Table of Contents
Dining with family as a regular activity has somewhat become a thing of the past. In the modern context, having dinner with the family is synonymous with a formally planned weekend night out. Eating food at the table with your family members seated together is a misnomer in our busy ‘lifestyles’.
Unfortunately, for many of us, something as ordinary yet wholesome as a family lunch or dinner is elusive. We are so tightly bound to our individualistic pursuits and ‘me time’, it is negatively affecting our relationship with our family.
It’s just a family dinner you might be thinking, what’s the big deal? Family dinners don’t have the glamour of fine dining or champagne or getting dressed to impress and meeting fancy folks. This is exactly why family dinners are important — their purpose is much more meaningful and deep.
Dining with our families is an everyday simple pleasure that can do wonders for us and our families. Family is perhaps THE most important aspect of our lives — one that we must prioritize and nurture.
Dining with your family can bring significant and positive transformations in our lives and that of our loved ones. Read on to know more about why family dining is so important:Family time must be prioritized no matter what. Dining with the family has multiple and positive and holistic benefits us and our loved ones. Click To Tweet
Reasons Why Dining With Your Family Is Important
1. Healthy Eating
Dining with your family promotes healthy eating patterns. When we dine with our children and/or spouse, partner, parents, etc. we are able to keep a check on what we and the others are eating and how much as opposed to mindlessly filling up our plates and sitting before the t.v. or laptop so that we don’t have to get up again. When we eat together, we are cautious of taking proper portions of food so that there’s enough for everybody else. Also, there is always someone telling you to mind what you’re eating or what you should eat e.g. more salad, or controlling your water intake during meals. Making family dining a habit can actually have a positive long-term effect on our health.
2. Dinner Is More Enjoyable
We understand you are addicted to that web series and want to catch up on it but why do it during family dinner time? Why not take some time for yourself before or after? This is where we go wrong – we take our family time for granted to fulfill our need for entertainment. When we dine with family, we joke, laugh, talk, and make memories. Bonding over food is always a lot of fun; each one gets an opportunity to talk about their day, their highs and lows, share advice, resolve problems, and much more.
3. Build Self-Esteem in Children
According to Stanford Children’s Health,
“Dinner is a perfect opportunity to build self-esteem in children. By listening to what children have to say, you are saying, “I value what you do; I respect who you are and what you’re doing; what you do is important to me.” The bottom line is that we must start looking at family dining time as an opportunity and not as a chore. This approach can lead to wonderful possibilities like creating a level of comfort, uninhibited communication and a safe space for children and adults to express themselves.
4. Better Communication
Whether you’re living with your spouse, parents, children, siblings, etc. make dining together with them a priority. Dining with your family opens channels of communication in a healthy way. As a result of our busy and ever-changing lifestyles, spending quality time with family has taken a backseat. It even shatters many misunderstandings we may have about the other person. For example, you may think your spouse has been acting very distant lately. However, you did not get the time or opportunity to ask them about it. But, after having a dinner conversation and lightening up you may realize it was something at work and nothing to be troubled about. Essentially, when you eat together it provides an opportunity for us to converse and address issues in a non-confrontational way.
5. Improved Mental Health and Emotional Security
It is sad yet true that although we have people around us who love us we and/or our loved ones may still feel alienated and alone. Blame it on work, or simply taking your family for granted, being too self-centered, etc. people are feeling increasingly lonely and depressed. Family meals are a great way to bond with your loved ones and develop a sense of security which is essential for mental health and hygiene.
Knowing you have people who you love and who love you back unconditionally and having people you can rely on when the chips are down will help you relieve feelings of anxiety, insecurity and prevent more serious issues like depression.
6. Be Good Role Models
As life progresses in the era of globalization, our lifestyles will become more demanding in terms of work, achieving goals, having ambitions, etc. In this chaos, it is important to teach the right stuff to our young ones. Family dining, as we have read so far, can have multiple benefits for our health and well-being. Pass on the family dining ritual to your children and teach them to value it. Remember, it all begins at home. What we do our children are likely to follow.
7. Decreased Screen Time
Family movie nights are great but having simple meals together is even better. Sitting together for a meal also ensure adults and children both are not glued to their phone and/t.v. screens while they eat. The opposite can have several ill effects on one’s health.
A family meal no matter how ordinary can be extraordinary if only we give it a chance. Family time must be prioritized no matter what. Dining with the family has multiple and positive and holistic benefits us and our loved ones. Right from eating healthy to feeling health, family dining must be respected as a great opportunity and not just a daily chore. Try not avoiding or missing these precious moments because at the end of the day all we have is family!