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5 Benefits of Eating Together as a Family

5 Benefits of Eating Together as a Family

And How to Actually Make it Happen


Family mealtime is becoming a lost tradition for many, often replaced with grabbing a quick bite on the go. In today's hectic world, sitting down for dinner as a family can be seen as a luxury when in reality, it is an important practice that has a number of benefits for both our physical and mental health. Studies suggest that the family meal has a positive effect on everything from mood to self-esteem to school success to name a few.  Read on to learn more!


1.     Create a Stronger Bond between Family Members:  Eating together helps to strengthen the bond between family members. It gives parents and children time to talk, share stories, and learn about each other's daily lives. For younger children, this is particularly important in helping to build their socialization skills. One study published in the Journal of Pediatric Health concluded that family meals provide an opportunity to build stronger families and stronger young people. The family meal is the perfect setting to develop healthy relationships, have positive peer relationships, and communicate better overall.


2.     Develop Better Nutritional Habits: Mealtime encourages healthier eating habits, particularly for children. Eating as a family provides a chance to introduce new foods and encourages children to try new things. One 2018 study found that preschool-age children who ate more meals together with their families had a higher intake of fruits and vegetables while another study observed that five family meals per week was also associated with less sugar intake in both older and younger children.


3.     Improve Academic Performance: Studies suggest that families who eat together have  children with better academic performance. Regular family mealtime provides an opportunity for parents to monitor their children's academic progress, discuss homework assignments or air concerns related to school. It helps to create a positive home learning environment that promotes educational success.


4.     Relieve Stress: Family mealtime is an excellent time for parents to unwind and relieve stress. After a long day at work, sitting down for dinner with your loved ones is an activity that encourages the sharing of positive experiences and conversations which can help to distract from any negative experiences of the day. This bonding time can also help increase feelings of comfort and security among family members.


5.     Save Money: Eating together at home, even just a few times a week, helps to save money. Eating out regularly can be quite expensive over time. By cooking at home and eating together as a family, parents can save money on groceries and reduce their food expenses in the long run.


Making time for family meals is worth the effort. Sitting together and sharing a meal provides families with an opportunity to bond, improve their nutrition, work together around the home, and develop stronger relationships. It is a great way to get to know each other, share stories or even just have some good laughs together. By committing to mealtime together, families can create a tradition that will help them stay connected for years to come.


Published October 1, 2023

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