The healthy family dinner is getting squeezed from all sides. Parents are working later, children are busy with extracurricular activities and fast food offers a tempting quick fix for hungry, busy tummies.
But for those who can swing it, there are a host of emotional benefits to eating dinner together as a family, and they include increased resilience, higher self-esteem and better academic performances for children.
And for people who can make dinners nutritious, those benefits are also physical. Research shows that kids who eat dinners at home with their family eat more fruits and vegetables, and are less likely to be obese, than their peers who eat alone.
Take a look at the way five nutritionists prepare for their family dinners. You’ll notice some are fans of Sunday meal prep, which is when they cook the building blocks of their meals all in one go. But what we enjoyed most about their dinner diaries is the fact that dinner planning is highly charged with nostalgic feelings about what their own parents did, or the tastes and textures they grew up with. Beyond simply serving up a lean protein, vegetables and a high-fiber grain, these nutritionists are passing down heritage and tradition with each dinner they make.
1 Grilled meat, steamed vegetables and tortillasrez-art via Getty Images
2 Herbed chicken, vegetables and brown riceJean-Yves Bruel via Getty Images
3 Seafood, pickled vegetables and miso soupMIXA via Getty Images
4 Korean BBQ, kimchee and cucumber saladPhotos by John Ibarra Photography via Getty Images
5 Tofu stir fry and quinoaJamieRogers1 via Getty Images