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Importance of Family Meals


Many of you are food lovers. You are probably in your kitchens whipping up something delicious for dinner and dessert, and hopefully you’re having good company and creating unforgettable memories. I’m not sure if you’re reading blogs this week!

Speaking of good company and unforgettable memories, what a better topic to talk about this week than family meals. I’m sure you’re tired of the 1000th post your read on managing your portions tomorrow.

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What do family meals mean?

Is cooking dinner from scratch enough? Does grabbing a fast-food meal for 4 and spreading it on your dinner table qualify as a family meal? While I certainly encourage home cooking and healthy meals, family meals are more than the food. They are about creating memories and bonding with your loved ones.

My husband, son, and I often eat breakfast together, and when we eat cereal, we tend to split a large banana. My husband was traveling last week, and when I started cutting up a banana for my 2-year old and I, he pointed to where my husband usually sits and said “la baba,” means “for dad” in Arabic. I thought that was the cutest thing he ever said.

So this Thanksgiving dinner, enjoy a good meal–whether cooked from scratch or brought from a store–but most importantly, plan to make family meals a big deal every day, not just Thanksgiving day.

How to make family meals happen:

  • -Take the time to eat together.
  • -Wait until everyone is around the table. You might want to set an alarm 10 minutes before dinner is ready so everyone has time to finish up what they were doing.
  • -Set the table, and sit down around it.
  • -Turn off the TV, put away computer games, and keep cellphones afar.
  • -Don’t just talk. Talk happy, fun, and loving. Talk about your adventures of the day, describe the food you’re eating, and show how much you appreciate everyone’s presence. And don’t forget to put on a smile.
  • -Teach table manners, keeping your expectations in check with the kids’ ages. Keep your cool, don’t police and don’t turn them off from enjoying a casual family time.
  • -Wait until everyone’s done before leaving the table. That’s just proper etiquette.
  • -Help each other clean up so you’re more likely to do it again the next day. Make it fun. My son thinks it’s amusing to load the spoons and forks into the dishwasher. I’ll take any help I can get!

What do family meals mean to you? Do you have more tips to share?

Enjoy your long weekend! I will be back on Monday with a roasted pumpkin curry recipe.

Nour’s guidance and expertise was the key to dramatically halting our son’s [Crohn’s] disease progression! His pediatric gastroenterologist is now in agreement of our choice to treat solely with diet and supplements. All his labs have improved and his inflammatory markers are so low they are practically nonexistent.

Before working with Nour, I experienced intestinal pain off and on for for 54 years with minimal success on medications. I have benefited 100% from Nour’s program as I am now pain free!

A lot of time and money was wasted on foods that I thought would help my digestive struggles [diarrhea, bloating, hunger], but in fact I was making it worse. The main benefit is getting a handle on what negatively affects my digestive symptom. Doing a total 180 to my eating habits has been pretty amazing.


4 thoughts on “Importance of Family Meals”

  1. I agree so much with everything you said – forget the food – family meals bring you together, no matter what’s served.

    That story with your son is so adorable!!!!


  2. this is one of your best posts ever!! Your writing is so touching.
    i completely agree. My best memories growing up are of telling stories at dinner while my parents listening intently to everything we were saying as if it was the most important thing they had ever heard.

    have a good thanksgiving!

  3. Nour El-Zibdeh, RD

    Thank you all for the comments! You guys made my day! I’m glad you agree and appreciate family meals as much I do… enjoy family time!

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