Family life is crazy and we are often time starved for family time. Taking the time to share a family meal has many benefits according to the University of Florida. Their research has shown sharing a family meal means that:
- family bonds get stronger
- kids are more well-adjusted
- everyone eats more nutritious meals
- kids are less likely to be obese or overweight
- kids are less likely to abuse drugs or alcohol
Who wouldn’t want this for their kids?
I recently went back to Australia for a month and one of the things I was most looking forward to was family dinner with my parents and sisters. Not just because my mum (thats what we call moms in Australia) is an amazing cook, but because it is undistracted quality time to spend with them.
Family meal time is a an opportunity to unplug from technology and take some real time for family interactions. Family dinner can start with meal preparation, include setting the table and cleaning up together. It is a time for conversation, teaching and working together.
Research shows that these benefits are maximized when families eat together a minimum of 5 times a week. This may not be realistic for all families, but do it as much as you can. If you can’t manage dinner some nights, try breakfast, or lunch on the weekends.
Family dinner can also be a great time to meet your children’s friends, and an awesome opportunity to make friends with new families.
I found this touching comment on a blogsite :
Friends and family open their homes and welcome us in. You may think the gesture of the invite is overlooked, but I can tell you I find it incredibly moving and meaningful.
Here’s what an invitation says to me:
You are welcome in my home.
You are welcome at my table.
I want you to contribute and listen to conversations.
I want you to feel like you are a part of something bigger.
You are not alone.
These important messages we give to our children and our friends as they participate in our family meals.
For some fun tips and advice on family dinner time see the website :