We meet and get acquainted with various types of people every day, but connecting with them is not that easy. We just want to be with our family and other loved ones with whom we are already comfortable with. It seems that we don’t have much time to get to know someone well, or some might not want to get close or intimate because they are afraid of being neglected or judged.
Nowadays, connecting directly with each other does not happen very often, as face-to-face meetups are getting lesser compared to personal chats or voicemail. Almost everything has an easier alternative. We have also become lazier because of shortcut gear like remote controls for television and car. We just go right ahead and sit on the couch, eat chips or popcorn, and watch television like there’s nothing better to do in the world. Sometimes, we unconsciously gobble the food to the last piece and in the end, overeat and get depressed.
I think we ought to remember not so long ago; every family would always try to be there for dinner. And though it’s a cliché, a family that eats together usually stay together. Dinners – or any of the three meals, for that matter – are more than just the food in front of you. It’s about bonding, sharing, and caring.
As mentioned in, VeryWellFamily site, Studies have revealed that only about 60% of American families cook or eat together, usually four times a week. If you are one of the family members who is not used to cooking or eating together, it’s high time you change that. Want to know why? Here are some reasons why it’s great to cook or eat together as a family.
It Improves Mood And Behavior.
Children who eat with their families almost every night are less likely to smoke, drink, and use drugs. When you stay connected with the teens, you’ll have a lesser time dealing with them when they become adults.
“The more often families have dinner together, the stronger their bond. There is a protective factor against risky behavior because they are more connected to their family unit,” says Natascha Santos, PsyD, a certified bilingual school psychologist and behavior therapist at Bio Behavioral Institute in Great Neck, New York.
It Promotes Proper Nutrition.
Children and parents who eat together as a family are more likely to consume varying amounts of fruits and vegetables and are not very picky. Because they talk and share stories, children can’t remember how much of the apples and oranges they’ve consumed. When they do this, they are well nourished and apparently, a well-nourished person sees positively in life, and therefore display a positive attitude toward great people and healthy food.
According to a study by Amber J. Hammons, PhD, and Barbara H. Fiese, PhD, “The frequency of shared family meals is significantly related to nutritional health in children and adolescents. Children and adolescents who share family meals 3 or more times per week are more likely to be in a normal weight range and have healthier dietary and eating patterns than those who share fewer than 3 family meals together. In addition, they are less likely to engage in disordered eating.”
One Is Introduced And Learns New Food
Most children are fussy and easily dissatisfied, so it would be better to introduce new types of food while they are still young. For instance, you can serve one or two types of new food. The food should be tasty and well cooked so that the youngsters are eager to give it a try. Prepare and serve the food every night for one week. Tell them to eat as much they can, and not eat if they can’t take a lot.
The Portions You Eat Are Better Controlled
Portion control is great for a lot of reasons. First, you can save food, and budget your money, of course. It also prevents you and your family from overeating. They are also encouraged to learn how to gauge each of their portions so that soon they’ll be able to keep away from their urges and not be tempted to eat more than what’s appropriate for them. A portion control plate is recommended for family members who would like to be motivated to lose weight and stay fit and healthy. If any member of the family wants to lose weight, then perhaps you should consider using a smaller plate!
Eating A Rainbow Makes Everyone Healthy
“Eating A Rainbow” is a phrase that experts usually say when they want kids to eat proportionally and healthily. The rainbow consists of greens and various kinds of fruits that would fill the whole plate. You can combine different vegetables from purple, green, and yellow and mix them with the nuts. This is nutrient overload!
An example would be red for strawberries, apples and radishes can be used for the fruits, and then you can mix up the veggies such as carrots or sweet potatoes.
According to family therapist Anne Fishel, PhD, “Children who eat regular family dinners also consume more fruits, vegetables, vitamins and micronutrients, as well as fewer fried foods and soft drinks. And the nutritional benefits keep paying dividends even after kids grow up: young adults who ate regular family meals as teens are less likely to be obese and more likely to eat healthily once they live on their own.”
It Beats Stress
Families who cook and eat together have better ways of coping with stress simply because they share their joys, pains, and hurts every day with each other, thus, encouraging relaxation. Each member feels that he or she has a network of support that has been there for him or her throughout. Also, it’s quite fun when you do things together – starting from preparing, cooking, washing the dishes, and cleaning up.
You’ll Know More About Each Other
Eating together as a family has always been a tradition across all cultures. Unfortunately, this tradition is slowly disappearing in some countries, when these simple activities are also the easiest ways to know more about the people you love. One must always find time to help in the kitchen or just spend quality time on the table – to talk, to listen, and to connect.