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How to Cultivate Love, Laughter with Family Around the Dinner Table

The month of September brings everything cozy–sweaters, fuzzy socks, yummy treats and warm drinks. It’s only fitting, then, that September is National Family Meal Month! Every fall, this nationwide event comes around to support families in enjoying more delicious meals together around the table. Not only do you get to enjoy a homemade meal, but you also get many health and social benefits out of the deal, too.

So what’s so beneficial to our health about eating at home? Not only do meals together nourish the family, there are research-backed benefits beyond nutrition. Frequent family meals increase self-esteem, a sense of wellbeing, positive social behaviors and stronger family relationships. 

For kids, regular family meals are linked to higher grades and lower risks of obesity. Adolescents are also less likely to show symptoms of violence, depression and suicide, as well as use drugs and engage in other risky behavior.

It’s pretty clear to see why Family Meal Month is so important, but participating in this month-long event can sometimes be a head scratcher. What kind of meals should be made for the family? Well, here is our gift to you: a list of excellent options for serving at the supper table tonight.

  • Soups Three Sister Soup and fry bread sounds like a perfect combination on a chilly September night. Not only can this meal be made with fresh, hearty ingredients, but it is also delicious! 
  • Chilis – White chicken chili is an excellent option for a satisfying variation on classic chili. The tender chicken and creamy broth will make it a hit with the entire family.
  • Squash – Maple butternut squash, enriched with flavors like allspice and cinnamon, is an excellent choice of side to go with a meat such as turkey or pork.
  • Fish – While there’s a huge variety of fish to choose from, this candy-smoked salmon is mouthwatering. The sweet flavor of this meal will appeal to the kids, as well as sneaking in some vital omega-3 fatty acids, which provide a large variety of health benefits. Throw together some roasted apples to go with it and this’ll be the sweetest meal of the week.
  • Tacos – There are endless options when it comes to taco-style meals. Taco in a bag, traditional tacos, taco salad … taco skillets are quick, easy and all in one pan. 

Need some more inspiration? Check out this article highlighting delicious Indigenous recipes

While something like Family Meal Month may not seem as important as other events, it’s the little things that matter. Taking the time to make that extra meal and sitting around the table cultivates love, laughter and family time. It could very well turn into a significant positive impact on your loved ones. 

When you’re making your meal tonight, you can smile and smell and know you’re making a difference.