The Power of Eating Together as a Family
The Power of a Family Meal Time
One of the best ways of countering the negative influences that constantly bombard our children is to plan a family meal time. This simple act creates a bond among family members. It helps children process and deal with the demands placed on them by friends, teachers and the non stop onslaught of social media. Parents benefit as well; there is nothing more pleasant than spending time eating a meal with the family, hashing over the events of the day and being involved in the daily dramas and triumphs of each family member.
All for One and One for All….
Family meal times create balance, predictability and stability. Studies have shown that eating together as a family 6 or 7 times per week has many benefits. It results in less obesity, less engagement in risky behavior such as drinking alcohol, and fewer mental disorders such as depression. The benefits increase as parents involve their children in choosing meals, preparing them and cleaning up. Family ‘team spirit’ gives the younger members of the family the ‘reason’ they need to withstand pressure to try drugs, or engage in other dangerous behavior. Children who are engaged with their parents are much more likely to avoid these behaviors because they don’t want to disappoint them. The place where children and parents are most likely to engage on a regular basis is at a meal.
The Most Important Meal of the Day
Any meal together is beneficial. It can be breakfast if the family routine supports a sit down meal to start the day. Most families don’t have an abundance of time in the morning and sometimes don’t have much time for dinner. However, making time for at least one meal each day where the family can talk, discuss plans and engage in conversation has proven to pay off in terms of health, happiness and well being. It can be a picnic after soccer practice. The most important ingredient for a great family meal is the family members.
Another benefit of eating together is the opportunity of teaching children healthy food choices. It is difficult to do this if many meals are bought from fast food outlets. Children are more likely to try a variety of foods if they are offered during family mealtimes and not forced. Seeing other family members enjoying various vegetables, fish, meats and flavors will naturally make even the pickiest eater try a few new things.
If possible, try to have dinner time three hours before bedtime so that the children aren’t going to bed with a large undigested meal. Also, make sure your family meal time is not sabotaged by media. Have everyone, including mom and dad, leave their phones elsewhere while this precious family time is happening.
Creating Strong Families
Some of the most pleasant memories occur as a result of eating a meal with friends and family. Having at least one meal together will build a bond that can result in healthier and happier children. Happy children make happy parents!
Flintridge Family Chiropractic is committed to helping each member of the family live healthy, active lives. We believe that strong families are the basis for the strong and successful next generation.
Those looking for the best chiropractors in Pasadena & La Cañada Flintridge can contact us at (818)952-0172.