In modern society, due to heavy workload and busy school activities, many families find it hard to have dinner together. Yet several studies have shown that family dinner plays an important role in maintaining a healthy living. Here are top five reasons why the entire family should have evening meals together.
- Better communication
One of the most significant benefits of family dinner is that it provides an opportunity for family members to bond and connect as a family. Evening meals together can help reduce relationship problems among couples and more importantly, your kids may benefit a lot from it. A research from LiveScience pointed out that kids who always had dinner with their parents while in sixth grade developed better communication habits with their mom and dad over the next three-and-a-half years compared with children who did not.
During family dinners, your children will be encouraged to share about things around their life, such as their health conditions, their classmates, their hobbies etc. You now have chance to understand more about your kids, as well as help them to overcome the problems they are experiencing.
- Healthier diets
When family members diner together, they are given chance to choose what should be put into their bodies. Researches have shown that people tend to include more vegetables and fruits when eating at home. While there has been a raising concern about children obesity, frequent family dinner should be encouraged and maintained properly.
According to a recent study published in the journal, Pediatrics, children of families who usually have meals together are 24% more likely to consume healthier foods. Meanwhile, children who don’t spend their eating time with their parents at least twice a week are 40% more likely to suffer from overweighting.
“One of the simplest and most effective ways for parents to be engaged in their teens’ lives is by having frequent family dinners,” says Joseph Califano Jr., chairman and president of The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University (CASA).
- Cost efficiency
Eating out is not as cheap as many people think. According to a report from The Simple Dollar, the average American spends $232 per month on commercially prepared food. If you prepare meals for your family members at home, you can save a large amount of money which can be used for another spending.
- Stress reliever
Due to financial issues or demanding job, many people become stresses the whole day. In this situation, a family supper is a great option for them as it can help reduce negative feelings including stress, anxiety and worry. A study conducted by a group of researchers from Brigham Young University in 2008 found that family meals helped working moms reduce the tension and strain from long hours working at the office.
- Better academic performance
Mealtime conversations are proved to improve children’s academic performance. Researches indicates that that teenagers who were given chance to enjoy regular family dinners were 2 times more likely to get A’s in school compared with those who weren’t not.