Five reasons eating with friends and family is good for you

Nutrition Month is here and dietitians are celebrating! This year, one area of focus is to unlock the potential of food. We want to help Canadians discover how food can bring us together. No matter who we are, we all have one thing in common: We love food – it unites us!

But when is the last time you took time out of your busy schedule to enjoyed a meal with family, friends or coworkers? We know it’s hard! In fact, 30 per cent of Canadians said it’s challenging to find time to eat meals with friends and family.

It’s easy to fall into the “busy” trap and forget the importance of slowing down and connecting with those around us.

Food not only brings us together, but has some extra benefits that you may not have realized:

  1. Children who eat with their family have more nutritious diets, better academic performance, lower risk for being overweight and less risk of eating disorders.
  2. Teens who share family meals get better grades and are less likely to smoke, use drugs or alcohol, or to participate in serious fights.
  3. Adults who eat with friends and family tend to have more vegetables and fruits, drink less pop, eat fewer fast food meals and have lower body mass indexes (BMI).
  4. Older adults who eat as part of a group have better diets, improved nutrient intake and lower rates of malnutrition.
  5. People in communities who eat together at community kitchens tend to learn to cook better, share meals, try new foods, have fun and know more about nutrition.

Need to get inspired for these family meals? We have got you covered!

We challenge you to try some recipe ideas, print one off and enjoy a healthy meal with friends and families during the month of March. From mint chocolate pudding to an Asian chicken sesame chopped salad, you are bound to find a few meals that everyone will love.

For more recipes or information on Nutrition Month 2019 please head over to Cookspiration and Dietitians of Canada for inspiration to last you well over the month of March!

By Katie Henderson
Registered Dietitian