Something I will always remember about my childhood is gathering around the dining room table every night at 6pm with the family for dinner. While this doesn't happen every night at our house, we are constantly striving to aim for that good habit and here's why:
According to The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University, kids and teens who share family dinners three or more times per week:
- Are less likely to be overweight
- Are more likely to eat healthy food
- Perform better academically
- Are less likely to engage in risky behaviors (drugs, alcohol, sexual activity)
- Have better relationships with their parents
Besides appreciation for the value of food and the work that goes into preparing it, there are also many social elements that come into play when families share meals, says Miriam Weinstein, author of "The Surprising Power of Family Meals". The dinner table can be the perfect environment where kids learn how to conduct conversations, observe good manners, serve others, listen, solve conflicts and compromise.
Life can get busy between hectic work schedules, kids activities, and running errands. However, In 2008, researchers at Brigham Young University conducted a study of IBM workers and found that sitting down to a family meal helped working moms reduce the tension and strain from long hours at the office. Maybe it's not dinner for you, perhaps it can be breakfast or lunch. For us, it is "Linner". So let us take the time and effort to eat, drink, and be merry.... together.