Eating a family dinner is something that happens too infrequently today. Families are busier than they ever have been before, between both parents working, kids doing extracurricular and enjoying time with friends, and a lot more. Yet, eating dinner together is still crucial and can have a lasting effect on the children. Read below to learn more about why eating a family dinner is so important.
A Chance to Have A Conversation
When families enjoy eating together each day, they’re able to have more conversations and learn about each other’s lives. This gives children the opportunity to learn more about their parents and to talk about their own day, getting advice for how to handle any situations that might come up. Plus, eating dinner together provides the opportunity to relax, laugh, and have fun without everyone looking at their phones or being tuned into the TV.
Know What’s Happening
When children aren’t provided a chance to sit down and talk uninterrupted, it means parents don’t find out about harmful or damaging situations. If a child is being picked on at school, for instance, they’re more likely to speak up and tell their family about it over a family dinner. Otherwise, they may not feel they have the time to talk about it to their parents or worry that their parents don’t have time to help them.
Enjoy Healthier Foods Together
Eating at home together provides the opportunity to enjoy much healthier foods together. There are tons of family meal ideas that everyone in the family will love. These foods are healthier than restaurant options and are less expensive, as well. This means it’s possible to eat better for less, so families can save money and still enjoy amazing food each night.
Prevent Medical Issues
Poor nutrition can lead to a variety of medical conditions. Eating dinner together leads to eating healthier foods, which can help prevent numerous medical issues, as well as help everyone in the family control their weight, feel more energetic, and be ready to tackle everything that life hands to them. For those who already have health concerns, eating at home can help relieve some symptoms or make it easier to follow a medically necessary diet.
Talking together allows family members to relieve stress, which can help prevent mental health concerns. Family members that eat dinner together tend to suffer from fewer mental health issues, especially children, and the time talking together and relieving stress can help children improve their self-esteem. This can lead to benefits throughout the child’s life, as they’ll be more confident and ready to tackle anything in the future.
Better Choices in the Future
Kids that eat dinner with their parents are less likely to make poor choices in the future. With improved self-esteem, the chance to talk to parents about any concerns, and the ability to relieve stress by talking, laughing, and having fun, kids are less likely to turn to alcohol or drugs as they get older. They’re also likely to have better grades, which means they’re less likely to drop out of school and are more likely to make better choices that help them do more once they’re an adult.
Eating dinner may seem like something that’s insignificant, but it can make a huge difference, especially for children. Taking the time to eat dinner together can provide all of the benefits mentioned here, as well as many more, as children learn and grow. If you’re not eating dinner together as a family regularly, start eating at home more often and try out new recipes to get everyone to enjoy the meal. You’ll start to see the benefits right away and will love the positive changes that can happen as a result.