If the end of the 2012 taught us anything, it is to cherish the time we have with our families. Spending more time with your children and as a family is an enjoyable resolution that can have incredible long term effects.
Just one way to spend time together- regular family dinners- can even help families be nutritionally and mentally healthier, according to a Rutgers study presented in April.
This doesn't mean every dinner needs to be spent together every day right away. In fact, it may be easier to initially gather together for different meal.
Start with the first meal of the day, perhaps setting everyone's alarm clocks a little early if needed. Breakfast doesn't need to be more than cereal daily, but randomly making one breakfast a week special can help gather the more reluctant family members.
Once the family is used to eating breakfast together, work on one dinner per week, or one extra dinner, depending on what the family is already doing. Increase the family time by giving each family member a job to help prepare the meal.
Family time doesn't have to center around food only. Some other ideas for family time include:
- Parking it- With all the great parks available with trails in South Jersey, a family hike/walk/jog can easily become an early Saturday morning routine. The best part? Not only is it a free activity, but it can also aid anyone with the resolutions to lose weight or exercise more.
- Getting competitive- For a more indoor activity, plan a family game night once a week. If a game is too complex for a younger child, team up and let him contribute as much as possible. When family members cannot agree on a game, write down the choices on separate pieces of paper, fold the pieces of paper and place them in a jar or box. Blindly pull one piece of paper out, and the game on the paper will be the game played that night.
- Acting out- If performing better suits the family, put on a favorite musical or tune the television to the showtunes music channel and sing and dance along. For the younger set, a Sesame Street or Wiggles CD will work.
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