At eMeals, we believe in the importance of enjoying dinner together as a family. In fact that’s one of the main reasons we exist—to help make it practical for you to make family time around the dinner table a reality.
Research showing the benefits of family dinnertime abounds. From a reduced risk of obesity to better academic performance and an improved sense of family connection, the benefits of family dinnertime extend far beyond nutrition. But with increasingly busy schedules filled with evening activities and meetings, sports practices and longer working hours, we know many families struggle to find the time to enjoy dinner together. Enter: the family breakfast.
A 2013 study found that the nutritional benefits of family meals aren’t limited to just dinner. The study found that teenagers who enjoyed more family breakfasts had higher intakes of fruit, whole grains and fiber, and were less likely to be overweight. We’re betting that the non-nutritional benefits of quality time spent together reach across the time of day to breakfast too.
Here are five quick tips to help make family breakfast time a reality:
Set yourself up for success by planning breakfast for the week, just like you would dinner. Include breakfast on your weekly meal plan, and schedule what dish you will have for breakfast each morning, whether it’s a simple bowl of cereal for a rushed Monday morning, or a batch of pancakes for a leisurely Saturday. Include all required ingredients on your weekly grocery-shopping list so that you’re ready with everything you need to make breakfast each morning.
Check out the eMeals Healthy Breakfast Plan
Keep it simple.
On busy weekday mornings, plan quick and simple breakfast recipes, rather than being overly ambitious with dishes that require longer prep and cook times. Prep ingredients the night before, so all you have to do in the morning is the final cooking and assembly.
Stock up on back-ups.
Some mornings just call for a bowl of cereal or a pack of instant oatmeal. Stock your pantry with convenient options you can pull out on those busy mornings so that family breakfast can still happen, even if you don’t have time to cook. For a homemade option, bake up a batch of muffins or banana bread, and freeze individual muffins and slices of bread that can be thawed as needed.
Enjoy weekend brunch.
If weekday mornings are too hard to get the crowd together, plan for family weekend brunches. Lazy Saturday mornings can be a great time to gather around the table and enjoy a meal together. And who doesn’t love brunch?
Did you know that the eMeals Healthy Breakfast Plan includes a “Casual Brunch” recipe each week?
Make it healthy.
Breakfast can account for up to one-third of your nutrition for the day, so make it count. Include whole grains, low-fat dairy, fruit, lean protein, and maybe even a vegetable, for a well-balanced meal that will keep you full and satisfied until lunchtime.
Check out the eMeals Healthy Breakfast Plan to simplify your breakfast meal planning. We also now offer a Paleo Breakfast Plan that can be paired with your Paleo dinner and lunch plans for an all-day approach to the Paleo lifestyle.