At one time it was commonplace for families to gather around the dinner table every night. In nuclear families of the 1950s and ’60s, the kids would do homework after school, and when Dad came home from work, they would sit down and eat.
With all the distractions of today – sports events, after-school activities, both parents working, to name just a few – the family dinner table has taken a back seat.
According to the University of Washington publication The Whole U, dining together as a family has its benefits. Families who eat together tend to include a greater variety of foods with emphasis on healthy food.
In addition, The Family Dinner Project shows that meal conversations can be a “more potent vocabulary booster” than reading, and the shared stories can help children become more resilient to life’s challenges.
Children also do better in school when they have regular mealtimes with their family and have fewer behavioral problems when they eat meals together.
So how do you make it easier for the whole family to have a sit-down meal? The Whole U offers these tips: