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Benefits of eating together

benefits of eating together
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“The family that eats together stays together.” So the saying goes, but how much truth is there to it? Quite a lot as it turns out. Here are some benefits of eating together.

Communication

Encouraging kids and teenagers to talk to you about their day can be tough, especially when there are toys to be played with, television to watch and social media accounts to check. Sitting down to eat together offers the chance to catch up, talk about what’s going on in everyone’s lives and generally bond with each other.

Manners

Eating at the table encourages good table manners and practising with young children at home will make restaurant meals much less stressful. Nobody expects silver service style etiquette, but basic table manners, being able to use cutlery and knowing not to leave until everyone is finished, are skills that will be used frequently in other people’s homes and when you’re eating out.

Nutrition

If everyone is eating at different times then it can be tempting to offer junk or food that is quick and easy to prepare. By insisting that the whole family eats together you’ll have more time and motivation to cook a nutritious meal for everyone to enjoy together.

Save money and your waistline

As you won’t be cooking a variety of foods, you’ll save money by cooking one meal for the family to share. You’ll also have less waste and be less likely to snack later as a home-prepared meal will fill you up for longer – and probably be healthier – than something quick.

benefits of eating together

Create memories

Sharing a meal can be one of the best parts of the day. As well as enjoying a delicious dinner, you have the chance to connect with your family without any other distractions. It doesn’t matter whether your conversation focuses on important topics or banal chat, the important thing is that you’re spending time together.

Teach good eating habits

From trying new foods to helping to prepare meals, children can learn a lot from family mealtimes. Kids pick up eating habits from their parents so be a good role model – this means leaving your mobile phone in another room until after you’ve all finished, eating healthily and regarding snacks in front of the television as a treat.

Children’s behaviour and wellbeing

A report published by the European Congress on Obesity in May 2014 suggested that children who are with their families less than twice a week were 40% more likely to be overweight. Kids who regularly eat family meals together tend to perform better in school, have fewer problems with drugs and alcohol, eat healthier and are less likely to develop eating disorders. These children are often also closer to their parents and experience fewer mental health issues. For young children, language skills can also be built on just by chatting to each other while you eat.

Finding the time to sit down and eat as a family can be tricky but it’s definitely worth doing, even if you only manage a few times each week.

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About Maria Brett

About Maria Brett

Maria is a freelance writer with over 10 years' experience producing content for a variety of publications and websites. When not working or looking after her two gorgeous sons, she can usually be found playing flugelhorn in a brass band, helping out at her local hospital radio station, shouting at the television while watching Formula 1, at the cinema or plonked on the couch with a cold glass of wine.

Website: Maria Brett

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