Bringing back traditional Filipino mealtime habits

Bringing back traditional Filipino mealtime habits

MANILA—Some of us are so focused on our health, safety and actually how to bring food on the table.

While all of us are so agog with what is happening in our midst brought by this pandemic, it is good to remember traditional Filipino mealtime habits that have gone out of style and considered to be just a bit unimportant.

Before we dismiss these traditional habits though, we should first consider how helpful these can be to the family’s overall health and well-being.

Listed below are some of these traditional Filipino habits and the corresponding benefits, both for the health and well-being of the family, that these literally bring to the table.

Help in prepping

Other than helping finish dinner tasks easier, everyone helping out in prepping will also ensure that your kids will have a sense of ownership and accomplishment that come with a successful meal preparation. This can also be a good way to familiarize your children with healthy food items that they would be more inclined to reject eating.

This way, the nutritious food that you will serve will be seen with familiarity by your children and not as some unappetizing dish that you are forcefully making them eat.

Recognize each of your children’s contributions to the meal and don’t forget to praise them for a job well done.

Offer pointers, too, so that they will be encouraged to always be involved in prepping your family’s meals.

Praying before meals

“The family that prays together, stays together.”

Given the busy schedules and the numerous distractions present, most families might be forgetting to start their meals with a prayer. To restart this tradition, assign family members to lead the prayers and encourage them to be personal with it.

The few minutes of prayer can also serve as valuable introspection time for the family, to reflect on what happened during the day and to profess gratitude to God. Also, underscoring the importance of being grateful to God might help your children to stop being wasteful with food and appreciate what’s provided on the table.

No distractions allowed

Mealtimes are named that because, well, they are for meals. This means no distractions such as phones or other gadgets should be on the dinner table while the family is eating. Other than being respectful to the food and the people that prepared it, this can also increase mindfulness in every member of the family.

Mindful eating has been proven to reduce emotional eating and thus lead to a healthier body. Distracted eating, on the other hand, increases the likelihood of emotional overeating that often ends up in obesity or other health complications.

Intimate family conversations

While everyone is enjoying the meal, try starting a conversation with the whole family.

Ask your children how their day was, show an interest on what they did to pass the time. During-and-after-meal conversations can also be the time to check on your children and gently prod them if they have problems or things that they want to tell you. Encourage your children to speak and share with everyone the details of their day. Making your children feel that they can tell you anything will do wonders to their EQ and will help make them stronger emotionally.

Towards a healthier family

Being physically stronger and healthier, though, is a different battle altogether. Eating healthy is just laying the foundation for a healthy body. The other building blocks that your family need are vitamins and minerals. These blocks will help you and your spouse be more resistant to diseases and have more energy for the day. For your children, vitamins and minerals will help them grow up healthy and strong, with healthy bones to boot. Fortunately for your family, you can have all of these boons to your health by regularly drinking fortified milk.

Packed to the brim with your body’s much needed vitamins and nutrients, Nestlé Fortified Milk is a deliciously creamy and nutritious drink that the whole family can enjoy during mealtimes. For your family’s immunity, it contains Vitamins A and C for your family’s immunity, B-Vitamins to help support normal energy-yielding metabolism, Calcium for growth and development of bones, and Zinc to contribute to normal cognitive development.

The traditional habits we shared above might seem to be outdated at first glance. However, upon a closer look, we can see that they are grounded on sound reasoning and can actually help the family be healthier.

With the pandemic still a reality, every additional advantage to our health and immunity is very much welcome.

For more tips on healthy eating, go to Nestlé Fortified Milk’s Facebook page.

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