Why Eating Dinner Together As A Family is Important
There are many reasons why eating dinner together as a family is important. My mom would tell me many times, friends will come and go, but family is always there. I never really paid much attention to that wisdom back then, but it is true. I also now see why she insisted on dinner time each night as well as family lunch on Sundays. It was to keep the family close and involved in each other’s life. I believe because of my mom being so insistent on family dinners, our family still today is very close but live all across the southeast.
How many times do you have a family meal?
I asked a question among my friends on Facebook, and the response was impressive. The question was, How many nights a week does your family sit down and have dinner together? I got a great response from ladies that strive to have dinner each night. One family that works in the evening focuses on having breakfast together.
The exciting thing about the comments were, young moms and dads that commented talked about having dinner each night together, as the age of the child got older, the frequency went down a little, but the desire and motivation were still there. In just this small sampling, the results were so encouraging.
Families realize the need for eating dinner together but have distractions, commitments and many times outside pressures that are put before this vital time. Can I share with you what I have learned over years of having children and also seeing other families struggle with this issue? The issue of why eating dinner together as a family is important.
Families who eat together…
Families who eat together stay together. Does that quote sound familiar? Families who eat together will tell you it is a time for them to catch up with each other. For children, it brings security, routine and an opportunity to share what is happening in their lives in a relaxed setting. This daily dinner time is a place that families come together and can listen to each other and hear the heart of each person in the family. Family Bond will last a lifetime. This is why eating dinner together as a family is important.
Well Rounded Children
The Jama Network did a study with a little under 5000 teens. The teens that had a routine of eating dinner with their family was more well rounded. They were less engaged in substance abuse, more likely to have a higher grade average in school, and their emotional state was better than teens that did not have a regular mealtime with family. I think this goes back to the fact that there is accountability around the dinner table and when kids find their selves in trouble, they can share it over the family meal. When you look at your children in the eyes each night or when you carve out time around the table, you see their heart. You see and hear where they are struggling. You can invest in them and listen to them.
One friend gave this advice:
[clickToTweet tweet=”Great advice from one reader. The one thing we never do is handle discipline at the table. We do at another time.” quote=”The one thing we never do is handle discipline at the table. (We do at another time) Only positive vibes at the table!”]
Eating at Home Saves Money
Did you know that in 2016, for the first time in history, Americans spent more money at bars and restaurants ($54.857 billion) than they did on groceries ($52.503 billion). Those numbers are staggering. Eating out has now become the norm and not a special occasion or event. The average cost per serving for eating out is $8.50 per person. The average cost of eating at home per adult serving is $4.50. That is a huge difference. You can make a choice to eat at home and start saving money for your family.
[clickToTweet tweet=”The avg cost per serving for eating out is $8.50 pp. The avg cost of eating at home per adult serving is $4.50.” quote=”The avg cost per serving for eating out is $8.50 pp. The avg cost of eating at home per adult serving is $4.50.”]
Eating at home is part of the plan to save money. There are many times we try to justify eating out but when you are trying to cut your budget, stay in line with your budget or make ends meet, eating out is only a negative. You can prepare healthier, low-cost meals at home.
Healthier Eating Habits
Families eating dinner together at home are most likely to have healthier eating habits. More vegetables and fruits are consumed along with the portion sizes were correct. This also cuts down on the fried foods and sodas that eating out tends to lend to. Families will eat a salad or choose fresh fruit to go along with their meal over the large fry over the side salad. Eating at home also slows down the meal, and you learn to eat the food slower and enjoy the flavors. Usually, when we eat out, it is on the run from one place to another. Normally when you are eating out, it is full of carbs and starches. Maybe sometimes some lean meat but mostly high in fat and not healthy. Eating dinner together at home gives you the opportunity and control to make the meals healthier.
Just like last night, we had spaghetti. Spaghetti is one of our favorite meals. Instead of making it with beef only, I choose to use 1 pound of 96% fat-free beef and then 1 lb of ground turkey breast. I also “zoodled” some zucchini and mixed that into the sauce along with mushrooms and bell peppers. By adding these ingredients then packed our spaghetti full of great veggies and made the spaghetti taste so great. I don’t have a recipe for this on my site as of yet, but you can see how to zoodle the zucchini by reading my Spicy Chicken Thia Zoodle Recipe.
Resources for you
Here are some resources that will help you figure out Why eating dinner together as a family is important
- Here is my growing Pinterest board of cooking up healthy meals. I welcome anyone that wants to be a part of this board to comment below with your Pinterest name, and I will add you on as a collaborator. I think our best resource is each other. Cooking up Healthy Meals.
- This is a book that I love and refer to often. I find it to be a resource for healthy options that my family will eat. Hungry Girl Clean & Hungry.
- The United States Department of Agriculture has done a great job with Choose My Plate. It has some significant resources and ideas.
- The Family Dinner Project is a very resourceful website as well that gives fun ideas and conversational starter ideas. This is a secular site but full of great ideas.
I would love to hear Why Eating Dinner Together as A Family is Important to you and your family.