Enjoying Meals Together

Eating a meal together has a number of benefits for your family. While sitting down to a meal together can be a challenge with busy schedules, it’s worth the effort to get your family to the table at the same time for at least one meal a day.

Teaching Good Habits

Sitting down to a meal together helps your children to form good habits that will last a lifetime. This includes both healthy eating habits and table manners. When you sit down to eat with your family, you have an opportunity to teach them how to behave at the table. If they learn good manners at home, you won’t have to worry about how they will behave at a restaurant, or if they are invited to a meal at a friend’s house.

Eating meals together also encourages healthy eating habits. Seeing you eating the same healthy foods you have been encouraging your kids to eat will make them more likely to give it a try. They will also learn to slow down, and enjoy their food, rather than rushing through a meal which can cause indigestion.

Seeing you prepare a meal every day will give your child a better appreciation for what goes into the food you serve. Making everyone a part of the meal preparation and clean up process will also teach your children responsibility. And when everyone has a share of the responsibility for making a great family meal, they will enjoy the food more and dinner time battles will start to disappear.

Time to Talk

Family meal time might be the only time you are all in the same room and not focused on something else. Make it a time to talk, catch up with each other, and get to know what is going on in everyone’s busy life. Even for the youngest child, it’s a great time to see mom and dad interacting and chatting about something other than the bills or who is driving carpool this week.

This daily opportunity to reconnect will foster a sense of closeness and security in the family. Your children will start to open up to you more when it becomes normal to spend this time talking. You might hear about things going on in their lives you would otherwise never have known about. Once you have get in to the habit, you will find everyone looks forward to meal time as a chance to spend time together, not just a necessary break for food.

Starting this habit early in life has ramifications for your children as they grow older as well. Research shows that kids who eat meals with the family regularly have better grades and are less likely to get in trouble with drugs and alcohol down the road.

Better meals, Better Budget

Eating at home has many benefits, but the two most important are better meals and saving money too! Eating out can be very costly, and it usually means a less nutritious meal.

When you prepare your own food at home, you know what goes into it. You can use fresh produce, choose organic ingredients if you prefer, and watch the salt and fat content. You can also control your portion sizes, which is difficult to do at a restaurant. Making an effort to eat meals at home will save your family money, which can be spent instead on something everyone can enjoy, like a family vacation.

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