According to this article in the StarTribune, families that eat together enjoy an overall healthier lifestyle. However with so many families experiencing life running away from them in any number of directions, how can everyone enjoy the supposed benefits of family meal time while still meeting the expectations of our current way of life?
From the article:
Sept. 26 marks the 10th anniversary of Family Day: A Day to Eat Dinner With Your Family, launched by the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University. According to the center’s research, kids who eat meals more frequently with their parents are less likely to smoke, drink or use drugs. They are also more likely to do well in school and have better self-esteem.
In 2010, Search Institute surveyed 89,000 kids nationally in grades six through 12 on the subject of family meals; 46 percent reported they eat five or more meals with their families each week while 24 percent said they ate once per week (or less) with their families.
When I was growing up there were very few days, and I could probably count them on two hands and two feet, where we did not sit down as a family to have dinner together. While it is obviously much easier when the family is so very small, never-the-less it was surprising to see so few families eating together as frequently as I remember doing so growing up. With that sort of background in mind and an identical small family size, I am doing the same thing in my own house with my family and I cannot imagine doing it any other way.
But as mentioned above, with the way families exist nowadays it has to be difficult to get in those family meals and avoid all the negative consequences associated with not eating together as a family. So the question for you is this: what do your families do to ensure that meals are eaten together frequently? If you aren’t able to have more than one or two meals together a week how do you include healthy eating options in your dinners and provide your families with the positives which are generally attributed to eating together? Do you think that the article and cited research makes some pretty big leaps and that eating together really doesn’t do anything they claim? Whatever you have to say about this article go ahead and comment on as I’d love to hear your thoughts.