The Importance Of Having A Family Meal
Family meals aren’t just for holidays…many families now adjust their individual schedules in order to enjoy evening meals together several nights a week. Research proves that pleasant table talk while passing plates of nutritious foods, builds stronger relationships and brings families closer together.
The health of your family is affected when you all eat together. Taking time to plan and prepare meals that are eaten at home, guarantees a more nutritious diet for everyone at the table. In some homes, each family member takes part in the planning, preparation and serving, so that every person has a stake in the success of each meal.
Here are a few ideas to encourage everyone to take part:
Choose themes for meals, such as Meatless Mondays, Festival of Italy or even Taco Tuesdays.
Resort to recipes, make a list of needed ingredients and appoint a designated shopper.
Encourage children to design placements or menus for the table.
Rotate responsibilities for introducing topics over dinner.
Take turns cleaning the table and cleaning up after the meal.
In one recent study, nearly half of the teens and parents agreed that during or after dinner, is the best time to talk about personal topics. Another study shows that teens who eat frequent meals with their families, do better in school and have fewer problems in drugs and depression.
Younger children reap in benefits from family meals too. The youngest will develop language skills as they listen to table talk, and older kids learn the value of taking turns to share their news of the day. Children of all ages (and even adults) always appreciate focused attention and time to laugh together.
Where better to find better social skills than around the table at home?