“The simple little act of eating dinner together makes children feel valued, loved and secure. It bolsters their sense of self. It’s where they absorb values and information effortlessly, unaware, in the air they breathe. It’s where they learn how to communicate effectively. In short, it’s how kids become smart.” – Estroff Marano
The number of families who sit down together for dinner every night is declining. With busy schedules; parents working opposite shifts, kids with extracurricular activities, and the stresses and duties of everyday life, family dinner is often one of the first things to go. It is an old tradition but a very important one for emotional, social, and physical wellbeing for both parents and kids. Family meals are a great time to enhance family togetherness, communication, and for role modeling behaviors that parents would like their kids to emulate.
This Archives of Family Medicine study showed that eating together as a family was associated with a healthful dietary intake. It showed an increase in fruit and vegetable intake, less fried foods and soda, less saturated and trans fat intake, as well as more fiber intake from foods.
Meals Matter is a website created by the Dairy Council of California and highlights evidence based studies and facts about the importance of healthy meals and the benefits of eating as a family. It also offers recipes and other helpful tools.