There are times when rounding up the whole family to eat dinner together is challenging. Everybody is always busy with work, homework, chores, sports and other activities. But according to research, there are benefits that make the whole effort worthwhile. This is especially true for kids and teenagers. Here are great reasons why you should eat dinner as a family at least 5 to 6 times a week.
Talking during mealtimes provide time to plan, bond, connect and learn from each other. Communicating with each other allows family members to share information, news and time to give your kids some extra attention.
Mealtimes are ideal moments of showing table manners and etiquette and social skills. When kids see how their parents behave in the dining table, they will be able to follow social norms.
3. Try out new food
Dinner time can be a good time to explore the world, one food at a time. Encouraging kids to try new things without coercion, bribing for force will introduce them to new foods. It takes time for something new to sink in so parents need to be patient. New food will also expand your kids’ knowledge and experience. Try to include food from other cultures, vegetables or have kids select new kinds of recipes from cookbooks.
4. Proper Nourishment
Food prepared at home contains more vitamins and nourishment compared to fast food or take out. Home cooked food contains less salt and soda consumption when eating at home is lower compared to eating out.
5. Self Sufficiency
Eating and cooking together will teach kids about meal planning and being self-sufficient. Kids can watch and learn how to cook meals. They can start with the basics such as chopping and slicing. Later on they will be able to plan and cook meals by themselves.
6. Prevent Bad Behavior
According to research teenagers who eat at least 1 meal with their families are less likely to smoke or do drugs. Even when kids get older scheduling meals together is important.
7. Better Grades
Kids who eat 4 or 5 meals a week with their parents perform better at school. This means higher grades compared to kids who only eat dinner with their parents 2 times a week.
8. Save Money
Eating at home and together saves money. Food purchased away from home cost 4 times more compared to home cooked meals. As families get busier, many of them rely on take out and deliveries. However, planning meals and eating them together equals more savings.