“One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well.” – Virginia Woolf
Whether your family is made up of parents and kids, dozens of distant cousins or a cadre of close friends, it is likely that you’ve spent much time during the holiday season with everyone around your dinner table.
As we kick off the New Year, PeaceHealth would like to encourage you to continue that trend. But now, instead of setting a table full of heavy sugar- and fat-laden dishes, take the opportunity to lighten up with hearty, nutritious fare.
Research has shown that eating dinner together as a family – no matter who is included in your family – has multiple benefits. When you eat together regularly, more than three nights a week, some amazing things happen:
Grades improve. Children who eat with their parents five or more times a week show better academic performance. They also have less trouble with drugs, alcohol and skipping school.
Nutrition skyrockets. Eating together at home improves our nutrition. The most accessible alternatives to home-cooked food, inexpensive fast food and take out, are generally loaded with fat, salt and empty calories. Cooking and eating even the simplest of meals at home and controlling portion size can help your whole family be healthier.
Stress disappears. Sharing a meal gives you an excuse to slow down and connect with your loved ones at the end of the day. One study even showed that family mealtime helped working moms reduce their stress from long hours on the job.
For a list of easy, healthy dinners your whole family will enjoy, visit peacehealth.org/healthy-you.