Canada’s New Food Guide – Eating with Others
Everyone loves company! Share a meal with family and friends.
Benefits of eating with others
Enjoying healthy foods with family, friends, neighbours or co-workers is a great way to connect and add enjoyment to your life. It can provide many benefits and contribute to a healthy lifestyle. It can also introduce you to some new foods.
By eating with others, you can:
- enjoy quality time together
- share food traditions, across generations and cultures
- explore new healthy foods that you might not normally try
Food is often a main part of celebrations and special events. However, eating with others doesn’t have to be saved for special events. Throw a small dinner party on some random Tuesday.
How to eat with others more often
Making time these days to enjoy meals with others doesn’t just happen without some planning. With busy schedules at work, school and home, making time to enjoy your meals with others can often get pushed aside. “Let’s get together”
The key to making it happen often starts with a plan.
- plan a breakfast date with friends
- participate in community celebrations and feasts
- start a regular community meal with your neighbours
- have lunch with a co-worker at work or friend at school
- ask your local community centre about groups you could join
- plan a weekly dinner with extended family members or friends
eat dinner with:
- a neighbour
- family members
- start a dinner party amongst your friends where everyone takes a turn hosting
When you eat with others, it’s important to remember to:
- Take your time to enjoy your food and company. Don’t feel the need to rush. Enjoy the social aspect of being together.
- Put away distractions like the TV or electronics. Your cell phone is not very social. This can help you be mindful of your food choices as well.
- Use it as a chance to connect. Talk to those around you and learn what is going on in everyone’s life.
More information for families
Mealtime is a great opportunity to bring the family together over some good healthy food.
Eating together as a family benefits everyone involved.
It can help the whole family:
- share and connect with one another – cell phones away
- take time to enjoy and relax over a meal
- talk about events that occurred during everyone’s day
Kids especially can benefit from regular family meals as they are starting to develop their eating habits and behaviours.
Eating together as a family can help kids:
- explore new healthy foods
- establish healthy eating routines
- improve their overall eating pattern
- explore cultural and traditional foods
- have fun and do a mystery vegetable night
As a parent or caregiver you can be a positive role model. By practicing healthy eating habits, you can help create a positive relationship with food and the foods kids will eat. Allowing the kids to help prepare the meal will also open up their curiosity about different foods.
More information for seniors
Seniors often tend to eat alone. This can result in a sense of isolation and feelings of loneliness, especially at meal times.
These feelings, along with other changes in your life you may also experience as you age. This can result in a loss of appetite. Eating less can impact your intake of important nutrients need on a daily basis.
By eating with others more often, you can:
- make mealtime more sociable
- spend more time eating and enjoying a meal
- increase the amount of food you eat which can help you get more of the important nutrients you need for health
Having a meal with friends or neighbours or participating in a community meal program are great ways to eat with others. Join a potluck club.