You probably have a lot of memories from childhood of dinners spent with your family, or wanting to do something else and being forced to sit at the table by your parents even though you had other places to be.
Eating together with friends, family, and guests used to be a way of life in almost all societies throughout history, but busy modern life means lots of distractions. People find themselves eating at separate times, in front of the TV, or immersed in their smartphones.
But going back to the family mealtime could be a great way to improve your family bond. Researchers have found many benefits to eating together. Here are just a few reasons to gather your loved ones around the table more regularly.
Build it into your lifestyle
If you’ve decided to make an effort to share meals as a family, you’ll need to make it achievable. Don’t put too much pressure on yourself to spend every meal together every day. Why not make sure you have the space to do it. Clear out the dining room or get a new dining table set if you don’t already have one. You’ll be able to find one to suit most spaces and styles. Set an achievable number of meals you can eat together, then arrange your schedules to achieve this.
Encourage family bonding
Eating food is usually an enjoyable and relaxing occasion. Sitting around the table, with no distractions is a great way to build positive emotions around spending time together. This attachment between children and parents can help establish the feeling of safety and confidence as they grow up.
Help children develop good food habits
If you have a picky eater in the family, shared meals can be a great way to encourage them to try out new foods. It’s one of the reasons that some kids tend to eat better in a nursery or school setting when they are with others. As long as you aren’t creating a stressful atmosphere by bribing or forcing them to eat certain foods or quantities, which can have the opposite effect.
If you serve your meals family style, with each person selecting what they want to eat, then this can help children develop good habits when it comes to eating only until they’re full.
Improved social skills
Research has shown that children who eat with their families on a regular basis have lower anxiety levels and are better in social situations than those who do not.
Help kids to better in school
Family meals encourage conversation, where children can learn to express their ideas and be involved. This in turn helps them to comprehend and discuss ideas at school. Your conversations will also involve what they’re learning at school, so you can help them out with their schoolwork by showing an interest in their studies.
Finding time for family in a hectic work and school schedule can be difficult but it is well worth it for the fantastic benefits of eating together regularly.