The people, the smells, the food, the table…food is a BIG part of family life. We eat three (sometimes more!) times a day. That’s a huge portion of our everyday life. Meal time deserves our attention. Let’s take a look at how the meals we prepare, how we eat them, where we eat them, etc. play into our family’s sense of home.
How much of your sense of home is centered around mealtime or specific meals? What was your favorite meal growing up? Who prepared it? When did you eat it? How often? Who did you eat it with? Write about it. Include all the details of tastes, feelings, plates, the room where you ate, who was around, etc.
Do you know how to make that meal? Do you still eat it? Would you be inspired to share that memory with your own children in your own kitchen? If so, take this memory a step further and make plans to recreate a beloved meal from your childhood. Share details from your writings above with them.
What is your family eating style? (i.e. vegan, Whole30, keto, anything goes, family of snackers, etc). Are you happy with your family’s eating habits? Is there an eating style you’d like to try or are curious about?
There are so many articles and books that talk about the importance of sitting down together for family meals. With busy schedules and school coming up, take a look at your life, your values, and your schedule. Are there times where you could sit down at the table and make a family meal a priority?
Even if sitting down together isn’t your current norm, it’s never too late to start a new tradition. What are your goals for mealtime in your house? Do you want to work on meal planning? Do you want to work on healthier choices? Do you want to work on budgeting? Write down your mealtime goals.
Take a look at yesterday’s mealtime goals. What could you do to start putting those into action? Writing family dinner on the calendar? Start researching new recipes? Dig out old recipes? Start listening to an audio book or podcast about a new-to-you eating style? Make a plan. Write down concrete actions you can take to get closer to your mealtime goals.
One of the easiest ways to not eat junk food is to not buy it. Are you interested in eating more fruits and vegetables? Buy them! Have them on hand and available. Interested in cutting out sugary snacks or processed foods? Stop buying them! Don’t have them within arm’s reach. You can’t choose something that is not there.
Today make two lists. One of foods you would like to buy more of and one you would like to buy less of. Write them out.
Talk about how meals together are important and how it relates to good health, family bonds, memories, a sense of home, all of it. Let them know your goals and why they are important to you (and them). Let them know that you want to make positive changes for the family one meal at a time. Write about it before and after your conversation. How did it go? What questions did they have? Did you get resistance? Did the conversation affect your conviction to change? Did you feel supported? Did you acknowledge that support? Write about what you feel you need to help you stick to your goals or which ones might need editing.
You’ve thought about it, wrote about it, talked about it. Make today the day your goals and plans go into effect (if you haven’t already)! If you want to eat less sugar, today is the day you start buying less sugar. If you want to sit down to the table for more meals together, set the table with plates and flowers and sit down together. If you want to share more of your grandma’s recipes with your children, buy the ingredients & choose a day to make it. Set yourself up for success. Write what your mealtime goals are and what you can do to see them through.