6 Benefits of Eating Dinner as a Family
Nowadays, families tend to lead a very busy life. Everyone has their own activities and responsibilities. That’s why eating as a family is often a challenge.
The habit of sitting at the table and sharing a meal together is getting lost. Yet there are so many advantages of making it a priority. Everyone can benefit from getting together and eating dinner as a family.
What are the benefits of eating dinner as a family?
Before mentioning the benefits of eating dinner as a family, it’s important to note that it’s necessary to turn off the TV and cell phones. This should be a family rule. This way, you can truly enjoy each other’s company.
1. Improve the quality of your diet
Sitting at the table for lunch and dinner assures parents that their kids eat healthy. Therefore, you can avoid eating fast food.
Instead, you’re all eating enough vegetables, fruits, and proteins. This is why adolescents who eat with their family are less likely to suffer diseases. For example, they’re less likely to develop obesity, diabetes, and other similar conditions.
Young people who are used to eating while watching TV tend to consume more junk food and sodas. Instead, while sitting at the table, parents can teach them healthy eating habits.
A good example is having them drink water instead of soft drinks. Also, they’ll be eating more homemade meals.
2. Improve communication
Eating dinner as a family helps kids learn to express themselves. They learn to communicate instead of argue by talking with their parents and siblings.
In addition, parents can take the time to pay attention to their children. This is especially important if the parents spend a lot of time away from home at work.
3. Create good habits
Children learn good table manners by imitation. Childhood is the ideal stage to teach children behavioral patterns that they’ll develop throughout their lives.
If kids eat at school, they’re more likely to copy their peers. Eating dinner as a family is a good way to reinforce table manners.
When babies can sit on their own, it’s important to have them eat at the table with the family. There, they can learn to use silverware, feed themselves, and communicate with others.
4. Save money
Making one meal for everyone means you can save a lot of money. This way, you don’t have to order delivery, junk food, or make individual meals for each person.
5. Improve school performance
Eating dinner as a family can actually improve academic performance. This is because it puts everyone in a good mood, and gives family members the chance to support each other.
Children who eat dinner as a family have considerably higher grades than their peers.
“Sitting at the table for lunch and dinner assures parents that their kids eat healthy. Therefore, you can avoid eating fast food. Instead, you’re all eating enough vegetables, fruits, and proteins.”
6. Family bonding
Eating dinner as a family means much more than enjoying a delicious meal together. Through communication, each member gets to know each other better. Everyone feels part of the family, listened to, and loved.
Therefore, getting the family together boosts feeling like a strong family unit. This is fundamental for children to develop balanced and healthy emotions.
This also helps adolescents. It helps keep them away from addictive behaviors because they feel safe and important to their parents.
3 tips for eating dinner as a family
Nowadays, it’s hard to find time to eat together as a family every day. You need to create a routine and bring everyone together around the table.
To do that, organize everyone’s schedules. Once you set the schedules, you need to follow them.
2. Plan meals
It’s better to spend some time during the week to plan dinner. Make a shopping list, then hang it on the refrigerator. Then, everyone will be able to remember what you need to buy.
3. Include the children
Involving kids in making food is a good way to encourage eating dinner as a family. It even encourages them to incorporate healthy foods.
It’s also important to involve them in routines. For example, they can set the table, gather the dirty dishes, help wash them, etc.
Finally, you need to encourage making this a new tradition in your family. If they don’t do it, it can become a habit in just a few days. It can be a time that everyone enjoys.
All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.
- Villares, J. M., & Segovia, M. G. (2006). La comida en familia: algo más que comer juntos. Acta Pediatr Esp, 64(11), 554-558. http://www.ponceleon.org/logopedia/images/stories/infantil/comida_en_familia.pdf
- de Miguel, B. B., & Vives, C. C. Comer en familia: una costumbre saludable y gratificante. https://www.ucm.es/data/cont/docs/429-2014-11-12-Beltran-Cuadrado-comer-en-familia-2014.pdf