5 Reasons to Have Regular, Sit-Down Family Dinners
Jun 07 2015
- Eating together is good for a child’s stability. Studies show that children who eat with their families are significantly less likely to have trouble with drugs and alcohol and are more likely to perform better in school.
- Eating dinner as a family offers a great opportunity to simply talk and helps children develop social skills. One way to get started is to go around the table and ask everyone about the best and/or worst parts of their day. For other ideas on how to spark conversation and keep kids of all ages interested in participating during mealtime, visit: http://thefamilydinnerproject.org/.
- Eating as a family provides a way to have time together without the intrusion of cell phones or other screens — especially if you make the dinner table a gadget-free zone. It’s also an ideal time to give your eyes and back a break from too much screen time. Bending over a phone is bad for your posture and constantly focusing on a small screen can cause eyestrain. All the more reason to put devices away.
- Kids who have dinner with their parents often have stronger vocabularies simply from being exposed to adult conversation.
- According to a recent study published in the journal, Pediatrics, children of families who eat together are 24% more likely to eat healthier foods, while children who do not eat with their parents at least twice a week are 40% more likely to be overweight. Regularly preparing dinner provides an occasion to talk about what healthy eating is and isn’t — from the menu to portion control. Family dinners also offer a way to introduce new foods and expand a child’s palate in a comfortable environment.
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