March is National Nutrition Month®. The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics has celebrated this month-long theme since 1973 as public interest began to grow in nutrition. The theme this year is “Savor the Flavor”, which encourages everyone to take time to enjoy food traditions and appreciate the pleasures, great flavors and social experiences food can add to our lives¹. Beginning this week with the topic of enjoying food traditions let’s explore families dining together at mealtime.
One of the benefits of eating meals together is the effect on strengthening family bonds, especially when meals are not interrupted by television, phone or other distractions. In addition to bonding, it is a great time for families to share cultural values towards meals. Parents can share “this is a meal grandparents used to make”, or perhaps the meal represents a religious tradition. Meals can take on more meaning by communicating to children and teens when and how certain meal traditions began in the family. These traditions can be passed on through generations by sharing and “savoring the flavor” during mealtime.
¹ American Academy of Dietetics, Mar 2016, http://www.nationalnutritionmonth.org/NNM/factsheet