10 Unexpected Benefits of Your Family Eating Together – Why Eating Together is More Than Just a Meal

National Family Eating Together Day

September 4th

National Family Eating Together Day is September 4, 2020.   This day was so successful and so important that they had now scheduled 4 National Family Eating Together Day.

Often is one of the most important questions I ask when working with families is “Where do you eat?” and “With who?”  Feeding our children well is not only what we feed them but how we feed them.  A child can have the “perfect” diet but if eaten alone in front of the TV, they can miss out on valuable benefits that eating as a family can provide.

Science and research has clearly stated time and again the families that eat together are healthier both mentally and physically.  It is one of the simplest yet at times one of the hardest things to manage.  It may seem to be a burden at the end of as long day especially with working families and kids sports and other activities.

Research has shown that eating together as a family is one of the best things a parent can do to help their children be healthy mentally and physically.

Families who eat together, especially at the home dining table

  • Eat healthier
  • Kids have better grades
  • Less risk of obesity
  • Better relationships with their parents
  • Saves money
  • Teaches kids responsibility
  • Less stress
  • Helps with establishing a routine
  • Creates better behavior-.

10 Benefits of eating together as a family

  1. Communication:- Makes time together as a family.  Family time can be a premium with school, sports, work and other commitments.
  2. Better grades- According to the The National Center for Substance and Addiction at Columbia (CASA) says that teens who regularly eat dinner with their families are also more likely to get better grades and do better in school. Better grades are associated with a lower risk for substance abuse.
  3. Routine:  younger kids benefit from the security and routine of eating with family.  It also gives tweens and teens time and structure that is needed in their day.
  4. Reduces stress- Many time stress can come from poor communication, this gives families the time to communicate and resolve issues.
  5. Improved health-  Families that eat together are healthier-A 2000 survey found that kids ages 9-14 who eat with their families ate more fruits and vegetables.
  6. Obesity: Kids that eat with their parents and help with meals are less likely to be obese or overweight.  The average restaurant meal has 60% more calories than the homemade version.  They  not only contain more calories but they are more likely be a larger portion than you would serve yourself at home.
  7. Eating at home saves money-  Eating out costs money.  According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average family in 2018 who earned approximately 78,000 a year  spent $7923 on food. Of this $4464 was spent at home and $3459 was spent away from home.  This is approximately 13% of a family budget was spent on food.
  8. Portion control-   Homemade meals promote portion control.  Kids can select how much or how little when they serve themselves.
  9. Kids are looking for their parents time-  Many kids enjoy the time eating with their parents but don’t know how to express that.
  10. Behavior:  Kids learn how to behave at a table by watching their parents.  It teaches manners and how to communicate with siblings and adults.

15 Simple family Meals that everyone will like

  1. Taco bar
  2. Bake potato bar
  3. Sandwich bar
  4. Panini bar
  5. Breakfast for dinner
  6. Soups- there are a variety of soups that are easy to make and heat and re-serve
  7. Chili
  8. Spaghetti and meatballs
  9. Lasagna
  10. Make your own pizzas
  11. Crepes  savory or sweet
  12. Quiches
  13. Wraps
  14. Leftovers-  Try a fridge forage to see what can be eaten
  15. Charcuterie-  Create a tray of cheeses, crackers, fruits and vegetables and let the family pick and choose.

Don’t forget the crockpot!