With parents holding multiple jobs to make ends meet, it is quite a challenge to have all members present to share a family meal. However, a recent research shows that there are crucial benefits of eating together, which means that parents should take effort to regularly have at least one communal meal in a day.
Health Benefits of Eating Dinner as a Family
- Families who eat together have shown to have better nutritional intake for all members.
- Eating together as a family decreases the risk of adolescents developing unhealthy weight control practices or eating disorders.
- Teenagers who regularly eat with the rest of their family are less likely to smoke, take alcoholic beverages, do drugs, or develop depression.
- Better performance in school is seen in teens who regularly dine with their parents and other family members.
- Teens who regularly dine together with their parents are more likely to abstain from sex, thereby decreasing their risk for teenage parenthood.
- Children and teenagers who dine separately from their parents are more likely to consume junk food than those who regularly eat with the rest of their family members.
Benefits of Eating Dinner Together
- This is a time when family members can catch up and share their experiences during the day.
- Parents can encourage their children to take another helping of vegetables during the meal.
Tips For Eating Together as a Family
- Dining together is not the time for arguing about problems in the office or at school.
- Parents should not use this time to “discipline” their children.
- Parents must aim to make the communal dining experience a jovial one.
- As much as possible, the meal should consist of healthy dishes.
- Parents should watch their portions, considering that children tend to mimic the eating habits of their mothers and fathers.