Body Benevolence: The Family Meal
True and enduring Body Benevolence™ begins at home and for families, this includes sharing meals with one another. Families that eat on the run become individual adults who eat on the run, which is an invitation to poor self care, fast food, and unhealthy snacking which can lead to obesity, diabetes and heart disease down the road.
Did you know…
* Families that eat together tend to eat better. Family meals tend to include more fruits and vegetables, and less fat and sugar, than meals eaten individually. In 2000, a Harvard Medical study found that families who eat together eat healthier than those who don’t.
* Children in families who share meals together tend to score better academically and are better adjusted. A 1994 Reader’s Digest Poll and a study published in the Journal of Adolescent Health discovered that children who’s families eat together achieve higher academics, enjoy higher self esteem and confidence, enjoy healthier relationships, better career opportunities and are less likely to do drugs or drink alcohol than children of families who do not.
* Eating together as a family teaches your children about family values and healthy communication. This provides children with a solid foundation for living and relationships that will last their lifetime.
Family meal planning can be challenging, yet it can be done. Here are 5 tips to help you feel motivated to make family meals a priority:
1. Associate “pleasure” with eating together: People are motivated by their emotions. We make choices that will minimize pain and increase pleasure. This was discovered by Sigmund Freud and is referred to as the “Pain/Pleasure Principle". The more you associate pleasure with your family eating together, the more you will be motivated to do it.
2. Connect with the MEANING behind family dining: Focus on WHY it is important to you and your family. Perhaps the studies I noted above are enough yet also consider how eating together creates lasting memories and strong bonds with one another.
3. Savor the moments: feel how good it feels as you are sitting together with your family. Smile across the table at one another. Later giggle with your spouse about all the cute things your kids said at dinnertime.
4. Plan your meals in advance: Just as you would your important appointments, schedule your meals into your day planner. Create a standard menu plan and grocery list to make meal preparation easier.
5. Acknowledge yourself and your family for making the commitment. Express your gratitude to your family members for sitting down for a meal with you.
So, how about it? Is it worth the time to gather your peeps and sit down to a meal with them? I think so. Your kids think so too. After all, your kids want and need your attention! Family meals are a win-win-win! Everyone gets to eat healthier, enjoy lasting connections with one another and your kids get the attention they deserve.
About the Author: Susan Liddy, benevolence expert for life, body and business, holds a master's degree in counseling psychology. A Professional Certified Life Coach and motivational speaker, Susan is CEO of Aspire Life Coaching, which she founded in 2004. Susan's innovative tools include her online Social Media Sisterhood for businesswomen, "The FEMpreneur Fraternity;" the "Little You" process for personal healing; and Body Benevolence, a system empowering women to improve their confidence, self-esteem and body image. These are based on the Cycle of Empowerment, a proprietary process Susan developed to help women overcome fear and achieve their desired results in life. Learn more by visiting her public websites and blogs: www.SusanLiddy.com, http://www.AspireLIfeCoaching.org, http://SecretsToUltimateLiving.com and http://www.AspiringFEMpreneur.com. Susan can be contacted at SLiddy@AspireLifeCoaching.org.