Food & Drink Home and Living Lifestyle

3 great reasons to eat dinner as a family

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Written by Tim Barnes-Clay

We’ve all heard that a family that eats together, stays together. But where’s the proof behind that expression?

Dinner as a family is that sacred time we shouldn’t take for granted. The familiar scene of sitting down around a table and having a meal together is on the decline. If regular family mealtimes are not a tradition in your household, you might want to bring it back. Research conducted in Canada discovered that children who regularly had even one meal with their family had better social skills and fitness levels than children who did not.

The findings show that family meals are not only a sign of a good home environment, they are also an easy and helpful area to tap into when it comes to improving children’s well-being and health.

The following three reasons show that, delicious meals or not, family dinners are important.

Family dinners = greater happiness

Having a meal together ensures happier children. Interestingly, this isn’t limited to your children’s happiness. Research shows that mothers who ate with their families often were also found to be happier and less stressed compared to mothers who did not. Children who ate meals together were also more likely to be adjusted, have good manners and communication skills.

Family dinners = better family relations

If your family is anything like mine, your children probably love to chat and tell their stories. Dinner time is a great way for the whole family to share the events of their day with running commentary. It can provide a sense of security and a feeling of belonging in the family. In a recent Columbia University study, 71 per cent of teenagers said they consider talking, catching-up and spending time with family members as the best part of family dinners.

Family dinners = healthy children

Young children are less likely to be overweight or obese when they eat with the family. Because children eat regular, nutritious, home cooked meals, and also help in making or serving those meals. And if you’re cooking, you can incorporate healthy items, like fruits and vegetables and less fatty foods. Remember that tou’re the king of the kitchen – it’s all in your hands.