Having one meal or dinner daily with family is always good for many reasons. What benefit you get from having a family dinner?
See what Grandma has to say about this good habit.
- Better communication: Conversations during the meal provide opportunities for the family to bond, plan, connect, and learn from one another. For young children, dinner time conversation boosts vocabulary even more than being read aloud to.
- Understanding each other: Family meals foster warmth, security and love, as well as feelings of belonging. It can be a unifying experience for all.
- Healthy cooking and eating: Food prepared and eaten at home will be healthy and nutritious. You will include fruits, vegetables and dairy products with other known nutrients. You will reduce consumption of beverages, fried items and other unhealthy snacks when you cook and serve at home.
- Introducing new items in dinner: It takes about 8-10 exposures to new food before anybody accepts it. Children are always fussy about eating new items. Without forcing or bribing you can slowly expose to them with new healthy foods with some -stand by favorites. This expands knowledge about food.
- Positive social behavior: A regular family dinner cultivates and encourages good behavior in children and teens. Teens who dine regularly with their families also have a more positive view of the future, compared to their peers who don’t eat with parents. A frequent five or more of family dinners, are associated with lower rates of smoking, drinking, and illegal drug use in pre-teens and teenagers when compared to families that eat together two or fewer times per week.
- Faith and trust development: Eating meals together has the potential to strengthen family bonds as it provides a daily time for the whole family to be together. For younger children, routine family meals can provide a sense of security and a feeling of belonging in the family. They will trust family and will have faith in the relationships.
- Importance of community: When we communicate during dinner we also include community and ongoing topics. Exposing your family to positive side of community helps in their personal development.
- Relieving stress: A demanding job needs a relief. Finding time to eat with family helps in relaxation. Working parents will get relief while attending to family needs. Modern studies show that mothers who ate with their families often were also found to be happier and less stressed as compared to mothers who did not. Teens who ate regular family meals were also more likely to be adjusted, have good manners and communication skills. Parents will also notice change in children attitude – more polite and respectful to each other.
- Kids day at school: When you are at dinner talk to your child about the school day. Express interest in their daily life and current events. Understand what is interesting for them while feeding a happy meal. Be an active listener to your children and spouse. Children will show interest in studies and their grade will improve too. Mealtimes offer opportunities for children to learn as they hear longer discussions that include explanations and narratives.
- Activities of kids and parents: Family dinner is like an improvisatory theater performance or a family drama. They interact with each other in new ways too. Invite your children to make dinner and ask them to serve. Play meal related games and sing along.
- Focusing on kids and their friends: Invite your kids friends for a dinner and understand their hobbies. If your kid shows aloofness for the talk then he might not be interested in that topic. Or you child may also enthusiastically participate in same topic. This will help you understand what is happening in child’s life, school, teacher, other activities and they may express their opinion and feelings better.