Bring Your Family Back to the Dinner Table

“Bringing your family back to the dinner table” is an honorable goal and it’s not difficult to do, once you break your current dinner pattern.  Competing schedules, TV, newspapers and general fatigue fight for your attention.  Many parents feel a meal is not worthy of the family dinner table if it hasn’t been planned out, with some quantifiable effort taken in the kitchen.  If your family time is challenged, let the positive characteristics of families who dine together on a regular basis, persuade you to sit down together, more often than not, convenience or homemade.

Research on families has consistently demonstrated:

  • Families who dine together have healthier diets.  They eat more fruits and vegetables, drink more milk, less soda and eat less fried foods.    As a result, they have a higher intake of key nutrients including: calcium, iron, vitamins, fiber, and less saturated fat, cholesterol, trans fat and total fat.
  • Families who frequently dine together raise teens who are less apt to smoke, drink or use illegal drugs.
  • Family dynamics, communications and problem solving skills have the potential to become stronger.
  • Family dining fosters manners and social skill development.  In other words, it’s all good.

Consider these statistics and their implications for your family:

  • 80% of teens view family dinners as important.  While they may begrudge sitting down at the table and embracing “family time” know that their inner self yearns for more bonding.
  • 79% of teens sited dinner at home as a top rated family activity.  A majority said they would eat more healthful if they ate more often with their families
  • Only 33% of teens eat dinner with their family consistently
  • 60% of teens eat dinner with their family 5 times per week
  • Unfortunately 22-32% of teens eat dinner with family rarely, or only a few times per week

As you ponder your New Years Resolutions, consider “Bringing Your Family Back to the Table”.  You can’t lose!

Categories: Nutrition & Wellness

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