7 Steps to Healthier Eating
Is mealtime frustrating at your house? Well, it doesn’t have to be. By initiating these few tips you can build your relationship with God and your family, spend quality time together, eat healthier, save money and maybe even lose some weight.
1. Eat together as a family. Take time every day to eat together at the table. Give everyone an opportunity to bond and connect. Spend a few minutes sharing information and news of the day. Spend time modeling good table manners and teaching new social skills. Strive to eat together as a family at least 4 or more times a week. Research indicates that teenagers of families who eat more meals together are 3 times less likely to try marijuana, 2.5 times less likely to smoke cigarettes and 1.5 times less likely to try alcohol. Eating more meals together also helps kids improve their grades and gives them a more positive outlook.
2. Pray for the food God provides. Praying is a privilege and thanking God in prayer for your food reminds your family that He is the source of everything you have, including your food. Prayers of thanksgiving help your family to be good witnesses to Christians and non-Christians alike. When you go to a restaurant, tell the server that you are going to pray for your meal and ask him/her if there is anything you can pray for them. You will be a powerful witness and may be surprised at the types of prayer requests you receive. (Just remember to leave a generous tip.)
3. Chew your way to better health. The more you chew your food, the easier it is for it to be digested. Chewing your food well helps your body distribute the nutrients from your food throughout your body. It also tricks your mind into thinking you are full thus you may eat less and lose weight. Chewing well may also prevent gastric illnesses such as acid reflux or IBS.
4. Dine in a relaxed environment. Reduce stress by getting everyone involved in meal planning and preparation so no one person is totally responsible for the meal. Create fun games, tell stories and be humorous at mealtime. Focus on each other’s accomplishments and celebrate them.
5. Eat mindfully. Turn off the television, music, cell phones and computers. Use the freshest whole foods possible and savor each bite. Be aware of your surroundings in mind, body and spirit. Reduce your expectations and keep things simple.
6. Prepare and eat more meals at home. Eating out costs 2 to 4 times more money than eating at home. You also have more control over portion size and types of food, consequently making healthier choices.
7. Be creative at mealtime. Use smaller plates and bowls to control portion sizes. Vary your table linens and decorations. Play fruit basket upset and switch places with family members at the table.
Enjoy life-long memories and experience good health by creating a fun and relaxing atmosphere to enjoy your food and family.
Shari Hudson is a professional organizer and owner of Organized by Design in West Des Moines, IA. She is currently enrolled in the Global College of Natural Medicine studying holistic health and nutrition.