benefits to eating dinner at the table as a family
Family meals offer the opportunity to spend time together, reconnect after a busy day, communicate with and listen to each other, share values and ideas, and problem solve.
For many families, school, work schedules, and school sports can make it nearly impossible to find time to eat together. How long has it been since your family sat down and had a meal together without the tv or phones?
Family meals are essential and should be considered part of our daily requirements. Why? There are endless benefits and life skills that our children need from us. If your family unit’s schedules are too overloaded, have a family meeting and scale back. This is entirely WAY too important to miss out on. Trust me, the days, weeks, and months go by fast.
Better academic performance
Greater bond with the family unit and trust
Better Language skills
Improved patience and manners
A greater sense of resilience
Lower risk of drugs and substance abuse
Lower risk of teen pregnancy
Improved health (healthy meals provided)
Less picky (provided a variety of foods to try)
More self-sufficient (watches and learns to cook)
More financially stable (cooking at home teaches saving $)
Lower risk of depression
Installs the value of family tradition (passed on)
Better food choices later in life (show how to eat healthily)
Lower likelihood of developing eating disorders
Lower rates of obesity (eating home-cooked meals)
Tips for eating more meals together:
Make family meals a priority in your household, have a family meeting, create a time block that everyone knows when to be home and at the table. Rotate and share responsibilities in the kitchen. It doesn’t matter the age of your children, recruit them for help, and let go of perfection. Make memories, teach them, and have fun! Focus on the importance of being together as a family more than on making an elaborate meal. Use Emeals or HelloFresh to create two fun meals a week and bond over the variety and enjoyable meals they offer. (choose ones that are healthy or alter them, so they aren’t too high in calories, ask me for how to do this)
Start with small steps. Increase the number of family meals by one extra meal a week.
As a family, plan a menu for the week and make a grocery list.
Let the kids be involved. Let them help prepare food or set the table.
Work as a family to clean up afterward, have a rotation of who helps, or does this chore.
Turn off the TV, do not allow technology at the table of any kind.
It’s worth a try. More family mealtime could mean large rewards for your family, lots of laughter, memories, and the benefits far outweigh any negatives I can’t think of a single one. Initiate a game night after dinner once a week, pull out a deck of cards, a puzzle or a board game.
If you need more help please let me know, it took me a year to change my family dinner time to healthy and with the rules above. My daughters love to cook, not picky at all and love finding ways to make food flavorful, fun and healthy.