Undoubtedly, some of the warmest family memories have taken place while sitting together around a table, happily enjoying a meal. There are plenty of reasons why families should eat together, especially with regard to the bond and healthy habits kids develop during family mealtime. What’s more, frequent family meals have tremendous impact on the child’s development as they contribute to the formation of values, self-esteem, and a person’s entire identity. Below, are some of the most important effects of shared family meals which will definitely convince you to hold family meals more regularly.
- Building stronger relationships
When you sit around the dinner table, casually sharing the news of the day, laughing over a funny incident that might have occurred, provides the perfect opportunity to the entire family to bond with each other and build a stronger relationship. While the individual stories and moments you share may seem insignificant, their importance is enormous, since it is precisely such moments that help a family stay connected. At the same time, it is particularly beneficial for younger children who, without realizing it, expand their vocabulary due to the various conversations that take place among family members. Another important benefit is that parents get to learn about their childrens life and even understand if their child is potentially in danger from bad influences such as friends who smoke or skip school. Also, it is much easier to notice if your child’s behavior changes and discover whether there is an underlying reason behind this that needs to be addressed.
- Sharing, bonding, and making memories
After a hectic day at work or school, a pleasant family meal helps everyone to unwind, escape their problems, re-connect with each other, and even create some beautiful memories. Being in a setting where you share your news, experiences, ideas, and dreams is beneficial for everyone involved. According to research, this has a positive effect to one’s mental health, reducing emotional and behavioral problems. This is because memories become well ingrained in childrens minds, helping them to build pleasant memories and, effectively, become happier and confident persons. Simultaneously, both parents and children get the chance to share some of their bad experiences and negative thoughts, enabling them to express themselves and discuss what troubles them.
- Developing healthier dietary habits
When you prepare your own meals to eat them with your family helps to establish healthier dietary patterns. The reason for this is that parents usually strive to promote nutritious choices to their children.
- Achieving optimum mental health
Optimum mental health in teenagers has been linked to the fact that the kids eat with their parents regularly. Notably, this kind of family setting promotes good manners, communication skills, and social skills. What is also of vital significance is that the enhanced bond created during family meals helps children to feel heard, respected, and taken care of, which contributes to high self-esteem and has a positive impact on their overall well-being.
- Establishing beneficial routines
The habit of eating together regularly enhances the sense of security and belonging to the family. This is because the child grows up in an environment that understands the significance of establishing routines that help the development of predictability, which allows children not to worry about their basic needs and feel secure enough that they are under the protection of their family.
- Implementing cost effective solutions
In order to save more money, you should plan ahead the meals of the week, or even of the month, so that you make the most cost-effective choices at your supermarket trip. This also enables you to cook the meals that the entire family enjoys and find similar alternatives for the pickier family members.
RMHC CYPRUS strongly believes families should be together during difficult times. This is what motivates us to keep fulfilling our goal which is to help families be close to each other by providing the necessary resources, support, and a home away from home to the parents and siblings of hospitalized children.