Sitting down for dinner as a family seems to have become a nightly activity that will soon be nonexistent. Who has time to prepare a whole meal after working all day, making sure the kids get to and from their activities, and helping with homework?
Turns out, eating dinner as a family positively affects everyone in your household. Studies have shown that these nightly dinners, or lack thereof, can influence your children’s education, health, and development.
The conversations that take place at the dinner table help to expand your child’s vocabulary. In addition, there is research to prove that the more nights a week a family sits down together for dinner the better the kids do academically. Dinner is a great time to discuss exciting things that have happened throughout the day. This is a great source for family dinner conversation starters!
Many kids are served fast food during the week because mom and dad are too tired to cook after a long day at work. In the long run, the large portions and high caloric intake from these meals can negatively impact your child’s health. When cooking at home, mom and dad have the ability to control what goes into the meal and the portion size. Preparing food at home is a great way to introduce the kids to a broader range of food. Your kids are also be more likely to consume more fruits and vegetables than they would while eating out, adding to the overall importance of eating together as a family.
Eating dinner as a family has a significant impact on your child’s communication skills, self-image, and morals. Children that sit down with their family for dinner are less likely to suffer from depression, and tend to have a higher self-image. They have higher morals and usually have better communication with not only their peers, but also their parents.
Even though a sit down dinner may take more time and planning, the benefits your children receive from eating dinner as a family are a great motivation to make family dinners a priority.