Why Eating together is Beneficial to Families
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Eating together as a family doesn't have to be dinner every night of the week. It could also be breakfast, lunch, or even a snack before bedtime. What is important is making a commitment to be more involved as a family during meal times. Besides bringing family members together the following are reasons why sharing meals can be beneficial.
1. Communication. Since dinnertime might be the first time everyone has been together since morning, it is a great opportunity to catch up. Each person can talk about their day and share any positive experiences they may have had as well as any negative events that may have occurred. If is breakfast everyone can share their plans for the day ahead.
2. Better nutrition. Home cooked meals are more likely to consist of foods including vegetables, grains, meats, beans, and lentils. These foods are much higher in nutrients such as calcium, fiber, and iron that would be found in take away food.
3. Introduction of new foods. Mealtime is a perfect opportunity to expose children to foods they have not yet tried. Parents can encourage their children by eating these different foods in front of them.
4. Learn responsibility. Everyone can pitch in to help plan and prepare meals, set the table, and clean up afterward. Small children can wash vegetables, tear lettuce, and set the table. Older children can peel and cut vegetables, measure and add spices, and help with cleanup.
5. Practice good manners. Parents can use mealtime to teach children about manners and politeness. Try to limit distractions at mealtimes. Show your children that it is important to be heard and not ignored. Turn off the television and mobile telephones to maximize quality time.
6. Prevent weight gain. Eating at home means there is a better chance for a home cooked meal as opposed to eating unhealthy takeaway foods.
7. Save money. Eating at a restaurants or taking out food can be quite expensive especially if it is several times a week. Planning meals ahead of time and according to sales can help save you money.
8. Increase in happiness. Families who eat together connect more and become closer. It gives them a chance to share feelings of belonging, warmth, and love. Once in a while plan a chance in scenery. Go for a picnic outside (inside if whether is not good), eat at the beach, or at the park.