Family MealsMay 18, 2017
By allowing for conversation, connection and face-to-face interaction, family meals can deepen and strengthen relationships between parents and children.
There is a lot of research that eating meals as a family is linked with higher academic success, improved emotional well-being and lower rates of depression and substance use. Meals play an important role in many cultures and coming together to discuss and share can create a valuable tradition for kids – starting at a very young age.
Here are a few reasons to give family meals a try:
- Family meals can help teach table manners, like listening and sitting still
- Family meals can encourage children to try new foods and eat a more varied diet – ideally if parents eat alongside them and eat the same foods
- Discussing the events of the day and making plans for the future offers children the chance to reconnect in the midst of busy lives
- Your family meals do not need to be dinner! Try any meal and aim for 4 meals a week
- Communication skills are learned in the give and take of a group conversation. Even the littlest children can observe, participate and benefit from family meals
Check out The Family Dinner Project for more information on family meals, links to the evidence and fantastic meal activities and games.