Benefits of Eating as a Family

Here are a few reasons to make eating as a family a priority:

  • Children learn valuable life skills – There is benefit in children learning how to prepare and cook food, as well as how to clean the table.  Sounds crazy but I have fond memories of washing and drying dishes after meals at my grandparents’ house.  May be these are fond memories because we had a dishwasher at home.
  • It’s a chance to reconnect socially – Eating together regularly gives families an opportunity to check in with each other, share their day and laugh together.  As a basic, this is time to teach children how to carry conversations, how to ask and answer questions.
  • Build and share family traditions –  While this may be a small piece, it’s a chance to pass along blessings and prayers.  In some families a time to share recipes.
  • You can model healthy eating habits – Parents tend to provide children a wider range of foods when families sit and eat together.  Modeling healthy eating habits is a nice, low key way to encourage them to eat.
  • You can teach and practice manners – Table manners are a learned skill, best taught over time with lots of repitition.  Try to make this fin with related storybooks and games.
  • It’s related to better long term childhood outcomes – Children who regularly eat at least five meals a week with their families show higher academic scores, lower rates of later behavior problems and lower rates of obesity.

To learn more about these ideas and ways to avoid picky eating habits and mealtime battles join Dr. Rene for our workshop on Managing Mealtimes & Picky Eaters September 5 from 7:00-9:00pm.  For more information and to register, please visit http://www.eventbrite.com/org/283710166?s=1328924.

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Comments

  1. I could not agree with you more. I was raised in Europe were this was a mandatory practice and I carried it out in the US while raising my children here. Now that they are both in College they come back home for this family ritual whenever they can. We are all very busy but sharing a meal all together at least once a day will definitely go a very long way.

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