Thursday March 21, 2019

September is National Family Meals Month, Here’s What You Can Plan to do With Your Family!

September is the National Family Meals month and September 25 is celebrated as the National Family Day. Dr Raizada tells how you can celebrate them both with your family

family meals
A family that eats together, stays together and healthy! Pixabay

– by Dr. Bharti Raizada

Chicago, September 20, 2017 : In this era of screens all around, involvement in multiple activities and strict scheduling, family mealtime gets neglected and it usually takes last priority. If you ask me, cooking and eating together is one of the best times of the day. There are so many, long lasting, benefits of family meals i.e. the meal, which family members eat together.

Benefits of Family Meals

  1. It gives opportunity to connect with each other and talk about things happening in family and other members’ lives.
  2. Everyone is off screen and interacting with other members with a free and open mind.
  3. It gives feeling of acceptance, identity, and unity/togetherness/closeness. It actually strengthens bonding with other family members and decreases chances of misunderstanding.
  4. Gives an opportunity to express thoughts.
  5. Children usually mimic adults and are more willing to try new food items.
  6. Children learn empathy, respect, and sharing.
  7. It saves money also
September is National Family Meals Month.
September is National Family Meals Month. Creative by Mehr Arora, Kolkata

Some studies and surveys have found that when family members eat together, children eat more fruits, vegetables, and grains and are less predisposed to obesity. They develop better vocabulary and communication skills and have improved academic performance. They are less prone to indulge in smoking, alcoholism, and illicit drug use. They feel less stress and have fewer incidences of depression and suicide

Some tips for family meal times:

  1. Make it a priority
  2. Have variety of healthy food choices
  3. Do not make it a disciplinary meeting
  4. Give children opportunity to talk and express themselves
  5. Discuss memories of your childhood, of positive incidences, some interesting facts, inspirational stories etc.
  6. Turn off all screens—TV, Computer, cell phone, tablet, iPad, music etc.
  7. Involve all members in setting up the table and in clean up

So, enjoy September as National Family Meals month. Celebrate September 25 as National Family Day, and have as many meals together as you can all year around!

The author is a Chicago-based anesthesiologist and pain physician and also the CEO of Same Condition, a global health initiative.

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Tips That Can Help in Boost Healthy Living

Five easy-to-find foods to boost your health:

Tips That Can Help in Boost Healthy Living
Stay healthy with dried fruits, health bars. Pixabay

Get your diet chart right for a healthier and happier you.

Faith Toogood, a nutritionist working with Spire Bristol Hospital here, has suggested tips on foods that can help in boost healthy living, reports

Five foods to give up:

* Sugar: The sweet stuff is enemy number one when it comes to losing weight. Recent studies have suggested that our excessive consumption of sugar is contributing to the obesity epidemic – on average we’re eating about twice as much sugar as we should be. Try to opt for low sugar alternatives and get in the habit of reading the labels of the foods you buy – and if sugar is listed in the first three ingredients then don’t buy it.

* Trans-fats: A trans-fat is a form of unsaturated fat which behaves like a saturated fat because of its chemical structure. It should be avoided as trans-fats increase the levels of ‘bad’ cholesterol in your blood, while also lowering the amount of ‘good’ cholesterol in the blood.

Avoid the intake of processed meat in your diet. Pixabay

* Processed meats: A processed meat isn’t just spam, which is what initially springs to mind. The definition includes any meat that has had something done to it to make it last longer (through salting, curing, smoking or using chemical preservatives) which includes lunch meats such as Parma ham and bacon.

* Ready meals: They’ve been on the bad list for a while, but ready meals are often laden with a large amount of salt and sugar and are highly processed. Popular choices such as lasagne, moussaka and curry are some of the worst culprits as they can contain large amounts of saturated fat.

Also Read: Dark Chocolate Your Key to Healthy Heart

Five easy-to-find foods to boost your health:

* Nuts: Nuts are packed with protein, fibre and essential fats, which makes them a very healthy snack. Just a handful of nuts contain a variety of vitamins and minerals – from vitamin E to help your skin to zinc which aids fertility. The best choices include almonds, brazil nuts, cashews and walnuts.

* Oats: Oats have long been associated with a healthy lifestyle and for good reason. Wholegrain oats are a good source of carbohydrate, magnesium and have a low glycemic index, which means they release energy into the blood stream slowly.

Kale. Pixabay

* Kale: This leafy green has enjoyed a resurgence in popularity and rightly so. It’s extremely nutritious, widely available and cheap so there’s no excuse not to give it a try. Kale is very low fat and low in calories and it’s also a good source of dietary fibre, iron and calcium.

* Oily fish: There is some evidence that oily fish such as salmon, mackerel and sardines help protect against cardiovascular disease, prostate cancer, age-related vision loss and dementia. Eating two portions of fish a week, with at least one of these being an oily fish, can help maintain a healthy blood pressure and reduce risk of heart disease.

* Pulses and beans: Pulses include foods such as beans, lentils and chickpeas – they’re a great low-fat source of protein, fibre, vitamins and minerals such as iron which makes them an excellent addition to a healthy diet. (Bollywood Country)