4 Ways to Create Connection Around The Table

I think my favorite part of living the FASTer Way lifestyle is that we eat REAL food. When I was searching for a plan to help me look and feel better, it was extremely important that it was something I would feel comfortable modeling for my boys. I didn’t want them to see me eating different foods or choking down boring diet food. Plus, there’s no way I’d survive eating something that resembles cardboard. Food has to TASTE good! 

Plus, having a BS in Nutrition, I knew I wanted to start early teaching the boys how to fuel their bodies so they can grow into healthy young men with the skills to feed themselves well. Family dinner was an important part of my upbringing, some of my fondest memories are from when we were sitting around the dinner table. I wanted to keep this tradition alive as I raise my family. 

We all know it’s not as easy these days to sit around the table for dinner every night. Studies show that only 30% of families regularly eat dinner together. Families state being too busy, dinner prep being too much work, having picky eaters, and technology distractions as some of the reasons why they aren’t eating around the table as a family. But you might be interested to know that teenagers actually rank family dinner pretty high on their list, even if they grumble when you remind them what time to be home. Surprising, I KNOW!

When I began living the FASTer Way, it became my mission to learn how to build healthy macro-friendly meals that followed two rules. One, the meals had to be macro-friendly to support my health goals. And TWO, they need to be so yummy my kids would gobble them up. There was no way I was going to be a short-order cook. Coaching over the past 3.5 years and 1000’s of clients, I’ve learned a thing or two about how to get healthy meals on the table even in all the chaos raising a young family. Oh, and with a hubby, I may not see until sundown some days. 

Alright mama, here are a few ideas to get you eating well and connecting around the table. 

  1. Plan – BUT be realistic. I use Sunday afternoons to sit down and look at the week ahead. We can’t very well sit around the table if I am driving kids in opposite directions on a certain night. On the nights we are home, we make it a priority to have a family dinner. 
  2. Make it a Priority – “If it’s important to you, you’ll find a way. If not, you’ll find an excuse.” You’ve heard this quote before and it’s true. If your family decides family dinner is important you can get everyone on board to pull it off! If you are just starting out, plan one night a week and put it on the calendar.
  3. Collaborate – It’s been so fun to get the boys involved in the process. They’re working on life skills that will help make them great hubbies and fathers. Plus, I might sneak in a little math here and there or mention a nutrition habit tidbit. It’s funny, they don’t seem to turn their nose up at the plate if they’ve had a hand in prepping the meal. And we do vote on our favorite dishes. That way I know what meals were a hit and I can plan them for our nights around the table. I’ve pulled together a guide with 12 of my family’s favorite meals. You can grab my guide here.
  4. Have fun – If trying new ingredients or recipes sounds fun for your family, then make that part of the process. If ya’ll need something simple, then that’s ok too. The point isn’t to create Pinterest-worthy tablescapes and meals (I mean I do love a good centerpiece and a yummy smelling candle, but let’s get real!) it’s about connecting with the people you love most. Have a few silly questions or conversation starters to get everyone chatting about their day. You might even get that grumpy toddler or teen of yours to crack a smile.

Ya’ll, this topic is so important to me. I want you to have everything you need to feel confident in your kitchen creating healthy macro-friendly meals that help you feel amazing and keep your kiddos happy too! 

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