Married couples struggle to eat together

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Breakfast gets skipped, lunch is on the run, and dinner consists of pantry items thrown together at the last minute.

Every student faces the difficulty of a busy schedule coupled with the challenge of eating right, but married students face the difficulty of eating right, coupled with eating together as a family. The level of success varies, depending on the situation and the couple.

Annie Bruner, a newlywed majoring in nursing, said she tries to meet up with her husband for lunch but it doesn’t always happen.

“It does make a difference eating together,” Bruner said. “I think it’s important to make the effort.”

Elise Bracken, a junior from Texas, gave insight as to why eating together is so important. Both Bracken and her husband are in school full time while working jobs, so eating together can be tricky.

“It’s a time we spend focusing on each other and not on anyone else,” Bracken said.

Bracken said one of the ways they are able to spend more time together is by planning ahead and using a crock pot.

“We try to have a crock pot prepared beforehand so we can come home and have dinner be ready,” Bracken said.

Some married students plan their class schedules so that they can spend time with their loved ones during meals.

Linny Allsop, an English major from Arizona, said she specifically planned her classes so she could eat lunch with her husband.

Married students find it difficult to have sit-down dinners. (Photo Illustration by Whitnie Soelberg)

“We both have a class that gets out at noon, so we just come over and eat together,” Allsop said.

Nate Larsen, a technology management major from California, said eating dinner as a family is his time of the day to be with his wife. He said he hasn’t had too much trouble being able to eat as a family because he has made it a priority.

“The more you do it, the more you will grow closer as a family,” Larsen said. “The more distractions you have, the further you will grow apart.”

While many married students make the effort to eat together, school, work and homework can put family meals on the back burner.

Kortney Chamberlain, an exercise science major from Oregon, said she gets sad when she is unable to eat with her husband.

“We have those routines that we like to set up because we want to be together,” Chamberlain said. “I think there is a reason in the Church why they say family dinners are so important. Family should be the most important thing in our lives.”

Chamberlain said one of the ways she makes an effort to eat as a family is by planning meals that will have enough for leftovers.

“We try to make as many dinners as we can, but it’s hard to keep it going,” Chamberlain said.

Incorporating healthy food into two people’s schedules can be a daunting task, but Chamberlain said her success has been based upon buying food that makes her eat healthy.

“If you buy healthy food, you will eat healthier,” Chamberlain said. “If you buy junk, you will eat junk.”

Lora Brown, associate professor in the Department of Nutrition, Dietetics and Food Science, said married students simply need to plan ahead.

“Eating healthy actually requires planning,” Brown said. “Healthy meals just don’t fall out of the sky like manna. It’s basic stuff, but somebody needs to do it.”

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