Yes , we are busy families with crazy schedules. Understood. However, committing to at least a few family dinners per week could mean a much healthier family physically, emotionally and mentally.
When we eat at home we tend to cook at home. These meals usually include fresh food like fruits and vegetables, which are packed with more vitamins and minerals than meals out. Of course, healthier meals will also contribute to children who are less likely to be overweight.
There are several more benefits to meals at home. A Lou Harris – Readers Digest National Poll revealed that children from homes where the families ate dinner together resulted in better grades. The poll also revealed that these children tended to be much happier!
A Harvard University study reported that at home family meals produced children with better language skills. News flash – television does not teach higher level language skills, but listening to mom and dad talk about their day does. Yay parents!
A Columbia University study shows that children are less likely to become involved with drugs, alcohol or cigarettes when they participate in family dinners. Perhaps this is due to the fact that family dinner gives everyone an opportunity engage and keep up with each other’s lives; it keeps everyone in check and kids will be less likely to succumb to peer pressure.
Other studies have shown that family dinners help to keep stress levels down. Still other studies show that teenage girls tend to be less depressed and less likely to experience teen pregnancy.
Finally, family dinner gives everyone a chance to communicate and build relationships. It is a special time where we are encouraged to share our days, our thoughts and challenges. What an opportune time to deepen those family connections!
Now it is your turn. Tell us about your family dinner experiences on my Facebook page!