When you hear the word ‘diet’ what comes to mind?
Are family dinners a thing of the past?
When I was little, every evening at dinner time, my family would gather around the dining table. My mother put dinner on — no tv, no cell phones — just my family chatting, laughing and sharing the day.
The concern for what we ate was irrelevant. We ate whatever my mother made! We didn’t count carbs, fats, or even calories, but we did eat healthy foods. We also had lots of exercise, though. We were active kids, always in sports.
Fast forward to today. Do families still have dinner together? Without distraction? Does your family eat the same thing or does everyone eat something different? Are we too busy with evening activities, so we just grab “something to go?” Do we get enough exercise that we can ignore carbs, fats and calories?
I think the answers to these questions vary. However, there are more distractions and evening events that get in the way. There is not as much time or concern for what we are eating — our obese children tell the story.
Maybe its time for simple, again. Get back to everyone participating in dinner — as a family. A great way to encourage healthy cooking and eating is to cook and eat together!
With diabetes and obesity being such a huge issue for families, a few simple ideas for improving your family’s diet.
- Make Sunday meal planning time. What does everyone want to eat for the week?
- Look for recipes together. There are great apps out there!
- Get your kids involved in helping to prepare a healthy grocery list.
- Shop as a family, and talk about preparation time.
- Read food labels. What does all of it mean?
Even small changes can make a huge difference, and motivate the family to find time to eat together.