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What are the benefits of the family’s meals?

Research has shown many benefits of sharing family meals. However, families today are less likely to enjoy family’s meals together than in the past. Given the benefits of sharing family’s meals, family should make every effort to gather around the “Family Table” for having regular meals.

But why family meals are so powerful? Family meals offer a great opportunity to connect with each other, talk about family happenings, and exchange time and attention. While families are encouraged to gather and share meals, not every meal has to be a gathering. But it’s preferable to think of such times as the weekly Sunday meal, family meals during Thanksgiving or other holidays, or a Saturday morning breakfast with Mom and Dad.

What’s so magical about family meals?

Studies demonstrate that regular family meals help kids keep a healthy body weight, follow a higher quality diets and maintain better eating habits. Having kids involved in mealtime preparation develop their skills.

Teenagers who eat with their families may also be less likely to consume alcohol or tobacco or even abuse drugs. Teen girls are also less inclined to engage in disordered eating behaviors. A recent study shows that children who talk to their families during meal times in a more pleasant atmosphere have less depressive symptoms.

Adults can also get some benefits from family meals beyond being more in touch and connected with their children. A study found that parents who had more family meals ate more fruits and vegetables. The study also showed that family meals contained less fast food intake.

It’s completely understood that work and fast paced life make it a challenge for families to eat together. But because of the endless list of nutritional and emotional benefits for family meals, families are encouraged to find a way to free up some time on their day and have meals together. Families can also benefit by making it a chance to sit down together for a bowl of fruit when everyone is home. For families who find it difficult to share meals during the week, they can make Sunday dinners a special occasion. At these meals, families should disconnect from technology, turn off the TV and just make quality time to communicate with each other over a healthy meal. Some families find it much easier to sit down together for breakfast meal rather than dinner, that can also have so many benefits for families.

To close

Making the “Family Meal” a priority from an early age can serve as a “vaccine” against many harms of fast paced life. Families should make the family meal more than a priority and try to have four family meals per week at least. Regular family shared meals are key components of family life that help make a difference in the lives of both children and parents.

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