How often do you eat dinner with the family?
Years ago, family dinners were a pretty normal part of life, but today’s way of life (longer working days, ever-present technology) mixed with the constant expectation to be available at the touch of a button has changed a lot of that.
After noticing these changes, researchers have kept a keen eye on things to see how it affects people, and they’ve found that there are reasons why you should eat dinner together as a family.
Let’s have a look:
It’s a Time to Get Caught Up
One thing that makes family food times really important is that the kitchen table is often the most neutral area in the house.
As children begin to push for independence, they tend to pursue more time in private so they can be more fully absorbed into their own pursuits.
But when it’s dinner time at the kitchen table in a home, all the family is gathered in one spot, and this gives everyone a chance to see what is happening in each individual’s reality.
Encourages Healthier Choices
When a family is present to eat with each other, there is usually more emphasis placed on eating healthily. Parents will have the option to play a bigger role in choosing what their child eats, and that usually means that a vegetable will be present!
Parents will likely choose healthier options for themselves too, to set a good example.
When people eat separately, they’re more likely to choose unhealthy options out of ease. This could be simply due to who does the cooking but it’s an interesting point.
Meals Made at Home Are Better
Something that no one can ignore is the simple fact that when you eat at home it’s almost always better for you.
That’s partially because the additives that are present in most processed food aren’t in the food you make at home. Foods sold in fast food places are usually high in chemicals and flavor additives because the company recognizes that it needs to replace some of the flavor that’s been lost in the, packing, shipping and serving stages.
In addition, a large portion of foods served in these types of restaurants has traveled thousands of miles to reach its resting location.
It Relieves Stress
Another interesting observation made by doctors is that eating with your family can reduce stress. While this might not be the case for every family, the benefits of reduced stress is nothing to gloss over.
Stress can completely reduce your quality of life in just a few days, so anything that you can do to avoid or relieve stress is good for the entire family.
Overall, I’m a big fan of eating with my family and I suggest you try it too! Even if your busy schedules don’t allow you to eat every meal together, try to make time for a family dinner at home at least once a week.