Just in time for Family Day: Dorit Adler, Director of Hadassah's Diet and Nutrition Department, reveals the secret to a happy, healthy, and successful family.
Families who eat together – stay together! Studies show that children who partake in family meals on a regular basis decrease the risk of obesity, eating disorders, smoking, substance abuse, and other detrimental behavior!
Eating habits have drastically changed over the past few decades. Healthy, balanced meals have been replaced with fast food, cakes, cookies, and other calorie ridden “junk food”. Proper “sit-down” meals are a rarity, as many find themselves grabbing a bite to eat while watching TV, driving, or surfing the web.
The kitchen, which used to serve host to delicious, healthy, home cooked meals, along with genuine, quality, family time has since turned into a rest stop, where people sporadically pick up a quick bite to eat and continue on their way.
Work, school, family, responsibilities - who has time to prepare a proper meal? Most of us find ourselves outside our house for the majority of the day. More often than not – children are raised in households with stacked freezers filled with heat-and-eat food. Most of these foods are extremely unhealthy, filled with tremendous amounts of calories, sugars, sodium, and other harmful components. Parents who spend less time at home are more prone to buying their children the foods they like or want – which often is not the healthiest choice.
Childhood obesity has taken center stage by concerned parents, teachers, and pediatric medical professionals. Many attribute this to the constant aspiration of parents towards personal success, which often comes at the expense of quality time at home and proper family meals. Childhood obesity has created a new dieting phenomenon, in an attempt to off-set the unbalanced nutritional intake of their children. This can lead to other issues as well – primarily eating disorders. Family meals have taken a back seat in western culture’s speeding car ride of life.
“So what should I do?” you might ask, “quit my job, and stay home to make a home-cooked meal three times a day?” Modern technology has allowed us to efficiently prepare healthy, balanced meals – without needing to invest hours of preparation. Slow cookers, frozen vegetables, and properly preserved foods are just a few things technology has awarded us in our attempt to preserve our family’s physical and mental health.
Buying the right food is an integral part of leading a healthy lifestyle.
Family meals are a source of happiness and health – one should make every effort to have at least one family meal a day!