In today's busy world, it's common to eat dinner on the go or while watching television. The tradition of gathering around the table to talk about your day and share a meal is fading away, and it's a shame. Families who eat together stay together, as the adage goes. Here are a few benefits to sharing a family dinner at least a few times each week.
- Family dinners are more nutritious.
Children naturally dislike vegetables due to their rather bland and bitter taste. However, studies have shown that children who eat dinner with their families are more likely to have a healthy and balanced diet, compared to those who didn't. Families who ate together several times a week showed higher levels of key nutrients in their diet.
- Family dinners make children less likely to smoke and drink.
Studies have shown that teens who eat together with their families at least three times per week are 3.5 times less likely to begin smoking or drinking while underage. This is because the quality time spent with parents improves a teen's ability to resist peer pressure and say no when presented with temptation.
- Family dinners result in higher grades.
Another study demonstrated that children who ate with their family less than three times per week were much more likely to get lower grades than those that did not. On the other hand, less than 10% of teens who frequently eat with their families perform poorly in school. The time spent around adults teaches improved vocabulary and behavior, which translates into other parts of their lives.
- Families who eat together are less stressed.
Family dinners can help ease the stress and tension caused by a long day of work, which in turn promotes closer family relationships when parents aren't irritable and in poor moods.
- Family dinners are more affordable.
Eating out every night is a huge dent in any family's budget. By cooking meals and then storing the leftovers, families are able to save money on food. Even fancier meals can be affordable, especially if you use coupons. For example, you can find coupons for omahasteaks.com and save a bit of money on a protein-rich, delicious meal.
If your family usually eats in front of the television, try to take the time to sit down around the dinner table at least three times per week. The studies are clear: the social and emotional health of your family will improve.