How many of you aim to have at least a few meals of the week together as a family?
These days schedules of both parents and children leave almost no time for regular dinners together at the table. Between soccer practices, dance rehearsals, playdates, and other scheduling conflicts, family mealtime can seem like a thing of the past.
Did you know that research shows that having a meal together as a family at least four times a week has positive effects on child development? Family dinners have been linked to a lower risk of obesity, substance abuse, eating disorders, and an increased chance of graduating from high school. Source: http://solutionsforyourlife.ufl.edu/
If you are still looking for some inspiration, here are some more benefits of eating a meal together as a family.
- Dinner table provides an opportunity for conversation and to reconnect as a family. By engaging your children in conversation, you teach them how to listen and give them with a chance to express their opinions.
- Family mealtime is the perfect opportunity to display appropriate table manners, meal etiquette, and social skills. Be a good role model and lead by example.
- Meals prepared and eaten at home are usually more nutritious and healthy. They contain more fruits, vegetables, and dairy products along with additional nutrients such as fiber, calcium, vitamins A and C, and folate.
- The sense of security and togetherness provided by family meals helps nurture children into healthy, well-rounded adults. Children who eat dinner with their family are more likely to understand, acknowledge, and follow the boundaries and expectations set by their parents.
- The home cooked meal cost 2-4 times less than the meals purchased outside the home. You save your time and money by not make going out to eat at a restaurant and making short trips to the grocery store.
- Family mealtime is a great place to introduce new food to the kids. It greatly helps the picky eater. Try to make the mealtime a cool, calm and positive experience for the children. Avoid- criticism and over correction.