It isn't uncommon these days to see the various members of your family enjoy their meals individually. This is largely due to the differing and busy schedules of yourself, your partner, and your children. However, having regular family meals benefits the members and the family as a whole. Here are three reasons why your family should share meals regularly.
Offers an opportunity to catch up
With so much going on in your individual lives, finding the time to catch up can be challenging. Fortunately, family mealtimes offer the perfect opportunity to do so. For instance, if you have dinners together, you can encourage the family to talk about their day, share challenges they encountered, or even discuss intriguing topics to get the opinions of everyone. Catching up not only allows the family to stay in the loop of what you're all up to, but it also helps you encourage and practise effective communication— especially amongst younger children. It also lets you know your family better and provide them with support and guidance.
Creates lasting family traditions
Family traditions improve your family's bond and create a healthy and positive family culture. This can be passed to later generations, further increasing the sense of belonging. Family mealtimes are a perfect way to introduce and implement various traditions. For example, you can set a rule of the last to the table clearing the table or for the youngest to set the table. You can also set aside days for the family to create the meals together. You can also make activities such as making dessert on Saturday after dinner, a family tradition. In that case, you can explore sweet options and their recipes. For instance, here are some family-friendly chocolate chip peanut butter cookies you have to try as your next dessert. However, the key to ensuring an activity becomes a family tradition is to stick to it. You should also ensure it is one that the family enjoys or at least agrees with.
Improves physical and mental wellbeing
Research has shown that eating together as a family helps encourage health, especially in young children and adolescents. Younger children usually learn through observation. Naturally, your children may avoid eating fruits and vegetables and other healthy options. However, they are encouraged to do the same at the table, watching everyone else enjoy it. As family meals are usually healthy and nutritious, you can protect your family's unhealthy eating habits. For example, you avoid the risk of binge eating or late-night eating as everyone would have had a hearty and filling meal. You also avoid eating disorders like anorexia and bulimia as you can monitor eating patterns and address any concerns you may have ahead of time.
Family meals also have a psychological effect on the family. Spending time with the family, bonding over meals and forming traditions helps foster a sense of belonging, confidence, and security. This overshadows the negative feelings of insecurity, stress, and anxiety, mitigating mental health issues.
Leave a Reply