The Steps to Health Program strongly encourages families to make mealtime, family time. October is Eat Better, Eat Together Month. This month join the national movement to eat more meals as a family.
Eating meals together is a great opportunity to catch up on what’s happening at school, work, etc. Today’s busy lifestyles make it seem impossible to share meals as a family but set a goal to share at least one meal a day.
Planning meals ahead of time is the key to success. Select a day and time when all of the family members can plan meals for the week together. Incorporate everyone’s ideas into the planning. Be sure to include fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and dairy, as well as, lean meats. Next, check the refrigerator and cupboards to see which items you already have for the week’s meals. Write a shopping list for the items that you need. Involving children in this process can help develop their reading, writing, and organizational skills. Take your shopping list to the grocer and stick to purchasing only the items on the list. Now, you are ready for the week!
Allow the children to help prepare the meal by completing cooking tasks based on their age and ability. They can also help set the table. Remember, clean-up is everyone’s responsibility.
Written by Cheri Bennett, Family and Consumer Sciences Agent, North Carolina Cooperative Extension