children can also help. If you don’t believe that try watching Master Chef Junior.
Too Many After School Activities
This is the number one reason people choose to eat fast food over eating together as a family. If you are involved in something every night of the week and on weekends, that’s too much. Consider letting the kids pick the one activity that is most important to them and drop the rest at the end of the current season.
Ask your kids what they prefer. You may find that your kids appreciate not being overscheduled (just like you do!). There are many reasons for keeping them busy. We all want the best for our kids, or we might think that more activities will keep them out of trouble.
But the truth is more activities only cause problems and stress, and there is little to no benefit to being overscheduled.
Related article: 11 Reasons to Eat Together as a Family
Parents Don’t Know How to Cook
Due to the ease of eating out today, and even ordering delivery, many people just do not realize it’s easy to cook if you keep it simple. Watching cooking shows can make it seem hard and that everything must be elaborate. But it doesn’t take long to make children a protein, grain, and veggies.
If this is you, start with some simple easy to make meal plans and get a solid repertoire of family-friendly meals that you enjoy making. You’ll thank yourself when you realize how much stress it removes from the whole process.
Parents Aren’t Informed About Nutrition
Many people really don’t know how seriously dangerous it is to eat so many fasts food and restaurant food. The added fat, salt, and sugar that the manufacturers put in the food to make it delicious are actually quite bad for you and your kids.
Young people are more obese than ever, and other countries [source] are catching up to the poor health of kids in the United States. Some young people are even suffering from what used to be old age diseases like type 2 diabetes and heart disease.
This can all be reversed by offering healthy foods around the dinner table.
You may be so used to looking at your screens – whether it’s a TV, a computer, or a mobile device. It’s hard for many of us to give that up to sit at the table and enjoy a meal. But, when you make an effort to do get rid of these distractions during meals, you’ll be glad you did.
You can expect a bit of resistance from your teenagers at the beginning, but once your family is used to it, you’ll be pleased you made the change. Many families have a cell phone basket that they use for electronic devices. Ask your family to put their phones on silent for the duration of the meal. They won’t miss what’s going on if it is not brought to their attention with incessant dings and notifications. Make family mealtime fun and they won’t grumble too much!
If you fall into any of these situations do not despair and realize that you don’t have to be perfect to get the benefits of eating together as a family. There are many options for you to ensure that you spend plenty of time with your family bonding and eating together in a relaxed way at home even if you never cooked a meal before. Today you can learn by watching YouTube, reading cookbooks, and even by taking a class.
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