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The Importance of Family Meals

The Importance of Family Meals: Intro

Eating meals together as a family is incredibly important. Here is a statement from a report from the University of Florida on this topic:

In many of today's households, family dinners have become a thing of the past. With busy schedules held by both parents and children, many families rarely have time to eat dinner together. In recent years, nutrition professionals have been promoting family dinners as research demonstrates the benefits that eating together can provide to family members.

You may be wondering, “Why are family dinners so important?”

The Importance of Family Meals: Planning Mealtime Conversation

This is the second blog in a series that is exploring some benefits of eating meals together as a family.

A report from the University of Florida points out that one of the real benefits of family meals is that it gives the opportunity for conversation. There are real benefits to these mealtime conversations.

Dinner-time conversation expands the vocabulary and reading ability of children. This benefit does not depend on the family's socio-economic status -- children in all families do better when they engage in dinner conversations.

The Importance of Family Meals: Nutritional Quality

This is the third blog in a series exploring the benefits of eating meals together as a family.

A report from the University of Florida says that one of the real benefits of family meals is the opportunity for conversation that it brings (see the last post in this series). The report goes on to reveal that eating together as a family is also associated with better nutritional quality of food eaten. Here is what they say:

The Importance of Family Meals: Developmental Assets

African American family enjoying a meal together.This is the fourth blog in a series exploring the benefits of eating meals together as a family.

A report from the University of Florida says that one of the real benefits of family meals is the opportunity for conversation, and is even associated with better nutritional quality. The report also reveals that eating together as a family is surprisingly associated with creating developmental assets for the family members and leads to fewer risky behaviors.

Simply put, eating together as a family could be a part of an effective strategy for preventing dangerous behaviors among youth. Take a look:

The Importance of Family Meals: Reduce Problem Behaviors

Mother with two daughters eating dessert at the table.This is the seventh blog in a series exploring the benefits of eating meals together as a family.

This report comes from the University of Alabama at Birmingham. Dr. Bisakha Sen, scholar at the Lister Hill Center said, “Increased frequency of family dinners is associated with lower probabilities of all substance-use and running away for females; binge-drinking, physical fights, property-destruction, stealing and running away for males; and less marijuana use for both genders. In addition, these effects are evident even when the empirical models control for good family connectedness, close parental monitoring, and other potential confounders.”