According to an article by Goodnet, 59% of Americans reported that their family today has fewer family dinners than when they were growing up. I can see why this would be. People grow up and get busy lives, and they take less time to slow down and invest in their loved ones.
I grew up in a household that is big on tradition, and one of our “must-do” traditions is eating together as a family. But since I’m away at college, I physically can’t be home to eat dinner with my family every night. However, I often end up FaceTiming my immediate family while I’m eating, and oddly enough, they’re usually eating at the same time.
At the end of my day, my family is who I’m thinking about. They are what means the most to me. I want to share my day with them, and hear about their days as well. A shared meal has always been a perfect opportunity to do so.
Although it’s just a meal, some of my favorite childhood memories come from our Sunday family dinners with my grandparents and cousins. Now that all the kids of the family are kids no more, I miss everyone being together and watching football, or playing Speak Out, laughing for hours.
While this tradition is something I personally enjoy, there’s actually scientific evidence for why that is. Many proven benefits of eating dinner together as a family explain why this practice is so meaningful.
Just because family dinners are statistically on the decline doesn’t mean it’s for good reason. My family reaps all the benefits of family dinners, and that’s why we keep them around. Follow along below for what family dinners can do for you and your loved ones!
Keeps You in the Loop
Although you shouldn’t talk with your mouth full, talking at dinner will keep you up to date with your family, and vice versa. You’re given the opportunity to catch up with the details of each other’s lives. For my family, our overall dynamic has been strengthened through this time together.
Think about it… If you devote an hour or two of your day to sit down without distractions, have a meal with your family, and focus on your time together, you’re going to get to know each pretty deeply. Even just the little happenings of daily life will be shared and talked about.
Leads to Healthier Food Choices
Families who eat together typically consume more fruits and veggies. Meals often consist of one main dish and a couple side dishes. Typically, the main dish is a meat and the sides are healthy options that are easy to make in bulk, such as broccoli or applesauce. All healthy stuff there!
Although my family is big on dessert (I’m a big ice cream girl), we do tend to eat healthy overall. We like to think that we earned our treats after our nutritious meals!
Saves You Money
Going out to eat always feels like a celebration. While one meal eating out costs about $8, on average, it’s easy to see how this number can skyrocket depending on the quantity of food (we all like our apps and desserts) and the quality of restaurant.
Meanwhile, back at the ranch, one meal made in your own kitchen equivalates to about $4.50 per meal. Eating at home is nearly 50% off!
Researchers found that sitting down to a family meal helped working moms reduce the tension and strain from long hours at the office. Although I’m not a working mom, I always love coming home from school to my parents’ cooking. There’s something about a home-cooked meal that relaxes me.
Home-cooked meals remind us of home and family, two things that should relieve our stress. After a long day at work or school, would wouldn’t wanna veg out to fresh food and family time?
Creates Lasting Memories
Some of the times I’ve laughed the hardest were at Sunday Family Dinner with my whole family. I kid you not, every single time we finished our meal, I had hiccups. For some reason, food always leads to hilarious moments with family. And if you’re anything like me, you’re oftentimes the source of the laughter!
Eating meals at home also gives you the opportunity to create memories as you cook together. My family goes on vacation with my mom’s side of the family every year, and our “thing” is to all make dinner together, or we’ll let the kids do the cooking for a night. So grab your apron and start cooking up some good ole family times!
If you already eat meals with your family, then you’re ahead of the game. If you currently don’t and want to start, it’s never too late! I promise you, you’ll get some amazing stories, lessons, quality time, and memories out of it – whether you’re in person or on FaceTime. I know I did, and I still do.
They say families who eat together, stay together. I’m a firm believer in the saying, and I’m also living proof! If you have any fun family dinner stories, please share with us! We’d love to hear from you!
Become an Author with Through Wolf’s Eyes
Surely you have a story. About you – your friends – your life – your experiences – that can motivate and inspire others. Share with us for a chance to be published on Through Wolf’s Eyes and follow us on Facebook!
“THANKFUL – Free eBook!
Join the Through Wolf’s Eyes newsletter and download your free eBook now.
Whether you are an avid TWE reader or first time downloader, a member of the iGeneration or on the brink of retirement, my hope is that through this eBook you can discover what matters most to you in life and and time to appreciate it all.