The Importance of Sharing Meals in Family
Setting 30 to 60 minutes aside each day for a family meal can give everyone a chance to enjoy each other’s company. Unfortunately, jobs, after-school activities and chaotic social schedules all conspire to make families feel like they are constantly on the go, with people often opting to eat-and-run rather than spend quality time around the table.
But sharing meals is really important for a family, especially with kids, and more and more parents are realising the importance of shared family time at the dinner table. So, try to enjoy your lunches and dinners together as it will most certainly bring joy to all!
Here’s a little tip for you: try to schedule activities so that they don’t interfere with mealtimes, and, if it proves difficult to find the time to eat together, start by scheduling at least one family meal per day.
Why is important to eat together? Read on to find out more.
Family meals improve your relationships
Eating together teaches you how to communicate with your kids. When you sit down at table, you can better handle the stresses of daily life and you can conveniently communicate what happened during your day. Moreover, it offers you the chance to review events or plan for the coming days. Children can listen and learn from these exchanges, and in turn they can tell you about their day or about something that happened that made them happy or sad. This will help them to open up their feelings and understand that family is a comfortable space in which everyone can communicate freely.
In other words, children gain confidence at the table, and they start learning how to communicate their inner world. Remember to always encourage children to talk about their day as it aids their linguistic and emotional skills. For kids, learning how to communicate will be important as they advance to adulthood, and it teaches them to listen and respect others.
Strengthen kids’ self-esteem
Sharing meals is the perfect opportunity to build self-esteem in children. By listening to what children have to tell you, you are saying, « I value what you do and it is important to me. » Eating together provides a time to be connected. This helps children feel loved, safe and secure.
So, beyond conquests as a family, sharing meals helps children grow as people. As a matter of fact, family meals can teach important life skills.
Good eating habits
Eating together is a great occasion to teach children how to eat healthily, as acquiring good eating habits isn’t so easy., Family meals make your efforts more effective. Children often need to see, smell, and touch a food many times before trying it. Offer new foods alongside familiar ones and include those your child refused in the past over and over again. It is also important that you eat the same foods, showing the child that you enjoy the foods that they may not. In this way, they tend to eat more nutrient-rich foods. Seeing is believing!
And, if you need some additional help, play is always a good way to enjoy something. With the Healthy Fruit Playset or with our Vegetable Basket, for instance, children get used to healthy food and become more confident and perhaps less reluctant to eat their greens.
Kids can learn good social manners
Family mealtimes can be a good time to teach children good table manners and encourage courtesy and other social skills that are valued in society. Children need to learn little by little, experts say, so, don’t rush and try to enjoy your child’s progress. After all, how funny it is to see your child covered with tomato sauce?
Remember to lead by example. As a parent you have to show your child the right way to do things. Divide up the tasks so that Mom is not responsible for preparing the food, serving and washing dishes alone. Do you know how much fun it is to cook with your kids? Letting them help cook and serve the family’s meal is an unbelievably educational endeavour. If you want to improve your child’s self-confidence let them cook, under your supervision of course!
And, if you want to promote good social habits elsewhere, you can share meals through play. Eating pizza is more fun together!
Play with your kids using food toys cut into slices that are ideal for sharing – fun for both play and improving social skills.
The dinner table can be the perfect setting for family playtime and food can become a tool for learning and growing together; a special occasion that strengthens the bond between mom, dad and their little ones. So, have you already thought about how to organise today’s dinner? Try to plan it with your kids and partner and enjoy every aspect of the ritual; the preparation, the mealtime and the social elements. Good dinner, healthy family!
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