With our ability to connect in so many ways though social media, now more than ever people have resources available at their fingertips to help them figure out how to get through the process of making a Thanksgiving dinner. When you get family and friends sharing advice and experiences on how to cook the meal on your social network, it then adds even more meaning to the holiday. Food seems to be the universal language that transcends all barriers.
With all of the fast food options today, making dinner in a kitchen from scratch is becoming a forgotten skill. People that have been raised on fried foods, meat at every meal, and refined carbohydrates, may not be sure how to cook any other way and are overwhelmed with the idea of having to change what they have learned and believe about cooking.
Sitting around a table for a meal with family, and working to make that a nutrititious meal has the potential to improve the health of our families, teach our children healthy cooking skills and habits, and bring a sense of sharing that only food can deliver.
Because Thanksgiving comes with no prerequisite of decorations and gifts, just down home cooking and family time, it can become a starting point for more higher quality home cooked meals served per week. Maybe even build a garden together.
Choose goals that easily fit because they involve things you already love. A good example is replacing a burger or shredded beef burrito with a brown rice, bean, and cheese burrito on a whole wheat tortilla because you already love to eat beans. You might want to choose to make non meat night "eat out night" and treat yourself to a meal made by top vegetarian chefs and get wow'd when you find out just how great it can taste. You might even get ideas for your own recipes to try at home, and since meat is more expensive you can save money too.
After eating home cooked meals for awhile, most often the preference will switch from the predictability of fast food flavor, to the surprise taste variations that happen at home or when skilled chefs push the creative ingredient scale to new levels at restaurants around the country.
Teaching healthy cooking and eating skills to our children could have more impact on their lifelong health habits than anything else. Those eating habits could later impact their risk for disease and ultimately save their life if prevented. Eating healthy family meals works to protect health both ways that include parent and child. When parents become healthy eating role models, they also reduce their risk of disease and increase the chances they will be around to watch their children grow up and mature.