The traditional family meal time has proven to be more than just an hour gathered around a table. It actually promotes healthy eating, and bonus points if the whole family is involved in meal planning and preparation. The whole family pitches in their likes and dislikes, bringing a balanced meal when it’s finally time to eat.

To make the most of family meals, here are some ideas to stay connected and work together:

  • Establish daily routines: Although dinner may seem like the cliché family meal, it doesn’t have to be. A family meal can be breakfast, or even lunch on a weekend when everyone’s home. The time together is what matters, so make eating together once a day a priority.
  • Eat at home: One of the easiest ways to slip into the unhealthy realm is to go out for dinner. Sure, it’s easy, but cooking at home will help ensure a healthy meal is provided for the whole family. Home-cooked meals can be offered in the appropriate portions, and typically feature more nutritional benefits.
  • Plan: Planning your meals every week allows you to stay in control of portion sizes and nutrition. It also offers everyone in the family the chance to pitch in ideas on what should be eaten. By encouraging children to help plan meals, you can help steer them towards making healthier choices.
  • Keep your pantry stocked: A well-stocked pantry keeps you from ordering food or going out on a busy night. By having a variety of healthy fruits, vegetables, lean meats and seafood on hand, you don’t give yourself an excuse to opt for a less healthy option.

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