- Eating together as a family lowers the risk of your child dealing with serious issues. Research shows that children that eat together with their families have less incidences with drugs, bad grades, depression, and eating disorders as they get older.
- Portions can be controlled. You choose the size of the plate, dish it up, and be sure they get the right serving of each food group instead of “super-sizing” it through the drive through.
- Your dinner table may be the only chance you get to catch up on their day. This is the time to “unplug” and get to know what’s going on it your child’s life.
- You can encourage healthier choices. Do not provide options such as chicken nuggets as a back up if your child doesn’t care for salmon, you just might get him to try it to see that he actually does like it. This also helps with providing variety and identifying the healthy foods you may want to offer more frequently. If you offer an option, be sure its equally as healthy as what you planned.
- A healthy attitude towards food and having a nice variety at the dinner table will set the stage for later in life when they have to choose what to buy when they grocery shop for the first time as a college freshman.
- Dinner together doesn’t have to be home-cooked. If you cannot eat at home, consider dinner out as a family, but keep your choices a good example for your children. This could influence their future choices as well.
- Consider letting your children help in creating a menu for the week. This will allow them to experiment with new flavors and be more willing to try foods they “worked hard” to make. Again, this can lead to more healthy choices and get them excited about new foods. The more foods a child enjoys, the easier to plan, the easier to keep the family healthy and avoid obesity.
- A happier family eats together! Those that eat together experience less stress and anxiety and are more willing to talk about the daily and big problems.
Hopefully these 8 reasons can help you to set a goal to aim to eat together for dinner at least a few times per week. Family dinners should be held as sacred time together to build on your family unit to set a healthy foundation for years to come.
3 Bean Turkey Chili