We all know that love is the foundation of every family, but it is the family dinner which is the tissue that keeps the family together. Think about it, when we are watching movies about families, the dinner time is when we actually get an insight into the characters and the relationships between the relatives. But this significance goes way beyond movies. There are many other reasons why you should eat dinner as a family, including achieving better family relationships, making healthier food choices, decreasing stress levels and saving money. The role of such meals is even more crucial today when the hasty pace of life is driving us away from the dining table and forcing us to ignore this important tradition.
The road to better interpersonal relationships
As we’ve mentioned, today’s lifestyle is often inhibiting us from sitting down together as a family and talking about our day, worries and everything that is happening to us. According to research, sharing a meal as a family on a regular basis strengthens the family bonds. For younger children, this routine can provide a sense of belonging and security, which makes them better adjusted and more satisfied, but this does not mean that teenagers don’t appreciate the value of sharing an evening meal too. In the period when they are changing the most and experiencing new things, it is important for them to stay connected with their parents and siblings.
Making healthier food choices
Besides the alienation, fast food is another modern day plague that affects the families on a daily basis. The number of obese kids is getting higher with each passing days, and parents often aren’t setting the right example, because they struggle to find the time to fit in healthy food in their busy schedules. Families that eat together are less likely to dine out so they are staying away from fried food and soda and instead, they serve fruits or vegetables and other healthy foods during dinnertime. Some researchers also claim that one of the consequences of eating dinner together is reducing the risk of being overweight.
Sharing a meal can also include lessons about being responsible and helping one another. There is nothing more enjoyable than preparing dinner with your kids. Depending on their age, they can help you with chopping vegetables, cooking pasta, preparing a salad, etc. Setting the table is also an experience on its own. It teaches kids to share their duties and to help you with your chores. To make things even more interesting, you can even start with a clean slate and choose and purchase dinnerware together. This gives the kids a sensation that they are participating in the decision-making process and they will appreciate the ritual of setting the table more. There is a wide selection of wholesale homewares in Australia you can choose from, and have a blast while preparing for all the family dinners to come.
Exploring new foods and honoring national traditions
The tradition of making pasta and pesto in Italy is so important that almost every mother passes it on to her child. It is the same with other countries and their traditional recipes that deserve to remain in the family, not only to preserve those amazing flavors, but also to strengthen one’s identity, especially when the families have origins in some other countries. Besides showing the kids what their grandparents and great-grandparents ate, having dinner as a family enables you to explore new foods and recipes you wouldn’t otherwise encounter. This tradition can also help you introduce new foods in interesting ways. Your kids dislike broccoli? Prepare them some kid-friendly broccoli recipes they’ll love, such as beef and broccoli stir-fry, crustless quiche, etc.
Bottom line, families who eat dinner together, not only stay together, but they also become happier and more connected. Sure, life is stressful, hasty and relentless, but traditions such as this one deserve attention since the benefits are plentiful.