We all lead busy lives: work, school, practice, recitals, homework, you name it. It can be so easy to just grab dinner through a fast food drive-thru or to even skip dinner entirely. However, making an effort to sit down and have family dinner together as often as possible has many positive effects on every member of your family.
In a world where it’s so easy to distance ourselves from each other, taking the time to come together as a family is more important than ever before. Let’s look at why it’s so vital for good relationships.
You’re More Likely to Eat Better
While a fast food meal may be filling, it can hardly count as a well-rounded, nutritional food source. On the other hand, research has shown that family meals tend to be more nutritious than ones that are eaten alone. Specifically, you’re twice as likely to eat your recommended servings of fruits and vegetables. Plus, kids who eat with their family are more likely to enjoy a variety of foods, leading to less pickiness!
Helps Little Ones Develop
If you have small children right now, family dinner time is extra beneficial for them. Sitting at the table with everyone allows them to develop motor skills like using utensils, but it also helps them develop their language better because of the talking that happens. On top of that, they’ll be exposed to proper table etiquette like manners. Family dinners from a young age help your children develop into well-rounded people.
Better Mental Health
It’s no secret that today’s teenagers often struggle with their mental health. However, making a point to eat dinner together as a family on a regular basis can help fight against these struggles. Kids who eat with their family regularly are less likely to experience depression and also less likely to get involved in unsavory activities, such as drug and alcohol use.
Your children are also more likely to have high self-esteem and overall resilience in every area of their lives when they are regularly eating dinner with you. This comes in part because you have the ability to connect with them and get a feeling for how things are going so you can give advice when needed. It also helps your children feel like they matter to you and that you’re looking out for them, giving them the confidence to face the world around them.
There are countless other reasons to sit down with your family for dinner. Here are just a couple more!
• Kids are more likely to have better grades
• You’re more likely to save money
• Kids are more likely to have a healthy relationship with food, lowering the risk of eating disorders
While it can be so easy to take the lazy road when it comes to dinner, it’s important to consider what you’re giving up by skipping the family dinner. Of course, you’re not expected to be able to do this every night but making it a regular occurrence will give your children numerous benefits in every area of their lives. That should be reason enough to make the effort to get your family around the dinner table tonight!