Eat together as a family

The benefits of eating together will last long after your meal ends. Studies show that families who eat together regularly are less likely to have children who smoke, drink, do drugs, become depressed or develop eating disorders. Their children eat healthier meals, do better in school, and are more likely to delay becoming involved in sexual relationships. Sure, the dinner table is where food is served, but it’s also where conversation is shared, values are conveyed and a sense of belonging is established. Make family meals a priority at your house.

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Making mealtime sacred

Sacro desco in Italian means “sacred table.” It represents a commitment many Italians have to share at least one meal all together as a family every day. I think this habit is one of the reasons why, statistically, families in Italy are more cohesive than those in the U.S.

If at all possible, practice sacro desco with your family every day. If that’s not feasible, then at least select some nights when dining together will be the priority. Dinnertime is not just about feeding the body, but nourishing the soul.

Being a smart shopper

If you want to save money on food, you can do more than just clip out those 50-cent coupons. Here’s the trick: shop a month in advance at a deep discount grocery store. Some families’ food bills have been cut in half by doing so.

The real savings isn’t so much buying large quantities at once (though that helps!), but forcing you and your wife to plan your meals out in advance so there won’t be a lot of last minute rushes to the store, where impulse buying can cost you more than you realize. And you’ll avoid the expense of dining out or picking up take-out, just for the sake of convenience. You’ll be surprised at how much you save.

Cook at home – it is better for your kids!

Young people who eat out often are more likely to have high blood pressure than their counterparts who cook their own food, according to a new study in the American Journal of Hypertension. Researchers explained that meals eaten out typically contain more calories, saturated fat and salt than homemade meals. All three of those factors have been shown to cause high blood pressure. One more reason to enjoy family meals together at least once a day!