Many people would love to enjoy family meals, but it seems as impossible as dressing up for a visit to a casino online. Busy work schedules, after-school activities, and children deny families the chance to sit down and eat together as they’re always on the move.
While some people view family dinners as hectic or burdensome, many others appreciate the benefits of eating together.
In this post, we’ll show you why family mealtime is so much more than another opportunity to share calories.
A family that eats together stays together.
Research shows families who sit and share a meal regularly have stronger ties and better relationships. Everyone stays disconnected at work and school, so this is the best time to reconnect. You can review the day’s activities and plan for the next day.
When your family shares a meal, it helps each member handle the frustrations of daily life as a unit.
Easy Weight Control
Various studies confirm that sharing a meal brings the family together emotionally and promotes healthier eating habits. Members eat slower, talking more, and consuming less food on average.
Parents also demonstrate how to eat healthily, so family members build a greater resolve to be more conscious about eating and weight management.
As a parent, you have the chance to be a role model. You set an excellent example of good eating habits and culturally acceptable table manners. The children learn to sit, listen, and respect for each other.
Children also benefit in other ways—those who share a meal with siblings and parents tend to eat a wider variety of food, as they are less picky during mealtimes.
Eating together also creates an avenue for communication. Parents can find out how the day went and set expectations, while children openly express themselves and share their ideas. The most important aspect of the meal is to know what is on everyone’s minds, which is how relationships grow.
Various studies show that children who share family meals are less likely to engage in risky teen behaviors. Not only are they more likely to avoid alcohol use, dangerous driving, illegal substance abuse, sexting, and unprotected sexual activity, but they will also exhibit fewer psychological issues.
Parents teach by example, and the children learn how to listen well and develop other life skills.
Sharing the Load
When children know that a mother isn’t solely responsible for making dinner, then serving and washing dishes becomes a family affair. The daily chores and cleaning surrounding meal preparation needs to be shared, and everyone can contribute in some way to a family meal.
Few people minds are conscious about everything they eat, and most of us are not getting a wholesome lunch or dinner at every meal. Family meals tend to be more nutritious than meals eaten in restaurants or slapped together in a hurry.
Children need all the essential minerals and not just calories. The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics also says that children who join family dinners consume more minerals, vegetables, fruit, and vitamins in general. They also eat fewer snacks, drink less soda, and consume less saturated fat.
Another benefit of eating together as a family is that the young attendees learn different food groups, nutrition, and portion sizes from the adults. Parents can talk about recognizing the feeling of being ‘full.’ For example, dishing up small portions initially and making sure that you’re still hungry before dishing up another plate.
Family breakfasts and dinners are the perfect opportunities to build self-esteem for your family members. By listening intently to what the children say, you’re saying you value them and that what they do means something to you.
Children who mature in a family where members eat together develop a sense of togetherness, which leads to healthier self-esteem in knowing they belong to a tightknit unit.
Enhance family dynamics
While you might like to feed the children early, doing so will isolate the working parent from core family dynamics. Regular family mealtimes mean the parent who’s out most of the time also finds time to meet with the rest of the family.
It’s cheaper to prepare meals at home than to dine out with your entire family. Think of how much you can save in a year by eating at home—perhaps, a few thousand dollars.
You could spend the money you’ll save on other pastimes and still eat well.
Learn cooking skills
Teenagers learn how to prepare wholesome family meals by watching their parents. With time, the older children will become confident enough to prepare meals on their own, which is an invaluable life skill for when they leave the nest.
Letting children prepare meals also makes them feel like a valued part of the family.
Tips for eating together as a family
If you’re struggling to sit together and enjoy a family meal, here’s what you should do:
- Make family meals a household priority
- Let children choose where they want to sit
- Don’t force people to eat new foods
- Plan ahead to save time
- Turn off the television and pause your games or casino online apps
- Don’t answer the phone during mealtimes
- Focus on the benefits of relationship building, not fancy meals
- Start with a few meals and add an extra meal together each week
- Divide chores and let the children help with food preparation or table setting
- Be a good example of eating a balanced diet
- Prepare meals on time so that hungry children don’t have to wait long
- Make tasty food using simple recipes rather than gourmet ensembles
If you don’t sit down for meals together each day, it’s about time you took out your dinner plates. Family mealtime benefits go far beyond sharing food—it is an opportunity to check on each other, communicate, share experiences, and nurture your children.
Family mealtime also gives parents the chance to train young people around good eating habits, key life skills, relationship management, and table manners. You’ll probably also find yourselves eating more healthily, arguing less, and bonding.