Over the past 20 years, scientific research has shown that sharing a family meal is one of the most powerful things that parents can do for the spirit, brain and health of all family members. Studies link regular family meals to the kinds of outcomes that parents want for their children: resilience, higher grade-point averages, better nutrition, and lower rates of depression, substance use and obesity. Studies also show that sharing a family meal helps children feel more connected to their parents. It turns out that family meals do many of the same things I try to do as a family therapist!
The Benefit of Family Meal Time
Despite family mealtimes being hugely beneficial to kids, only about 30% of families manage to eat together regularly. Anne Fishel, executive director of the Family Dinner Project, knows it’s not always easy to find that time but it also doesn’t have to be so hard. Through her work, she helps families find fun, creative, and easy ways to make meals a reality. As many families adjust to stay-at-home orders from the Coronavirus, there is a silver lining in that now there is time to enjoy a family meal or two.
The Value of Sit Down Family Meals for Emotional Health
In today’s fast-paced, digital-driven world, it’s easy to let quick texts and phone calls replace face-to-face conversations, especially in busy households with teens and children. But evidence shows that nothing replaces the time-honored tradition of connecting around the table for a family meal, especially when looking at the emotional health of those involved.
The Benefits of the Family Table
The custom of regularly eating together as a family is common to most cultures. There are proven benefits to every member when mealtime is a family affair. Families today, however, are less likely to gather at meal times than in the past. Given the protective factors that are conveyed to children and adolescents, pediatricians should encourage parents to make every effort to regularly gather around the “Family Table” for meals.
Healthy Meals Together with Family
When was the last time you sat down with your family at the table and shared food and conversation, without TV, tablets or phones? For most families, it’s probably been a while.
The Benefits of Eating Meals as a Family
Take a moment right now and think about when your family sits down together to eat a meal—is it something that happens frequently or a rare occurrence? Is a TV usually on? Do you all sit and linger or does everyone hurry in and hurry out to continue whatever they were doing?
Benefits of Family Meal Time
Getting the family together. It’s as easy as gathering around the table.
Family mealtime is when everyone at home sits down and enjoys a meal together. This can be at breakfast, lunch or dinner.
Did you know that families who eat together are healthier and happier? That’s why the Purdue Extension Nutrition Education Program encourages families to cook, talk and eat together – and make mealtime part of fun family time.
8 Reasons Why Sharing Family Meals is Important
You may think that the biggest benefit of eating together as a family is to ensure everyone has food in their stomachs. However, sharing meals does more than satisfy physical needs; it also fuels emotional needs and draws people closer.
We’re Better Together – Benefits of Eating Meals Together
Busy lives and schedules are more common than ever these days and finding ways to save time is at the forefront of nearly everyone’s mind. Skipping family mealtimes might sound like the right answer but 30 years of research says differently. Family mealtimes spent together not only have social benefits, but they also have long-term mental and emotional benefits that positively affect children and adults of all ages. Let’s find a seat at the dinner table and start reaping the benefits of sharing a meal with your family!