Spending time with family and friends is more important than we might think. Research has shown the quality and quantity of individuals’ social relationships has been linked not only to mental health but also to both morbidity and mortality.
The research concluded the influence of social relationships on the risk of death are comparable with well-established risk factors such as smoking and alcohol consumption and exceed the influence of other factors such as physical inactivity and obesity.
Indeed we’ve all spoken to people who list spending time with family and friends as one of their top pastimes – so this should come as no surprise.
It is the quality of relationships that is the most important. Bad relations can be toxic and worse for our mental health…
What are the benefits of spending time with family and friends?
- Can help you live a longer life
- Improves mental health. Social interaction and face-to-face contact can help reduce the risk of mental illness such as depression and anxiety.
- Feeling valued and appreciated by the people you care about, and spending quality time with them helps you to create a positive image of yourself.
- Being surrounded by a supportive network of people can help build confidence and maintain a healthy self-esteem.
- Loved ones can also encourage positive behaviours and this includes healthy eating. If you encourage your children to help you prepare healthy meals then they will often pick up the habit just by being around you.
Cooking with family and friends.
Cooking with children is particularly a great way to encourage positive behavior, both in teaching them to eat healthily and learning to cook at the same time.
It is something you can do across the generations too; children, parents and grandparents. You are also building memories to carry through life.
Do you remember the favourite dish made by your grandparents, your mother or father? Or you may even remember when you were taught to cook for the first time?
A fun project might be to try some of our breakfast recipes during a school holiday where there is more time to experiment with new ideas. On our site there are several different porridge recipes and also one for Raw Cacao Pancakes, to which you can add a variety of fruit toppings. Do take a look here (relevant landing page).
For a birthday party there is our brand new baking mix product; a Cacao Rich Chocolate Cake to which you could add appropriate allergen free, celebratory decorations. Find out more about it here (relevant landing page)
Alongside the birthday cake you could also bake a feast of cookies and other sweet snacks, such as Maca Millionaire Shortbread, Chocolate Vegan cupcakes, Vegan Chocolate Chip Muffins, Chia & Cacao Brownies all available on our website.(www.creativenaturesuperfoods.co.uk)
If there are any left over, take them round to someone you know who lives alone, and help brighten their day with food and, most importantly, company.