Do you know that eating time with family is important, you know, especially for children? There is some evidence to suggest that it is important to prioritize family mealtimes. Here’s an explanation of the importance of family mealtime for children!
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The Importance of Family Meal Time for Children
Research shows that eating together as a family has a good impact on children’s academic, emotional, social, and physical. Here are some of the benefits of family mealtime for children:
- Improve physical health: One study found that children who regularly eat with their families consume less sugary soft drinks than other children.
- Fewer behavioral problems: research has also found that children who eat dinner with their parents at the age of six years tend to have less aggressive behavior.
- Healthier eating habits: eating at the table with the family is associated with increased fruit and vegetable consumption and healthier food portions in children.
- Better communication: teens who have dinner with their parents have better communication with their families. Research has found that good daily communication at dinnertime increases closeness between family members.
- Better weight control behavior: children who eat together as a family have a lower risk of developing eating disorders.
- Better academic grades: regular family dinner helps children learn better at school.
- More mentally resistant to bullying: One study found that children who were cyberbullied were more mentally resilient if they had regular family dinners.
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How to Get Children to Prioritize Family Meals
Some studies show that the more often you eat together as a family, the better. However, it is unrealistic for many families to gather at the dinner table every night. So it’s important to determine how to prioritize family mealtimes.
Although most studies emphasize the importance of having dinner with the family, not all families can gather at night. Maybe you can define breakfast as the best time for the whole family to get together to eat. Or you might be able to set two meals a week as a priority.
Assign Tasks at Meal Time
Encourage the children to get involved in preparing, cooking, and cleaning up after mealtime by assigning specific tasks to each child. That way the children feel they are important members of the family and prioritize mealtimes.
Examples of tasks at mealtimes include cleaning the table, setting the table, washing dishes, washing and cutting fruit, etc.
Plan Meal Menu
Make dinner time a family activity by allowing the children to take turns choosing the menu. Then children can also be involved in shopping for groceries and determining the budget.
Establish a Ritual or Tradition at Meal Time
The family tradition that you set at mealtime will be something your child will always remember. This family tradition for example praying together before eating, etc. Don’t underestimate the importance of family traditions, Mums. This tradition can be a hallmark of the Mums family.
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Very Good Family. How to Make Meal Time Important in Your Family. July 2021.
Fruh SM, Fulkerson JA, Mulekar MS, Kendrick LAJ, Clanton C. The Surprising Benefits of Family Eating. Nursing Practice J. 2011;7(1):18-22. doi:10.1016/j.nurpra.2010.04.017
Harbec MJ, Pagani LS. The Relationship Between Early Family Feeding Environment Quality and Later Welfare in School-Age Children. J Dev Behav Pediatr. 2018;39(2):136-143. doi:10.1097/dbp.0000000000000520