Whatever happened to an actual family dinner? It seems like now and days, most families don’t sit together and spend quality time while enjoying a meal. Just 40 percent of American families eat meals together according to a recent study done by ConAgra Foods. Most kids just eat on their own time or in their rooms while some parents may just not cook at all. I’m not saying every family is like this, but most are.
Family dinner gives members a chance to reconnect with each other after a long day. It may be the only time of day where everyone gets together.
Today, kids have after school jobs or even practice for sports. Parents may work very late and not have time to cook meals. So this usually leads to eating frozen meals and eating at different times than other family members.
Family meals are important because sitting down for a nightly meal is great for the brain, the body and spirit. Researchers reported that children who regularly eat family dinners consume more fruits, vegetables, and vitamins along with fewer fried foods and soda.
Student Lesley Martinez actually eats a family dinner every day.
“We have dinner together every day. We wait for my dad to come home from work, then we all sit together and eat,” said Martinez.
Other researchers found an association between family dinner frequency and how teens perform in school. Students who ate family meals five to seven times per week, were twice as lucky to get A’s than students who ate fewer than two meals per week.
There was also a study in New Zealand that showed a relationship between family dinners and good behavior in teens. It lowers the chance of high-risk teenage behaviors like smoking, drinking, marijuana use, violence, school problems, and eating disorders.