Dinnertime is family time.
If you’re looking for a way to stay connected to your kids, look no further than the dinner table. Research indicates that family dinners are a critical component to healthy families and healthy kids. In fact, kids who sit down to dinner with their parents are less likely to smoke, drink, or use illegal drugs. Make your family a priority—sit down to dinner.
Resurrecting the Family Dinner
The family dinner was once a staple in all households. Each evening, like clockwork, families came together around the table to share a meal. But something has shifted in recent decades—families are busier. Two parents are working outside the home and kids are scheduled with endless activities on top of mountains of homework. In order to shuffle all of these conflicting schedules, the family dinner has been shuffled right off the table.
But research indicates that foregoing the family dinner has had devastating consequences. Beyond the most basic consequence—a nutritious family dinner is often replaced by fast food in the car—there are deeper consequences that affect how families interact and how kids develop. In a nutshell, parents and kids are less connected—and neglected kids often turn to drugs and alcohol.
Benefits of the Family Dinner
Family dinner is only partly about dinner. Yes, it’s important for kids to eat a nutritious dinner and this is more likely to happen seated around the family table than strapped in a car seat. But family dinner is actually about nourishment—physical and emotional. It’s about connection. It’s about family.
There are numerous benefits to sharing a family dinner:
The bottom line is that parents who make family dinner a priority are more plugged in to what is going on in their kids’ lives.
Making Family Dinner a Priority
No question—families are busy, but we’re never too busy to gather around the table. It’s a matter of priorities…and time management. If you want to make family dinner a priority in your household, here are some tips for making it happen:
Tags: Nutritional Know-How