Over the last few days, we’ve been rolling from one family meal to another. And we love it! Connecting with loved ones on a table full of delicious food and plenty of wine, what could be better.
But we shouldn’t limit family meals to special occasions, the power of regular, structured family meals is widely underrated.
Children who have family meals do better nutritionally
It has been shown, that children and teens who eat dinner with their parents consume less fat, soda, and fried foods and more fruits and vegetables as well as more individual nutrients. Despite these clear nutritional advantages, a third of 11- to 18-year-olds eat one or two meals a week at most with their families. Only one fourth eat seven or more family meals per week.
Children who have family meals do better in all ways
Teens who have regular meals with a parent are better adjusted emotionally and socially, have better grades and go further in school.
While family meals are important for the kids nutrition, benefits to children go far beyond. Family meals are more related to the psychological and academic success of adolescents than time spent in school, studying, church, playing sports, or doing art activities. Kids who have regular meals with a parent are better adjusted emotionally and socially, have better grades and go further in school.
Failing to have family meals distorts feeding
Due to lacking family meals, child-feeding at all ages and stages has changed in recent years. The norm has become casual, on-demand feeding on the one hand and, on the other, food restriction and avoidance in the name of health and weight control. This lack of structure can lead kids to overeat or overwrite their hunger and fullness cues, so try to stick to a predictable mealtimes structure: sit-down family meals at regular times, sit-down snacks between meals and limiting random access to food and beverages.