The Benefits of Family Meals

Do you eat as a family? Research has shown that there are benefits to eating together as a family. I believe it. When I was raising my daughter, I made it a point to prepare a meal and we sit at the table as a family. Sometimes it would breakfast, but the majority of the time it was dinner. I used it as an opportunity to discuss the events of the day, and to exchange other pertinent information. I remember my daughter having a guest one week-end. We decided to order pizza. When the pizza arrived, her guest opened the box to have a slice. I explained to her friend that we didn’t eat out of the box, I set the table and we shared the meal.

It was a beautiful day, so I decided to make use of the deck for the meal. The young lady seemed shocked and at a lost when I set out dinner plates, glasses, forks, knifes and napkins. I had prepared a salad and ice tea to go along with the pizza, so I placed the salad and pitcher of tea on the table as well. She explained that they didn’t eat that way in her home. Everyone eat when and what they wanted, and I could find her mother with a beer in her hand any time of the day or night. Once we sat at the table and I started the dinner conversation, she became at ease and joined in. I realized how differently things were done in her home and family dinners were truly a benefit. Family dinners allowed me to:

  • Be a role model and set an example for my daughter
  • Find out what was happening with her in school 
  • Find out what was happening with her friends
  • Discuss outside activities and the news
  • Discuss what was happening with other family members
  • Make plans for the week-end

A study at Cornell University has shown that having family meals also prevent:

  • Youth drug/substance abuse
  • Unhealthy eating habits
  • Developing a disconnect with parents
  • Failure in school

Because of family meals, my daughter grew up eating healthier and knowing the importance of family, school, planning and setting goals. Do you plan family meals? Leave me a comment and share how your family has benefited from family meals.

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Comments

  1. What a great reminder of how it is often the simplest things in life, such as eating a meal as a family, that are the most important things for providing a stable environment for children. Thanks so much for linking up at Mum-bo Monday {Kelly}

    • I think we take the simple things in life for granted. Sometimes it's the simple things that give us the most pleasure and are the most rewarding. Thanks for stopping by, hope you will visit again.

  2. There are very few days when we do NOT eat as a family, for all three meals, unless someone is at work/school. I definitely think it's a good thing to do, and it sometimes surprises me how many families don't.

    • Hi Just Plain Marie. It is surprising how many families don't eat a meal together. Unfortunately, they're missing out on so much. It's rare that you would eat all three meals together, but surely a family can find time for one. Thanks for stopping by. 

  3. I am very proud of the fact that my daughter cooks dinner every week night — with very few exceptions. I firmly believe it has made their family stronger. Grampy and I eat dinner together almost every evening (unless I have to go to PTA!) but our most fun family meal is Sunday breakfast with Amara. We only do it when she sleeps over but it is so much fun. We usually have dinner in front of the TV watching a movie but Sunday breakfast is always around the dinner table. We have some of the best conversations!