The modern way of living with all its disadvantages it brings as many obligations, duties, overtime work and full schedule affects and unfortunately takes the place for family meals. This happens more and more.
Still, studies have shown that family meals offer many healthy and social advantages for all of you there and your children.
Advantages of family meals for your children
Accordingly the research done by the Medical Faculty of Harvard, family meals make children happier, therefore, they receive all the highly nutritional ingredients. Children who eat together with their parents eat more vegetables and fruit and less fats than children who eat alone.
Having in mind the healthier food habits, the fact that children who had eaten with their parents had the slightest chance of being fat, it is not surprising.
The difference is especially noticeable with girls who had 14% less chance to get fat compared to those who had skipped family meals. Girls who had eaten with their parents had 30% less chance to undergo some extreme measures for weight control.
Studies have also shown that children in preschool age, whose families eat together, have better speaking skills. This happens since family meals serve them as a possibility to listen to the language more and they get the chance to listen how adults communicate.
When teenagers eat with their parents, the difference is even more noticeable. Those families who had eaten together have less chance of smoking, drinking alcohol, taking drugs or being depressed, and at the same time they have bigger chances of being successful at school.
This is because of one simple thing – the experts say. It is the structure. It is not just that family meals help children to develop healthy food habits, but also it helps their parents to pay undivided attention to their children. This enables better communication and openness in any field.
Advantages of family meals for you
The mutual meals have lots of advantages for you as well. You have a higher control of the quality and quantity of food choice for your family.
Also, if you eat together, it helps you to have healthy attitude towards food generally for your children. (Children tend to imitate their parents in food).
The research has shown that families, which regularly eat together, have:
- Much more harmony
- More love for each other
- Better connection with brothers and sisters
- Happier children
All this is due to the possibilities which eating together gives to families; to connect and talk about personal and family problems. That helps young children to learn how to react positively in group and to point out their thoughts in structured environment.
How to get all together
It is quite normal for families not to get together for meals exactly always, so these are several advices that could help you:
- Eat around the table, not around the TV
- Try to make the meals as fun as possible so the children won’t rush again to the TV or the computer.
- Let your children be part of the preparation and choice of food, so they would feel engaged.
- The communication with your children and not just with your partner during meals is really important. Ask them how they had spent their day or talk about what you think seems to be important.
- Have in mind that family meals are not the time when you should tell your children all the things that frustrate you or make you nervous. It is guaranteed that you would seclude them.
- Be persistent even it may seem hard at the beginning. The habit and the talk would become easier in time and your effort will be awarded.