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A perfect way to gather a family…
Eating together as a family has become very rare despite its great benefits for everybody, especially children and teenagers. It can be hard to gather everybody because of busy schedules most of us have, but it is not impossible – at least a few times a week. If you cannot have your family to dine together, try doing it for breakfast or lunch.
One of the reasons for doing it is to provide the opportunity to communicate around the table – to bond, make plans, connect, share experiences and learn from one another. It is a perfect time to share the news of the day, share stories, things from school, about friends etc. Family meals foster warmth, love and care, security and feelings of belonging that are so important to both the children and the parents. Having meals together gives everyone a sense of identity.
It is also an opportunity to teach table manners. We suggest relaxed and loving approach – avoid criticism and instructions.
During family meals you can encourage everyone (especially children) to try out new tastes, different kinds of food, various dishes… Have in mind that it can take up to 8 to 10 exposures to a new taste before it becomes accepted. Be patient, but persistent. It can be fun if you present them in fun ways – dishes from Asia, dishes from Africa, happy meals, sports meal, etc…
You can also let children participate in cooking or at least selecting among different recipes from cookbooks, web sites, newspapers… Or you can create something of your own.
Today’s children miss out the importance of knowing some basic things relating to planning and preparing meals, knowledge necessary for being self-sufficient.
Meals prepared and eaten at home are usually much more nutritious and healthy. Eating at home gives you an opportunity to eat more fruit and vegetables, to combine different kinds of ingredients, to avoid extra salt, sugar, fat, additives, artificial colours, etc.
Family meals also save your money. Eating out costs two or even four times more than eating at home.
Some researches have shown that family meals are highly associated with lower rates of smoking, drinking and drug use. Children used to family meals generally have healthier eating habits and less weight problems and eating disorders.
Children who regularly eat at home do better at school, teenagers achieve higher academic performances.
Need more? Get your family together, share time and eat together. There are so many benefits, do not ignore them…
“Cute Kid Enjoying Pasta And Juice”- Image courtesy of stockimages / FreeDigitalPhotos.net