Many studies have been done on the benefits of eating dinner together as a family. I think it creates connection and culture within a family. Here are some of the benefits that the studies have found.
- When families eat together, everyone tends to eat healthier.Children are often eating more vegetables and healthier choices as they are part of the meal ritual and are being encouraged to eat the food provided.
- Children tend to eat more fruits and vegetables when they frequently have dinner with their families. Meal planning and healthier foods are made when a family sit down dinner is part of the daily routine.
- Children are less likely to be overweightParent are usually monitoring portions and what their kids are eating when they come together at dinner time on a frequent basis
- Children get better grades. I believe this is because parents are asking how school is, what is the status of homework or projects, and maybe even what difficulties they are facing at school. Positive feedback and encouragement goes a long way to better grades.
- Children have better language skillscompared to kids from families who do not have the check ins and family bonding time at the dinner table. It’s good for emotional health to share and care while socializing over a meal.
- Children who eat together at mealtime with their family report feeling happierand are more optimistic about the future. The family dining table provides stability, continuity and routine so badly needed in these formative years.
- Eating together can decrease stress levels of all the family, including working parents. Knowing that you can come home to a loving family and share a meal gives a family member the chance to shed their cares and connect with those they love.
- Eating together gives family members the chance to communicate and build relationships with each other. It can also promote your children creating mealtime traditions with their friends at school, as lunchtime can be stressful for school children. Bonding with friends over a meal can create the chance to build relationships and trust.
Although this may sound simple, it really is one of the best ways to ensure the emotional health of your family.
Some simple tips to create a fun zone at mealtimes are;
Involve your kids in meal planning
Get your kids cooking with you
Try different recipes that are from different cultures
Invite guests to your dinner table and cook a family favourite recipe
Make the dinner table an electronics free zone
Encourage a peaceful kind atmosphere at the dinner table