Family meals help provide regular, consistent opportunities to create shared experiences that are meaningful and offer a sense of belonging to all. Research has shown that regular and meaningful family meals offer a large variety of benefits to children and parents.
- Family meals provide a sense of family unity and identity. Family meals become a vehicle for carrying on valued family traditions, such as having a particularly favorite dish on someone’s birthday or going to a favorite place to eat together on special occasions.
- Family meals make a positive impact on young children’s language acquisition and literacy development. Family meals furnish a daily opportunity for a parent or sibling to speak to an infant or toddler, and help them learn words, understand language and build conversation.
- Family meals are associated with improved dietary intake among family members. For example, several large studies have shown that regular family meals are strongly associated with increased consumption of fruits, vegetables, grains and other healthy food choices while also linked with lesser consumption of fried or fatty foods, soft drinks or other less healthy food choices
Learn more about strengthening family bonds and improving your family’s wellness here: https://www.ag.ndsu.edu/eatsmart/eat-smart.-play-hard.-magazines-1/2009-eat-smart-play-hard-magazine/test-item