FF : Why Families Need to Dine Together

The benefits include: less drugs, more family unity, improving communication skills, healthier food, …

Check out the benefits of dining as a family around a table together. I’ve taken some quotes and ideas out of these linked articles.

Nov 2006 – Ugandan communalism. Ten-year research tried to determine why some children wound up with destructive behaviors such as smoking, drinking, and teen pregnancy, while others didn’t. Dining together was a more powerful indicator of positive behaviour than good grades or churchgoing by children. Weinstein says … family meals made the difference, because “when you sit around the table together, you learn to tell little stories” that build vocabulary. A time to communicate.

Share more than meals. Eat focussed meals together. … Perceived major benefits to sharing family meals include: • Bringing people closer together (89%) • Teaching children table manners and social skills (86%) • Keeping family members up to date about what is going on in their lives (84%) • Helping solve problems for family members (71%) • Encouraging more healthy eating habits (66%).

From a menu planner company. Eating together at least 5 to 6 times a week is ideal for getting the most for your family. … Sharing each other’s day … eating at home your family is more nutritious and people consume healthier meals. … teaches our children to become self sufficient, to prepare a healthy meal for themselves. eating together is an opportunity to teach and model table manners. … great opportunity to introduce new foods to your children. … saves you money.  [See also links to Recipe search and Meal planner] 

http://www.beforebaby.com/waya/2007/03/28/love-is-dining-together-as-a-family/ – one family’s discovery

“Just as important as what children are eating is the way they are eating, ” explains Lindsay. … When parents and children eat together, they’re not only more likely to enjoy a healthy variety of foods, but they’re also more likely to talk together and that makes such a difference to kids health and happiness. … When it comes to a family meal we should think of people first and food as secondary.

Oct 2007 – biggest factor wasn’t whether the TV was on or off, but whether the family was eating the meal together. … The research has shown that those who regularly have meals with their parents eat more fruits, vegetables and calcium-rich foods, ingest more vitamins and nutrients, and consume less junk food. Some of the research has shown that kids who regularly sit down to a family meal are at lower risk for behaviors like smoking and drug and alcohol use. … It may be that parents simply put better food on the table when everyone gets together. … togetherness, not timing.

Feb 2005 – Studies show family meals are linked to higher grades and lower rates of drug use, depression, suicide and eating disorders in children and adolescents. This may be because families who eat together check in regularly and stay closer, allowing parents to counteract some negative peer pressure. … [Don’t be] a short-order cook. …Get your children involved with meal preparation. … Turn off TV.

Jan 2006 – develop strong family relationships …make meal times pleasant … use this time as a chance to enjoy family togetherness. … Give each family member, even the youngest, a chance to contribute to the conversation, with everyone paying attention.

Sep 2005 – … [use] this type of family communication (eating dinner together) as a way to lessen child and teen substance abuse. [Family Day] as a springboard to regular and consistent parent and child contact.

How’s your table? Been cleared off and set for dinner lately?

My 10yo daughter loves setting the table complete with candles and folded serviettes, even if it’s pizza for dinner.

A sit-down Saturday evening meal sets the tone nicely for Sunday – Day of Rest. The right place to have a time of choosing to bless one another – only the positive stuff. This is a great way to build – and build up – the members of the family or household.

So, Food is for Fellowship.

ANZAC Day – Friday 25 April – Australia New Zealand Army Corps remembered.