The other day while we were having dinner the son (7 years old) who opens his mouth rarely unlike the daughter (4 years old) who is a chatter box, began to talk about a problem that was bothering him. It seemed a little funny and a little silly to me, but we just discussed and the next day he was so glad that it got solved. This made me think about the importance of having family meals together and so here are my thoughts about the subject.
Eating together as a family has many positive benefits attached to it. It improves communication and well being among family members and helps to instill good behavior in children. Nutritionally speaking it makes the children grow up in the pink of health.
Home meals tend to be more nutritious as it includes more of fruits, vegetables, fiber, calcium rich foods and vitamins and less intake of soda. Eating together prevents disoriented eating habits in kids. Disoriented eating can be defined as unhealthy weight, binge eating and chronic dieting. Parents can look for warning signals and can take necessary steps to correct it.
Eating together as a family, help the children to grow into well adjusted adults, results in better school performance, decrease obesity risk and encourages the children to be more open to new types of food. Friendly interaction between the parents and small children encourage them to eat different kinds of foods instead of pressure and physical punishment.
Researchers say teens begin to enjoy family meals if family meals are not a forced activity and if parents stop controlling the whole conversation. You can also try more creative ways of enjoying family meals like eating together at a picnic spot, planning a barbecue party with family members and enjoying the great outdoors. And for heaven’s sake never ask your teenager the dreaded question “so, how was your school?” during family meals instead ask them “what would you ask for if you find Aladdin’s magic lamp”?