In past generations, meals were taken at the kitchen or dining room table.  Meal time the family gathered together ate and interacted with each other.  Although most families probably weren’t like the Cleavers on “Leave it to Beaver” this idea did represent American culture.  Now the kitchen table has found other uses, in my case to fold laundry or clip coupons.  Meal time has changed.  In our popular culture, where television is a staple many meals are eaten in the living room while watching a favorite show or because the parent works, a quick detour through McDonalds provides supper.

Is this current trend good?  What does reseach say about this?  According to recent surveys, less than half of the families in the United States actually sit down to a meal on a regular basis. Yet, studies report that family meals are strongly related to the development of adolescent mental health and stability. A Harvard Medical School study found “that there are nutritional, as well as social, emotional and academic advantages that occur in children when families share meals together.

Why are family mealtimes important?

  • A sense of belonging and mutual trust is fostered when adults and children eat together and enjoy each other’s company.
  • Family meals provide opportunities for adults to model table manners and nutritious food choices.
  • Eating together encourages adult-child communication skills such as listening patiently to each other and expressing one’s opinion in a respectful manner.
  • Mealtimes provide a setting for moral and intellectual discussion where family values are shared.
  • Since children thrive on routines, family meals foster a sense of security and stability.
  • When children help with meals, they learn skills such as shopping, setting the table, preparing food, serving food, and cleaning up.
  • Family meals can foster family traditions and enhance cultural heritages”.

So I guess I better get that laundry put away and dust off the dishes.


About smurphyrules
I love my son, my fiance, my mom and the new children that will be becoming a part of my life.

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