By Mariana Rossano
marianaRossanoCooking healthy meals requires a huge time commitment. It can be nearly impossible to keep up with everyone’s schedules. Most people would agree that time constraints on family time have become the norm. The world has changed since we were kids, and most moms don’t have the luxury to stay home and take the time to prepare healthy meals for the family.

One of the most important benefits to family meals is good nutrition. A balanced diet will help your child grow up healthy, and family meals are a great way to establish good eating habits. Family meals are much more than a time for kids to sit at the same table with siblings and parents. Kids take comfort in the family dinner ritual, and eating dinner together on a regular basis is a routine they can count on.

Dinnertime may be one of the only opportunities when children get to talk with their parents without distractions of TV, Internet and video games. In fact, research shows dinner conversation boosts a child’s vocabulary, which can translate into improved academic performance. Spending quality time with your children allows them to model your behavior, which is necessary for instilling good manners.

Eating together offers children the experience of seeing their parents eat a variety of foods too. Experts say that eating family meals together fosters closeness, and time spent together is what really matters. As children grow up, it will only get harder to gather everyone around the table for dinner so take advantage of this time in your child’s life and try to have as many meals together as possible.

According to Dr. Peter Waldstein, a prominent Beverly Hills Pediatrician, “I strongly believe in the importance of family time and eating healthy meals together. With families having such busy schedules with the kids’ school, work and sports, it’s hard to prepare healthy meals. Unfortunately, families have turned to fast food and eating out, which is not only expensive, but also high in calories, sodium and fat. Family dinners not only help with teaching our children healthy eating habits, but also give families more quality time to spend together. With the epidemic of childhood obesity, this is a golden opportunity to improve the health and personal growth of a child.”

Mariana Rossano is President and CEO of Zen Foods. Zen Foods is now offering a new family meal program delivered to your home.