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3 Benefits of Family Dinnertime

Eating dinner as a family is a household norm for many people. But did you know it can also have some surprising benefits? Before you sit down for your next meal as a family, here are three things to keep in mind.

Improving Self-Esteem

One benefit that family dinner time can provide is boosting children's self-esteem. Research has shown that after examining 5,000 teenagers, those who ate with their parents were more likely to exhibit emotional strength and better mental health.

In addition to this, communicating and encouraging your children to tell you about their days, can help show that you value, respect, and listen to them. This can help them feel more secure about themselves, and it can also strengthen family bonds, even as children grow older.

Teaching Healthy Eating Habits

The Jama Network released a study in 2018 which showed that eating dinner together as a family resulted in a healthier diet overall, especially in teenagers. Teens who regularly ate with their families were more likely to consume more fruits and vegetables and fewer sugary drinks and fast food. These results were consistent regardless of how functional the family was in other areas.

Reduce Psychosocial Problems

In 2015, research published by the College of Family Physicians of Canada released a study that showed regular family dinners had an effect on mitigating problems with eating disorders, violent behaviors, depression, suicidal thoughts, and substance abuse. These effects were also slightly more prominent for young female participants. Although family dinners can't solve all problems, they can help reduce the risk of some getting started.

Preventing Weight Struggles In Adulthood

Lastly, family dinners have been shown to help reduce the possibility of weight struggles once children enter adulthood. In a study published by the Journal of Pediatrics, a direct correlation was found between frequent family meal times and reduced obesity or weight issues after 10 years. The study indicated that families should try to sit down together for dinner at least twice a week to help prevent potential weight problems.

Who knew that eating dinner together as a family could have so many benefits? If you currently don't have regular family dinners in your household, consider setting aside sometimes at least a few days a week so that you and your kids can benefit from this time spent together.