child with her lunch

Originally written by Patrick A. Coleman, expert with Fatherly

Family dinner has already entered a dystopian Black Mirror phase for many families. Parents and children skulk into the kitchen to attain their bowl of nourishment. They then retreat to chew thoughtlessly in front of the glowing screen of their choice, with nary a grunt passing between them. The shame of this is that when a family eats dinner together, sans tech, they experience some awesome outcomes. But what exactly are the benefits of family dinner at home?

Here’s what eating at home as a family can do for everyone:

 

Developmental Boosts

For the littlest family members, sharing a dinner at the table with parents does several awesome things. First, it helps promote language skills as you talk with them, and your partner, about the day. It also helps them develop patience and dexterity through the use of utensils. And it helps them develop social skills that include manners and taking turns.

Improved Mental Health

One study, published in the journal Pediatrics, found that kids who regularly enjoyed family meals were less likely to experience symptoms of depression and less likely to get into drug use.

Bonded Families

Research also suggests that when a family can eat together, they feel a strong bond with one another. Everyone leads disconnected lives at work and school, and this time allows them to reconnect . And you’ll also be able to keep tabs on your kids’ lives.

Better Grades

The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University (CASA) has done a series of studies on the importance of family meals. One showed that kids who eat with their family less than 3 times a week were twice as likely to report receiving Cs or worse in school. Kids who ate with family 5 to 7 times per week did much better, reporting mostly As and Bs.

Physical Health

Families that eat together make better food choices. One study from Stanford University reported that kids who eat family dinners are less likely to grub on fried food and saturated fats, while seeking out stuff like fruits and veggies.

Additionally, research from the American Society for Nutrition found that young children who ate at home with their families had a lower body-mass index than kids who did not. That’s most likely due to the fact that home cooking is healthier than restaurant meals, which boast larger portion sizes and higher calorie counts.

Originally posted by Fatherly: https://www.fatherly.com/health-science/6-reasons-eating-family-dinner


About Feed the Children

At Feed the Children, we feed hungry kids. We envision a world where no child goes to bed hungry. In the U.S. and internationally, we are dedicated to helping families and communities achieve stable lives and to reducing the need for help tomorrow, while providing food and resources to help them today. We distribute product donations from corporate donors to local community partners, we provide support for teachers and students, and we mobilize resources quickly to aid recovery efforts when natural disasters strike. Internationally, we manage child-focused community development programs in
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Visit feedthechildren.org for more information.