LETHBRIDGE – In today’s society, it’s not uncommon for meals to be eaten in front of the television with phones and tablets close at hand.
A coalition of local groups are trying to change that, encouraging families to sit down for at least three, 45-minute meals each week, undistracted by technology.
‘Mealtime is Family Time’ is designed for families with children between five and 12 years of age, but all families are encouraged to spend quality time together.
“Sharing what’s happened to people during the day, what their school day’s been like,” said Chris Windle, a prevention promotion councillor with Alberta Health Services. “Planning some activities and just being able to open up that communication around the table.”
AHS, the City of Lethbridge, Lethbridge Asset Builders and Save-On Foods are sponsoring the promotion. The website, mealtimefamilytime.com, has suggestions for meal preparation, dinner time activities and a tracker for families to log their progress.
The group says there are many benefits to spending quality time together, and it’s also good for the wallet.
“It’s more economical to eat at home than it is outside of the home,” said Mark Shipton, manager of Save-On Foods. “And, again, spending time just builds families. And, families are important.”