Why Making Time for Family Meals is Important


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Family meals provide precious time for families to connect with each other. In today’s busy world, finding time to sit down as a family and share a meal can be challenging. However, research shows that making the effort to gather regularly around the dining table offers many benefits that make it well worth prioritising family mealtimes.

why making time for family meals is important

Strengthens Family Relationships

Sharing meals allows families to take time out to communicate with each other without outside distractions from TVs, phones, or computers. The conversations that take place during family dinners provide a chance for family bonding, sharing details about each other’s lives, and expressing care and emotional support. This applies whether these are your own children or step-children, or you are fostering children through ISP Fostering.

Children get to practice conversation skills as they engage with siblings and parents through questions and listening. Laughter and lighter moments shared over meals strengthen positive connections.

Boosts Nutrition and Healthy Eating Habits

Eating home-cooked meals together means less reliance on less nutritious fast or takeaway foods. Parents can model positive eating habits and encourage children to try new foods and make healthy choices.

Studies show that kids who share family meals consume more fruits and vegetables and other nutritious foods.

Regular family dinners also help children develop positive lifelong eating patterns. Research correlates eating meals as a family with having healthier body weights and body images in kids and teens. Shared mealtimes can even reduce risk-taking behaviours in adolescents.

Improves School and Cognitive Performance

Children who participate in regular family dinners demonstrate higher academic performance, literacy skills, vocabulary growth, and concentration.

Shared meal conversations help expand young minds. Discussing school, current events, and other engaging topics during dinner provides intellectual stimulation.

Kids also benefit from the sense of security and connectedness that family meals foster, allowing them to focus better at school. The effects of regular shared family meals on children’s educational success start early and continue through adolescence.

Teaches Valuable Life Skills

Preparing meals together in the kitchen provides a chance for parents to pass down cooking skills and teach nutrition lessons. Children can discover new ingredients and meals from various cultures as parents share family recipes. Kids of all ages can also help set and clear the table, furthering their independence and responsibility.

Regular family dinners also help kids practice important social and communication abilities as they use proper etiquette and take turns listening and speaking. Sharing in meal preparation and then helping to clean everything away as a team enables children to develop valuable time management and collaboration abilities as well.

Brings Families Closer Together

Making room for regular family dinner gatherings requires effort among busy schedules. However, the research on the wide-ranging benefits for children’s health, academic success, and family bonds makes a convincing case for why prioritising mealtimes together matters.

Carving out time for meals without outside distractions allows families to reconnect through open conversation and shared interests. The laughter, joy, and memories created around the kitchen table can strengthen a family for years to come. Committing to regular family dinners serves up benefits no takeaway could ever deliver.


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