Your Story: The Nichols Egan Family
Do you want to eat together more often with the people you love? We want to hear about it! In addition to sharing your stories in your own words, we will select five to 10 families who will be paired with our dietitian to help make the task of sitting down to eat together an easier one. We'll also check in once in a while to see if eating together makes a difference in your lives.
Andrea Nichols Egan lives in Toronto with her husband, Andrew, and their children, Henry and Hazel.
1. How many people in your family eat together and why do you think it's important to share meals together?
The two kids and I eat together first most nights, and my husband eats when he gets home. It's so nice when we do all eat together so we can debrief the day!
2. How successful do you feel at sharing meals with your family?
I don't feel terribly successful at it. Scheduling is part of the trouble, but often I say YES to "can we eat in front of the TV?" because I'm just wiped and need a moment to myself in quiet.
3. How often do you eat with your family?
All four of us probably sit down to a lunch or dinner together two or three times a week. Sounds crazy when I really think about it!
4. What are your biggest challenges to sharing a meal with your family?
Our biggest challenges are : difficulty staying organized, meal planning, dietary requirements and I'm not much of a cook so I need recipe suggestions.
5. What do you love to eat together?
"Make your own" (salad/pizza, etc.) meals seem to be the biggest hit.
6. What would help you and your family reach your goals to becoming healthier?
Easy healthy IDEAS that the kids will try! My daughter has just declared herself a vegetarian so I need to add some different meals to my repertoire .
7. Other comments/suggestions you'd like to share with the Live Right Now community (eating goals, lifestyle approach, recurring challenges, etc.):
This New Year's Eve, my resolution was to teach the kids (ages five and eight) to cook. One child plans and cooks Tuesday's dinner, the other Thursday's and it's going SO well! They absolutely love their night to cook. They are more patient about waiting for dinner to be ready. They will try foods that their sibling prepared more eagerly than if I had. There are so many teachable moments every time we cook together like "garlic bread is not a vegetable," and where do we keep things in the fridge and how to safely use a sharp knife. I've been posting weekly pictures on Facebook for friends and family to help motivate me to keep it up. We are now on Week 7!
Dietitian's Corner with Stefanie Senior, RD
Stefanie Senior is Live Right Now's in-house registered dietitian and has a private nutrition consulting practice downtown Toronto. She is passionate about encouraging families to make healthier choices and specializes in weight management, sports nutrition, chronic health conditions and corporate wellness.
It is often tempting to eat in front of the TV especially after a long busy day. If you know it is going to happen once in a while anyway then plan on it instead of making a spontaneous decision.
- Make one day a week "TV dinner night." Pick the day that makes the most sense to your family.
- Turn the night into an experience that you can all look forward to. You could watch your favourite TV show and/or make it coincide with movie night or "make your own pizza" night.
- Start the evening off in the kitchen where you prepare the meal together and have the chance to catch up before relaxing in front of the TV.
- One person could be in charge of chopping; the other cooking and you could all clean up together.
Have meal planning obstacles of your own? Email us at LiveRightNow@cbc.ca and we may feature your obstacle with a solution from Stefanie Senior.
Thank you, Andrea Nichols Egan, and family for your submission.
Do you want to eat together more often with the people you love? We want to hear about it!