Sunday, October 23, 2011

10 reasons to eat as a family

Here is something I found at iTVnetwork, and have added some comments in italics.

It’s good for the body!
1. When families eat together, everyone tends to eat healthier. People who have frequent family meals consume more calcium, fiber, iron, and vitamins B6, B12, C and E. It could be because home-cooked meals are healthier than fast food and restaurant meals. (Source: Archives of Family Medicine)
2. Children tend to eat more fruits and vegetables when they frequently have dinner with their families. They also tend to eat fewer snack foods. (Source: American Dietetic Association). 
3. Children in families who eat dinner together are less likely to be overweight (Source: Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine). We, as the parents, are trying to eat healthy, and the kids eat what we eat at dinner time.
Good for the brain
4. Children from families who eat meals together get better grades than their peers who don’t have lots of family meal times (Source: Lou Harris-Reader’s Digest National Poll).
5. When families eat together frequently, children have better language skills compared to kids from families who don’t have family mealtimes often. (Source: Harvard University) We have conversations, and talk about our highs and lows from the day.
Good for emotional health
6. Children of families who eat together report feeling happier and are more optimistic about the future, than their peers who have infrequent family meals. (Source: Lou Harris- Reader’s Digest National Poll)
7. Teenagers are less likely to use drugs, smoke, and drink alcoholic drinks, when their families eat together regularly. (Source: Columbia University) Your children will know you care and might be less likely to give in to peer pressure.
8. It may come as a surprise, but among Moms who work outside the home, those who have family mealtimes reported feeling less stress than those who had family dinners less often. (Source: Family and Consumer Sciences Research Journal) 
9. The more often teen girls had meals with their families, the less likely they were to have symptoms of depression and suicidal behaviors. (Source: University of Minnesota) 
Good for family bonding
10. Eating together gives family members the chance to communicate and build relationships, something that both adults and children appreciate very much. (Source: Nutrition Education Network of Washington & Oprah Winfrey’s “Family Dinner Experiment”). 
We love to eat together every night. It is a priority in our home. Extracurricular activities can wait, until our 1/2 hour of family time around the kitchen table is finished. 
I grew up in a home with 8 children, all wanting to go in 8 different directions every night. My mom always had dinner ready at a certain time, and we knew we were expected to be there. I do not remember a time that we did not have dinner together as a family. It kept us close to them, as our parents, and to each other, as siblings. 
There are even cool games you can play, to make dinner more adventurous...or if you just want to keep the kids at the table longer...check this out! Family Dinner Games

No comments:

Post a Comment