5 Unexpected Benefits to Eating Together as a Family

March 25, 2019 | By Shawnna Stiver | Category: Food & Drink, Home, Living, Relationships, Wellness

You may have heard that eating together as a family has numerous benefits. But do you know why that is? Simply put, family dinners mean better family relationships. Eating together as a family has the potential to strengthen family ties by providing daily time to bond together, a sense of security and routine for your children, as well as an overall feeling of belonging. Believe it or not, these are not the only benefits that come from your everyday family checkpoint. Here are 5 more unexpected benefits to eating together as a family.

Benefit #1: Improves overall diet and eating habits

Eating on the go often results in unhealthy options because of the quick and easy nature of fast food. Taking the time to sit down and eat together as a family slows down eating overall and encourages more wholesome options. Kids who eat with family consume more fruits, vegetables and super foods and less sugary snacks.

Benefit #2: Help children feel more confident

Even young toddlers can sense whether a family dynamic feel safe and secure. Eating together as a family can help improve self-esteem in children because they feel safe, which in turn increases confidence in themselves. By sitting with each other each day and asking how your kids are doing, you’re communicating that you care about their feelings and what makes them happy.  

Benefit #3: Improves communication between family members

A 2018 Canadian study found a group of children (starting as infants) had overall positive social interactions when their family had consistent meal experiences together. And by encouraging regular talking and social interactions at the dinner table, kids go on to become better communicators. This can help with school, personal developments and future social skills.

Benefit #4: Protect children from harmful influences

Many studies show that when children are exposed to harmful influences like bullying there are higher instances of anxiety and depression. Eating together as a family encourages open communication and support. No matter what a child may be experiencing, their ability to weather harmful influences becomes stronger as a result of having that time together with their family.  

Benefit #5: Builds better family bonds

Families who strive to build bonds and share intentional time together can improve roles and communication patterns. Shared dinner habits can provide valuable insights into family dynamics and create a sense of trust among members.

There are so many benefits to eating together as a family, including nutritional, health, social and mental. Even though today’s busy lifestyle can make eating together a challenge, in the end the bond you build within your family is worth the effort it takes.

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