Family Meals

Family meals are an important part of living with a family.  A recent survey showed that most American children and teenagers share a meal with their family at least four times a week.  This is a very positive sign.  This is because there are many benefits for families that dine together.

First, sharing a meal together can help a family stick together.   It helps to reinforce each family member’s sense of belonging.  Family meals can teach younger people about their culture by eating traditional foods.  Family members can also relax together during this time and enjoy each other’s company.  Routine socializing helps family members learn patience and respect for each other.

Family meals also play an important part in child development.  Parents can keep an eye on their children’s moods and emotions at this time.  They can discuss problems.  Studies show that eating together helps to reduce the risk that a child will smoke, get into fights, or commit suicide.  Children who eat with their families are more likely to earn high grades and make more friends than those who do not eat family meals.

Through family meals, parents can also ensure that their children are eating healthy food.   Children who eat together with their families are less likely to become obese.    Families who dine together tend to eat more fruit and vegetables.  These families also don’t eat at fast food restaurants as often as families that do not eat a shared meal.