The Benefits of Eating as a Family

Oct 9, 2020 2:33:20 PM Feast & Fettle

It seems that in today’s world, it has become the norm to feel constantly overscheduled and overstressed. Sadly, many of us have opted to eat on-the-run or thoughtlessly scarf down whatever our busy schedule allows.

It feels much simpler to just eliminate family dinner time in order to complete your daily agenda. Right? Wrong.

Mealtime isn’t just about silencing a rumbling stomach. As humans, we are meant to get fed at the table in more ways than just one…and we’d like to argue that shared mealtime is probably one of the most important things you can do for the well being of your family, and here’s why:

Your Children Will Be SMARTER
Did you know dinnertime conversation boosts vocabulary for children even more than being read aloud to? In a recent study, researchers found that young kids learned 1,000 rare words at the dinner table, compared to only 143 from parents reading story books aloud (sorry Harry Potter).

Children learn best by doing, not watching, so participating in nightly conversations helps to get them more involved. It also helps YOU get more involved, so when they totally crushed their last test, you’ll be the first to swoon at it over a warm plate of food.

 

It Builds TRADITIONS

And why do traditions matter? They build a sense of belonging, which leads to better self-esteem for you and for your family.

Everyone in your household may lead disconnected, independent lives, and having that place to come together allows you the chance to reconnect, laugh, make memories, and take comfort in the fact that every Tuesday you WILL be eating tacos, no matter what the circumstances may be.

You’ll Practice HEALTHY Eating Habits
Meal time provides the opportunity to discuss the foods you eat, and why there are some options you should probably choose more often than others. We all know that green things that grow from the Earth are probably better than things that get handed to you through a delivery window.

By bringing more attention to what you are eating each night, you’ll find yourself making more of an effort to improve your dinner choices — establishing habits that will last a lifetime for you and your family.

Time Is (more than) Money
Designated family time at the table is priceless. Besides the fact that the food you eat is your body’s source of energy, simply being together and chatting about the day helps to develop more positivity in children AND in parents. Researchers found that mothers who ate with their families were happier and less stressed compared to mothers who did not.

This happiness translates into a productivity boost when it comes to completing demanding tasks at work, or keeping your sanity when you have a clogged bathroom sink, sharpie on the walls, and cheerios in your hair.

With this in mind, mealtime does not need to be a long, painful ordeal. There are many steps families can take to ensure everyday life doesn’t get in the way of enjoying quality time (and food) with their family. No matter how you decide to pull off family dinner each night, shared moments are the gateway to creating stronger connections and building the framework for a healthier, happier family.