Common meals at the family table are of great importance for the members of the household. Nowadays it is even more important because some of us work from morning till evening or work shifts, which makes contact with the rest of the family difficult. Shared meals give the opportunity to be with each other at least for a while. This is especially important for children. What are the benefits of eating meals together?
A shared meal is a great opportunity for the whole family to meet in one place. This has a huge impact especially on children, as such moments give them a sense of togetherness. Moreover, they feel safe and that they belong to the family. Common meals are therefore an important part of building a bond with parents. Of course, teenagers should not be forgotten either. Research shows that teens who eat meals with their parents more often describe their relationship with them as very good. Eating meals together not only provides the body with necessary calories, but also allows us to meet, talk to each other and give each other attention.
When children see this behavior from their parents, they learn to talk about their feelings and beliefs. If parents focus on what their kids are saying, they are letting them know that they are important to them. These do not always have to be serious conversations; sometimes just a chat is enough. But the regularity of these conversations means that parents know more about their children and know them better. Of course, it works the same way the other way around. Thanks to such moments spent together over a meal, you can quickly notice that one of the household members is having a bad day and immediately try to talk them into changing it.
Eating meals together can be good for children’s eating habits. Yes, if healthy meals have not been introduced into their diet from the beginning of their lives, the first few days can be extremely difficult. Toddlers will usually strongly resent products other than Nutella, sausage, or white bread. With time, however, this will change and you can approach this in a somewhat innovative way by setting an example for toddlers. Shared meals are a great and unforced opportunity to try new dishes, talk about healthy lifestyle and what people like and why. During the moments spent together the children closely observe the behavior of adults, and thanks to that they can shape better eating choices, without unnecessary and boring sermons.
Toddlers are also more eager to explore new flavors during shared meals. Studies show that sitting together at the table is a good type of obesity prevention. How is it possible? First of all, eating together means eating regularly, which makes children less likely to snack. Secondly, specialists note that people at home eat to their heart’s content, but in moderation, which cannot be said about meals in restaurants.
It may seem unbelievable to many, but regular and shared meals influence children’s performance in school. Meetings at the table are a great opportunity to talk, not only about confidences, but also about other things related to the world. In such conversations, toddlers enrich their knowledge and gain new information that makes them smarter. This, of course, translates into their performance in school. A family dinner is also a chance for parents to explain to their children how the world works, to explain current events, and to share their knowledge. These shared meal chats often prove to be the most interesting and also the best preparation for the upcoming class.
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